Insurance advice: Claiming from a third party

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related.

Q. I crashed on some diesel and a sunken grid near a small off-road turnabout for buses on a corner coming out of Wigan on the Warrington road.

The road was also wet and covered in the new anti-ice slippy coating that councils are using.

I slid 20 yards with my Blackbird xx1100 on top of me until we reached the kerb when it dumped its sump in the road. The council were out ten minutes later and sanded the corner and the spot where I landed.

How do I go about trying to find someone to speak to about obtaining some compensation, or should I leave it to my insurance to sort?
Alan Hodges, e-mail

A. To launch a claim against a third party you need to have positive identification of the guilty party, either from you or a witness.

It’s going to be hard to prove the diesel was dumped by a specific bus, although if they are the only vehicles to use the “turnabout” that will help your case, although you’ll need a solicitor in that case.

Also check with the Police and the Highways department at the Council whether the council had been informed about the spill before you crashed. If they failed to come out and clear it up before you hit it, then you could try and claim off them.

If neither of those courses of action bears fruit, you can always claim for any personal injury from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

The MIB is a body that covers uninsured losses, but currently if the guilty part is unidentifible, the MIB will only compensate for personal injury, not property damage.

There are also certain conditions to be met before an award can be made. The accident must have happened within the last three years (or nine months in the case of property damage only).

The accident must have been reported to the police, within 14 days (or within 5 days if the claim is confined to property damage only). So make sure that you report it to the local police without delay and ensure that you make a note of the incident reference number given to the matter by the police.

If you are claiming for personal injuries get proof that you were seen by a doctor. MIB will arrange a medical if necessary.

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