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Title: Filtering on broken chevrons

Date: 26 June 2013


Long story short; I overtook, whilst doing about 5-7mph, a long line of stationary cars (heavy traffic moving slowly once every minute) on the right hand side using the area with broken chevrons. Whilst next to one car, he pulls out to the right without indicating or checking his mirrors and knocks me off. I literally couldn't have avoided it there by braking or steering to the right, I was next to his window when he started his action. Luckily there was no oncoming traffic and I was just a bit shocked and sore the day after.

It so happened to be that the car in front had 3 police officers in there who wrote me a letter stating I was driving slowly, they could see me in their mirrors, that traffic was stationary and that the driver of the car attempted to do a u-turn whilst also using the broken chevron area (position of the vehicle on the road made this clear but I have no pictures) and obviously didn't use its mirrors. The lady behind the driver also testified I drove slowly in stationary traffic and that the guy used no indicators and tried to do a u-turn. Both were convinced the driver was in the wrong, I received no ticket, just some nice comments on the bike.

Now his insurance is claiming I was overtaking and hence am more responsible resulting in them wanting to offer me only 30% of the damages. Is this worth pursuing with a lawyer (no cure no pay??) or through a different channel? I am not happy with the 30% and although I realise you should only use this area whilst necessary and safe to do so I was cautious whilst overtaking and the driver obviously didn't check his mirrors nor checked for the same area with broken chevrons to be safe... I could see far ahead and there were no junctions, oncoming traffic or side streets.

Any help is much appreciated and can share more info if required.

Duccie, MCN Legal forum


The definition of "necessary" and "when safe to do so" are open to judicial interpretation based on specific facts pertaining to each case. But the many cases like this I have dealt with have resulted in 75% to 100% for clients - i.e. the flip side of what you have been offered. Each case is fact specific but in your case I would seek to rely on Davis -v- Schrogin, a Court of Appeal case that went 100% in favour of the biker. Also the simple failure to use mirrors, over shoulder check and indicate.
My feeling without seeing the papers but based on your detailed account is 100% in your favour (other road users were aware of your presence so why was the negligent driver not) but there is always litigation risk.

That is the inherent risk of going to court and it not going your way on the day, for example if the judges is prejudiced against motorcyclists (this happens), a witness not showing up, a bizarre decision that does not warrant appeal as being patently wrong and so on. Litigation risk discount is often up to 25%.

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