As expert motorcycle accident lawyers we often come across accidents where a motorcyclist is injured when colliding with at car performing one of the most dangerous manouvres – the dreaded u-turn.
The impatience of car drivers stuck in traffic somehow makes them act rashly, not carrying out the simplest of driving tasks namely glancing over your right shoulder just before you make that turn. All drivers should be better trained so they know they have a blind spot that is exactly the same size as a motorcycle right there.
These cases though are amongst the most tricky when analysing liability for a motorcycle accident because it is inevitable that the rider was overtaking at the time of the accident and overtaking is recognised in court as a “manouvre fraught with great hazard”.
In this particular case the motorcyclist was overtaking a line of four vehicles that were travelling at around 40mph on a straight single carriageway road in a semi-residential area when the front vehicle slowed and turned sharply right to perform a u-turn. Critisism was levelled at the rider mainly because of the multiple overtaking particularly in an area with residential driveways but the car driver was also blameworthy as he admittedly didn’t see the bike before turning.
The police chose to only prosecute the seriously injured biker and not the car driver as they revealed, when questioned by us, that they have a policy of prosecuting bikers due to the “prevelance or accidents caused by motorcyclists” in their force area a statement strongly disputed by us.
Despite a conviction for driving without due care and attention we continued legal arguments on behalf of the seriously injured rider and acheive a settlement in a life changing sum albeit this was only a percentage of his case. We were able to rely on the reported case of Davis v Schrogin where a motorcyclist recovered 100% of his losses. That case however involved a motorcyclist filtering past a line of stationary traffic on a road with no drives or entrances on either side.
The client in our case recognised the difference and the difficulty caused by the magistrates cour conviction and the strength of witnesses against him but was delighted with our success and the money recovered will help him rebuild his life.