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Title: Should I accept a 50 / 50 settlement for Filtering Accident?

Date: 07 March 2012

Question

Should I accept 50/50 settlement?

In August I was filtering alongside a line of stationary traffic, only doing about 15/20 mph if that, was on my side of the white line and road and weather conditions were good, when a car pulled out to cut across my lane to turn right. I had no time to brake or to swerve out of his way. I hit the front wing of his car resulting in me breaking my left wrist. I’ve now had 3 operations on my wrist and a possible 4th (a bone graph) if the bones not healed in the next month or so. I have a claim going through but I’m not happy with the fact that my solicitor is telling me to settle on a 50/50 basis even though the police report clearly says it was the car drivers fault. Any advice would be a great help.

joe 82 legal forum

Answer

A recent filtering decision in the Court of Appeal (Woodham -v- Turner 2012) has rather complicated matters. CA cases can bind judges in lower courts if the facts are the same. The facts of two accidents are rarely identical so the trick is to try and differentiate one case from another to prevent unhelpful case law binding the likely outcome of another case. In the Woodham case the result (on appeal) was 50/50, having started out 70% in the biker's favour.

However it was a coach pulling out of the side road in that case and a tractor that had left the gap. The biker was doing 20mph. The judge said 15mph is reasonable whereas 20mph is not. The defendant's offer of 50/50 is therefore a clever one based on the current state of the law. Whilst it is indeed possible that you would beat it I could by no means guarantee it. I would suggest your best bet it to ask your solicitor to obtain a (good) barrister's advice on the facts of your case and then decide what to do. Your legal expenses insurer is likely to decide whether to fund your case beyond this stage in any event.

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