Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

The law in the UK regarding accidents between cyclists and cars?

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

The law in the UK regarding accidents between cyclists and cars?

Reply

Old 10-26-04, 09:40 PM
  #1  
beefcake
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
beefcake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Kent, England, UK
Posts: 5

Bikes: An Apollo BMX, and a Ridgeback Mountain Bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The law in the UK regarding accidents between cyclists and cars?

Hi,
I'm a regualr cyclist. I ride my bike everywhere. Indeed for a living as I'm a "retained firefighter", which is similar to a volunteer firefighter, i respond to a pager or "alerter" turning out from home when there is an emergency.

One day on my way home from my girlfriend's house i was involved in an accident with a car. I was on the right hand side of the road trying to get to the left hand side. (You should know, in the UK we drive on the left) I had come out of a road at a T junction and was attempting to across onto the road turning right. Do you follow?

Like this:


The red line is my route. The light purple light is her route (in her car). The dark purple is the route of other cars on the road. The blue blocks are parked cars. The yellow bits are road markings, and the grey bordered bits are pavement. The dark purple lines, by the way, are BUSY traffic. And the corner is blind, you cannot see around it.

I came along the road, knowing i would not be given way to, to get onto the left siide of the road heading down in the image above. So i crossed onto the pavement and made my way down to behind the first parked car to look at oncoming traffic and await a gap to cross.

A woman in a blue citreon saxo came round the parked cars, turned left sharply and hit me on my bike. She was headed UP, along with the rest of the traffic (she did not indicate left, plus she admitted she was headed up the road anyway). The rest of the traffic left, as usual a clear 1 metre or so gap between where i was and their driving path up the road.

The woman driving the car stopped on the pavement where the light purple line stops, and a car behind her stopped aswell. My bike was quite severely damaged and my left hand, leg and arm were badly bruised. Her car merely had broken the wing mirror on the near-side and lost a hub cap off the near-side front wheel.

I got up and waited for her and the driver of the car which stopped behind her to get out. We talked civilly and agreed that he (the driver of the car which stopped) would take my details and she would later conact him in order to call me and discuss the accident to arrange paying for and fixing her car. It was all very civil and at the time i was largely concerned about whether she had received any injuries and told her that my bruises were "nothing to be concerned about". I'm a trained first-aider and i knew i had not broken any bones. Coincidentally the man driving the car which stopped behind her to take my details was an estate agent, and they rememered eachother because he had sold her house a month or so before.

It was left at that, both she and the man behind drove off, and i limped off with my ike on the pavment. I waited for her to call me and after a week or so just gave up, thinking she had gotten it sorted without the hassle of contacting me. However today, about 2 weeks later, i received a letter from her insurance company saying:

"Our insured : Mrs hername
Accident date: 13/10/04
Policy cover: COMP Excess: £100 V.A.T Reg: No

Please note that we hold you responsible for the accident on the above date as you pulled out when it was not safe to do so.
We will be looking to you for reimbursement of the costs incurred and awaut your confirmation that liability is not an issue.

yours faithfully
Motor Claims Department"

Now, a few questions arise which i'm hoping someone can answer.
1) Liability is an issue, it was her fault but i decided to let it go, what can i do about this now that she has claimed AGAINST me?
2) I'm willing, as i told her, to pay a reasonable amount for the repair of her wing mirror, since it was an accident and i didn't want her to have to pay it all by herself. Since she has obviously gone through her insurance company, will i have to pay the £100 excess if i conceed to pay?
3) What would be a reasonable amount to pay for the repair of a severed and shattered wing mirror on a new citreon saxo?
4) As a cyclist, being uninsured what's the law regarding insurance claims against me in the event of an accident?
5) If i say i will not pay the excess charge and/or the cost of repair can she, or her insurance company, take me to court, if so would the man in the car behind (presumeably taking her side) stand as sufficient proof against me?

I'd really appreciate any help on the matter, as i don't drive and really know very little about traffic law.

Thanks in advance.
Beefcake.
beefcake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-04, 09:46 PM
  #2  
beefcake
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
beefcake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Kent, England, UK
Posts: 5

Bikes: An Apollo BMX, and a Ridgeback Mountain Bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
By the way, if none of you can help, can you point me to a web-site or forum that may be able to. I.e a website for cyclists in the UK. Thanks
beefcake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-04, 10:03 PM
  #3  
PaulBravey
Senior Member
 
PaulBravey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: San Rafael, CA
Posts: 532
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You could try the forums on www.cyclingplus.co.uk, they'd probably have a more accurate answer. Here you'd get a different answer per state anyway.
PaulBravey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-04, 10:09 PM
  #4  
Becca
Get outdoors! :)
 
Becca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 456

Bikes: Schwinn Sierra 700 Limited Edition

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't normally do this, but I will this time. Go to the PC Pro Help forum at http://forums.delphiforums.com/pcproforum/start and ask there in the off-topic folder. Most of the members there are Brits, and they may have an answer for you.
Becca is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-04, 10:16 PM
  #5  
beefcake
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
beefcake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Kent, England, UK
Posts: 5

