Injury claim dropped because of conviction?
15 October 2010 10:30
In May 2010 I was convicted of driving without due care and attention in the Magistrates court as a result of an accident I was involved in 5 months before.
I was riding in the bus lane in London (allowed at that time in the morning) and went to undertake a car driver in the outside lane who I thought was going too slowly.
The driver put on his left indicator at the last moment and went to turn left into a side road and pulled across my path leading to the collision. Witnesses said that I was going about 45 mph in a 30mph limit and the speed is why I was convicted.
I think this was so unfair as I believe the accident was the car driver’s fault. The problem is my solicitors who were supposed to be claiming for my injuries are now saying they will have to drop the case due to my conviction.
Surely the car driver is also at fault?
Alexis Rees, Bethnal Green
Answer from Andrew Campbell MCN Law columnist
It is not correct to state that just because a motorcyclist was convicted as a result of an accident in which he was involved that a personal injury claim is necessarily precluded.
One has to consider all the facts of the accident and offence committed and also the sometimes evident preference for the biker to be prosecuted rather than the car driver as it is not unknown that the police assume the biker was at fault before investigating the facts.
On the facts of your accident although you were speeding the primary cause of the accident does not appear to have been your speed.
The primary cause appears to have been the fact that the car driver did not look in his mirror to check that the path was clear to enable him to perform his left turn manoeuvre.
You were there to be seen and he should have formed a view as to your speed before making the turn. Further still he indicated late.
I believe you will succeed with your personal injury claim and suggest if your solicitors do not agree that you change solicitors. However there is highly likely to be a reduction for contributory negligence (your share of the blame) as a result of your speed.