Q&A

Spe­cial­ist mo­tor­ing so­lic­i­tor An­drew Prendergast guides our read­ers through their le­gal tri­als and trou­bles...

Motorcycle Monthly - - News -

Q This is ran­dom and I won­der if I am the most un­lucky biker in the world! I am a courier in Lon­don and was rid­ing my old rat of a CX500. As usual traf­fic was rammed so I was fil­ter­ing but as I passed an HGV the driver dropped a lit fag out of the win­dow which fell into my jacket. There was mu­cho scream­ing on my part, a se­vere wob­ble and I crashed into another car (caus­ing dam­age) and fell off. The CX500 looks pretty much the same i.e. bat­tered but in­jury wise I have bro­ken my wrist and have a burn on my chest. Is this too ran­dom for me to claim?

A It’s good to hear the CX500 rat is un­harmed in this ‘ran­dom’ act. As for whether you are the most un­lucky biker in the world I think you may get short listed for an award. How­ever, I did see a video of a man be­ing chased by an ele­phant while rid­ing his moped so I don’t think you would win. In short, the first ‘link’ in the ‘chain’ of cau­sa­tion is down to Mr HGV driver. If he hadn’t dropped his fag then you wouldn’t have fallen off. You can bring a claim against him for your losses and so can the owner of the car.

Q Some silly old bint who knocked me off my R6 af­ter she drove onto the wrong side of the road. Li­a­bil­ity was ad­mit­ted. I hurt my neck and frac­tured my an­kle. Her in­surer agreed to pay for some phys­io­ther­apy but when I for­got to go twice and they can­celled it. I went men­tal when I found out. It wasn’t my fault that I needed it in the first place! The prob­lem I have is her in­surer has now made an of­fer £12,000. My so­lic­i­tor says he can’t ad­vise me fully yet as I haven’t got my med­i­cal ev­i­dence in or­der yet (he blamed me be­cause I for­got to go to an MRI scan and a med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion) but that I could be li­able for some costs if I don’t get more than £12,000 at Court later on. It doesn’t seem like enough. I have told my so­lic­i­tor that I will sue him.

A Firstly, it’s not good you got hurt but li­a­bil­ity was ad­mit­ted and the other side agreed to pay for phys­io­ther­apy. This is en­tirely rea­son­able. Why should they keep pay­ing for some­thing that you can’t be both­ered to at­tend? You don’t get com­pen­sa­tion for the fact you “could have been killed.” Your so­lic­i­tor is cor­rect and I don’t have much sym­pa­thy as you would have the med­i­cal ev­i­dence if you had man­aged to go to the ap­point­ments. As for a way for­ward, you have choices but these have con­se­quences. You could ac­cept the of­fer but it may not be enough i.e. if you needed an op­er­a­tion etc. in the fu­ture. Al­ter­na­tively, you could get fur­ther med­i­cal ev­i­dence and set­tle later once you know what the score is. How­ever, if the ev­i­dence doesn’t sup­port an award more than the cur­rent of­fer, you may well be li­able for your le­gal costs, your med­i­cal dis­burse­ments and the le­gal costs of the other side from the time you could have ac­cepted the of­fer un­til set­tle­ment.

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