Bikes: An Apollo BMX, and a Ridgeback Mountain Bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks Paul and Becca. I'll check out cyclingplus.co.uk because that's in the UK. But, still anyone who thinks they may be able to help or offer advice, please do.
That's helpful, cheers!
beefcake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-04, 04:53 AM
  #6  
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Contact the Cyclists Touring Club. They have a legal dept. If you join, you would be covered for 3rd party claims, but they often help non-members.
MichaelW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-04, 05:51 AM
  #7  
royalflash
Senior Member
 
royalflash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Munich
Posts: 1,372

Bikes: Lemond Alpe d“Huez, Scott Sub 10, homemade mtb, Radlbauer adler (old city bike), Dahon impulse (folder with 20 inch wheels), haibike eq xduro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
It is quite a strange accident- why did the woman make that sharp left around the parked car. Assuming that you were behind the parked car and she drove round the car into you then it would seem to be her fault. Was she trying to turn left or trying to park or something?. Your manouvers to turn right were also a bit strange. Why did you not just cycle up to the end of the T- junction and turn right there? If you actually cycled out past the parked car into the road and this caused the accident then I think the insurance company could well have a good case that it was your fault.

I think if you want to contest liability I would not mention the manouvers that you made previously and just focus on the story that I was on the pavement, moved off the pavement behind a parked car to wait for a gap and she swerved round the parked car and hit me.

The woman that hit you has obviously made a claim on her insurance and now the insurance are hoping that they can get you to pay. The letter that you got is probably standard and it is possible that if you send a solicitor's letter back contesting liability then they will consider it not worth pursuing for a broken wing mirror.

I cannot understand why, if you hold the women liable for the accident that you have not made a claim against her?.
royalflash is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-04, 06:05 AM
  #8  
Ed Holland
8speed DinoSORAs
 
Ed Holland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Oxford, UK or Mountain View, Ca
Posts: 2,749
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Beefcake,

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Now please don't shoot me down, but I am a little confused. From your diagram (purple line left to right) it seems as if you were making a rignt turn from the extreme right hand side of the side road due to the blind corner + parked car problem. This does put you in the wrong place as a road user and as such you would be in an unexpected and vulnerable place. However, you say that the car moved sharply over to the left side of the road before hitting you. Could it be that the driver was avoiding oncoming traffic? What time of day did this occur and was it light or dark?

Were you riding the bike at the point you were hit, or dismounted and wheeling it across the road as a pedestrian? I would certainly not share the diagram with the insurance company as this will give them plenty of ammunition against you unless you are very careful to describe the sequence of events.

I hope you don't see my comments as negative towards you - I am just trying to understand the situation without having first hand knowledge of it from either point of view. It does sound as if the driver is being greedy in seeking to make you responsible for what is essentially a minor accident for which no single party is enrtirely to blame.

I'd be happy to discuss further etc.

Cheers,

Ed
__________________
Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.
Ed Holland is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-04, 06:32 AM
  #9  
royalflash
Senior Member
 
royalflash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Munich
Posts: 1,372

Bikes: Lemond Alpe d“Huez, Scott Sub 10, homemade mtb, Radlbauer adler (old city bike), Dahon impulse (folder with 20 inch wheels), haibike eq xduro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ed Holland
It does sound as if the driver is being greedy in seeking to make you responsible for what is essentially a minor accident for which no single party is enrtirely to blame.

Ed
I dont think that the driver probably has anything to do with the letter from the insurance company - she probably just has fully comprehensive insurance and has claimed for a new mirror (could be a stupid move unless she has no claims bonus protection). The insurance company are just now looking round for someone to remburse them and Beefcake seems the most likely prospect. If it was me I would get a solicitor to reply (otherwise they will not take it seriously), saying not my fault (assuming it wasnt) and if you sue me then I will sue you. Chances are the insurance company will just write the loss off and raise the womans premiums next year. They are not going to want to get into a protracted legal battle for a 100 pound mirror. on the other hand if Beefcake thinks it was his fault then could be cheaper just to pay for the mirror.
royalflash is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-04, 07:10 AM
  #10  
Ed Holland
8speed DinoSORAs
 
Ed Holland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Oxford, UK or Mountain View, Ca
Posts: 2,749
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good point Royalflash - I had not thought of this from an insurance company perspective. Also good advice for Beefcake to consult with a solicitor if he wishes to challenge the claim against him.

Cheers,

Ed
__________________
Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.
Ed Holland is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-04, 07:18 AM
  #11  
Seeker
Old dude on old bikes
 
Seeker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Houston, Tx.
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Maybe it's just an american thing but what about compensation for your wrecked bike? That should cost her insurance company more the a hundred pounds.
Seeker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-04, 08:48 AM
  #12  
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Posts: 6,521

Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I think that the most important thing is were you moving or not. If you were not, you would be in the same legal position as the parked cars - if she hit a parked car would the owner of the parked car have to pay for her damages? I haven't lived in England for 37 years and am not a lawyer, so discuss this with a solicitor.
AndrewP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-04, 11:29 AM
  #13  
Diggy18
. . . rosebud . . .
 
