Your legal questions
Who’s to Q blame for country lane collision? I was riding my BMW R1200 down a typical English country road; a 60 mph singlecarriageway with the odd farm turn-off and 30mph zones in villages. Ahead of me were two cyclists riding side-by-side, taking up most of my lane. The road ahead looked clear so I went to overtake the cyclists, but as I did a car appeared in the oncoming lane. He had to swerve to avoid me and I had nowhere to go because if I pulled left I would have knocked the cyclists off their bikes. The driver’s insurer is claiming from my insurer for the damage to his car as he swerved into a hedge. Surely the cyclists are also to blame and can share the bill rather than my insurer coughing up for all of it? Janice, Langley A The increasing number of cyclists on the road in recent years has led to far more accidents in which bicycles are involved. It is still not a legal requirement for cyclists to have even third-party insurance, and therefore even in cases where they may be to blame for an accident, the victim often goes after the motorist with insurance. On the facts of your case, however, there was evidently not enough of a gap for you to safely overtake and you should have waited. After all, cyclists are lawful road users and are entitled to be there. The fact that you entered the oncoming lane and caused the car to swerve means the accident was your fault and I suspect your insurer will admit liability without seeking a contribution from the cyclists.
‘If there is not enough of a gap to safely overtake, you should wait’
Andrew Campbell Solicitor and author of the MCN Law column for the last five years Andrew Campbell, Bikelawyer. Visit www.bikelawyer.co.uk or email email@example.com or call 01446 794169 Motorcycle Accident Solicitors