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Title: I can't remember my accident - am I stuffed?

Date: 07 October 2015

I was involved in an accident when overtaking on my way to the gym. The driver who hit me said I was going above the speed limit and was riding dangerously. He said he was attempting to turn right and was indicating. I can’t remember the accident but there are witnesses. Some of them say I was speeding while others say I was not and some of them say the other driver was indicating and turning appropriately while others say that he pulled out fairly sharply. My solicitors are considering dropping my claim. I have been riding for 10 years and this is the first accident I have ever been involved in. Although I can’t remember the actual accident surely it doesn’t mean I should take the all the blame for it?

Ed, Devizes

Answer

When looking at liability, or who is to blame for the accident, most cases are decided on the witness evidence and particularly of independent witnesses. If you are unable to remember the accident it will cause some difficulties but that does not mean you will not potentially be able recover any compensation. There appear to be discrepancies between the witness evidence and this evidence needs to be considered carefully. Speed is always a difficult thing for witnesses to estimate and judges consider witnesses’ opinions on speed very cautiously.

Your solicitor could consider obtaining evidence from an accident reconstruction expert. This expert will consider all the witnesses statements, the damage to the vehicles and the accident scene in order to try and accurately determine what speed you and the other driver was traveling at, for how long you would have been visible to the turning vehicle whilst you were overtaking and the expert will then try and recreate the accident as best he can. In an accident such as yours there is likely to be some blame apportioned to you because courts tend to look rather unfavourably on motorcyclists overtaking near junctions.

It is likely, therefore, that any evidence from an expert reconstruction expert is going to be critical. That said, such experts are not cheap so whether it is a reasonable expense will depend on the likely value of your claim.

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