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Title: Help! This guy ran out on me while I was filtering

Date: 18 May 2016

Question

I was riding my Multistrada to work when traffic came to a standstill up ahead. There was nothing coming the other way towards me so I filtered past the traffic queue at about 20mph, not too fast in my opinion. Suddenly this guy ran into the road knocking me off. I got away with bruising but my bike will cost £1,500 to repair. I have a witness confirming that I could not have done anything and that it was the other guy’s fault but he has told my solicitors that if I carry on with my claim he will claim for his injuries. He says he was waved across by the car driver at the front of the queue. Surely this can’t be my fault!

Seb Haines, Bristol

Answer

Filtering is legal despite what defendant solicitors claim. The Court of Appeal has dealt with acceptable filtering speeds relative to lines of stationary traffic and apportionment of liability – that is the share of blame attaching to rider and the other person involved when there is a collision. Each case is fact specific so there are no absolute rules but the case law suggests if a line of traffic is stationary then a speed of 15mph would be appropriate whereas 20mph may not be. Other factors come into play such as the proximity of a junction (major or minor) which can also impact on the likely finding of contributory negligence.

It seems likely that the pedestrian is completely at fault here. He cannot rely on another road user waving him out. He must satisfy himself that it was safe for him to cross the road and had he looked properly he would have realised you were there and it was not safe for him to cross the road. You had right of way. I would press on with your claim and not be threatened about a counter claim although be aware there could be some share of responsibility but I would need to carefully consider all the evidence before advising further. Your insurer will deal with the pedestrian’s claim although it may be an idea for your solicitor to deal with defending it in addition to pursuing your claim.

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