Van hit me and now driver says I’m to blame!
In December I was overtaking a long lane of stationary traffic as I rode along a long, straight 60mph road with broken white lines in the middle. With no warning a van pulled out of the queue and collided with me. I had no time to brake or swerve. I have a long road to recovery and cannot yet return to work. Now the van driver is saying the accident was my fault! I’m furious. I was only going 40-45mph. I have not seen the police report yet as apparently they are still investigating. I don’t think I should be accepting any blame. What do you think?
Dave Richards, Worthing
Answered by Andrew Campbell, Solicitor and author of the MCN Law column.
You don’t say (you may not know) what the van driver was doing but I suspect either a U-turn or using a side lane (if there was one) to turn around and escape the congestion. Whichever, on the face of it, he is primarily to blame for this accident, if not completely to blame. The road was long and straight. It therefore follows that you would have been there to be seen for a significant period of time had the he looked in his mirrors or over his shoulder.
You don’t say if he indicated and the police report may have witness evidence which helps with this point. What you want is a witness just behind him saying he didn’t indicate and just pulled out. It would be helpful if others in the queue were aware of your presence. I do not think your speed was excessive. There is a major and supportive case relevant to your accident, a well-known case called Davis v Schrogin. Without damning witness evidence you should be looking to get 100% of your compensation.