Diggy18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 875

Bikes: Diamondback Outlook

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In the above diagram, is the horizontal road two way traffic? If so, then wasn't the bike on the wrong side of the road? Was the bike on the sidewalk when hit by the car?

In the States if you're making a right hand turn, as you round the corner you don't expect to see anyone in your lane coming in your direction.
Diggy18 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-04, 12:08 PM
  #14  
Dahon.Steve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 252 Post(s)
Originally Posted by royalflash
I dont think that the driver probably has anything to do with the letter from the insurance company - she probably just has fully comprehensive insurance and has claimed for a new mirror (could be a stupid move unless she has no claims bonus protection). The insurance company are just now looking round for someone to remburse them and Beefcake seems the most likely prospect. If it was me I would get a solicitor to reply (otherwise they will not take it seriously), saying not my fault (assuming it wasnt) and if you sue me then I will sue you. Chances are the insurance company will just write the loss off and raise the womans premiums next year. They are not going to want to get into a protracted legal battle for a 100 pound mirror. on the other hand if Beefcake thinks it was his fault then could be cheaper just to pay for the mirror.
This accident appears there is blame on both sides. HOWEVER! In situations like the above, you NEVER EVER claim responsibility because damages will be significant. The poster was 'Too Nice" and is going to be taken to the cleaners as a result. The insurance company may have paid for a new paint job, tires, hubs including pain and suffering! The driver has a witness to verify the mistake and Beefcake may be in a lot of trouble! Not paying these damages may result in destruction of your credit history!

If no police report was taken you might have some luck. Is there a small claims court in the U.K where incidents like these can be taken to?
Dahon.Steve is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-04, 05:49 AM
  #15  
LittleBigMan
Sumanitu taka owaci
 
LittleBigMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 8,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I am sorry about your crash. I hope everything works out well.

From the diagram you posted, it appears to me to have been your fault, Beefcake. But I'm not an expert.

I think you would have been lawful to cross from the left lane (UK,) as if you were any other vehicle. Not only did you leave your proper turning position, but you took up a new position in the opposite lane, hidden neatly behind a parked vehicle.

The safest place for you to be is where motorists expect to see you, and where you are also highly visible.

I hope this incident wasn't too seriously damaging to you physically, emotionally or financially. My sincere regrets to hear of your situation.

Pete
__________________
No worries
LittleBigMan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-04, 05:57 AM
  #16  
JoeLonghair
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: London
Posts: 252

Bikes: Thorn Club Thorn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hello Beefcake, got a friend PC plod will send him details see what he can advise.
JoeLonghair is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-04, 03:11 AM
  #17  
JoeLonghair
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: London
Posts: 252

Bikes: Thorn Club Thorn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hello Beefcake, My friend PC Pold, ploiceman, finally came back with his advise. A bit late I know but better than never....

Joe,

Appologies for the delay in answering your email I've been a bit ill !!

I will try and give some advice !!

First of all the police should of been called as it would appear to be an injury RTA (road traffic accident). It will now be very difficult to prove liability without an officer recording details of what happened, one word against another im affraid.

Your friend seems very understanding ? yes it was an accident,but, he is lucky not to of been seriously injured or even killed !! The questions I would be asking if I attended the accident would be : position of the bike/car on impact? driver drunk? not concetrating? turing left at junction? why did you not see the cyclist? speed? why was the cyclist there? visability for both parties concerned? obstructions blocking view? MOST IMPORTANTLY "was the cyclist stationary?"etc etc . From this i would establish who was at fault and deal appropriately, it would seem from the information given that your friend is certainly the victim and the car driver at fault. Your friend would be classed as a pedestrian/cyclist and the police would of recorded the incident" injury RTA car/pedestrian".

What your friend needs to do and in this order is :

1,Go to a police station and record the whole incident (this should of been done within 24hrs of the incident as police did not attend).

2,He should of had his injuries recorded by his dotor, if there is still any briusing or problems get them recorded by his gp.

3,Get a quote to repair or replace the bike.

4,Get a solicitor involved, they normally do a one off fee (not as expensive as you think) for an hour of their time and this would provide your friend with all the legal advice he needs.

Your friend could be taken to the small claims court by the car driver and this could cost him !!! If he carries out the above ,chances are she wont bother !! It could save him an awfull lot of money in the long run.

The most crucial part of the whole incident is "was your friend stationary at the time of impact?" if so then the car driver is completely liable for the accident without any arguement. This is what the police would of established if they had been called.

Regards,

Trev.

Hope you wont need the advice and all is ok
JoeLonghair is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service