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A cyclist was in an accident with a motorist. A cyclist might be partly at fault since it was 1h after sunset and she had no lights but had light reflective trousers (designed, according to a producer, specifically for cycling). A driver was moving possibly faster than they should (stopped more than 20m after the collision) and they did not indicate when was turning, which eventually caused the collision. But no witnesses. 
The cyclist sustained injuries and is currently receiving treatment. A bike is damaged. Police involved, ambulance involved. The motorists' car is damaged with an expected bill below 1 000 currently. Initially, the motorist did not want to claim anything from an insurance company and to repair the car themselves, as it would lead to additional loses for them, but later they changed their mind when the cyclist told they are not going to claim anything. 
To what consequence for the cyclist that sort of insurance claim can lead if the cyclist had no insurance and no home insurance, and the bike even does not belong to her? How do insurance companies normally chase cyclists? Should the cyclist make a claim against an insurance company too?

15 comments

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mc [7 posts] 4 weeks ago
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In general, insurance companies won't chase for payment for small sums if they know they're unlikely to get the money I.e. not another insurance company or a company, as it's likely to cost them more in time than what they'd get in return.

However it wouldn't stop the other party from taking them to the small claims court.

Going by your description, it does sound like the driver could have a claim. Hour after sunset would mean it was getting pretty dark, and even the lack of indicating would likely not have any material impact, as you only need to indicate if there are other road users. Going by the lack of witnesses, it would suggest the driver hasn't seen any reason to indicate, and 20m isn't that far a distance to travel from hearing/feeling a mysterious noise, and realising you should stop.

Worst case scenario, is the cyclist does get sucesfully sued, and depending on wealth/income, agrees to a payment plan of a few pound a week for the next X years.

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Pushing50 [79 posts] 4 weeks ago
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even the lack of indicating would likely not have any material impact, as you only need to indicate if there are other road users. Going by the lack of witnesses, it would suggest the driver hasn't seen any reason to indicate, and 20m isn't that far a distance to travel from hearing/feeling a mysterious noise, and realising you should stop. 

Is the cyclist not another road user and therefore the you DO need to indicate for said road user? Even if there are no other witnesses?

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Pushing50 [79 posts] 4 weeks ago
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mc wrote:

Going by your description, it does sound like the driver could have a claim. Hour after sunset would mean it was getting pretty dark, and even the lack of indicating would likely not have any material impact, as you only need to indicate if there are other road users. Going by the lack of witnesses, it would suggest the driver hasn't seen any reason to indicate,

 

Is the cyclist not another road user and therefore the driver DOES need to indicate for said other road user? Even if there are no other witnesses?

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don simon [2411 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Quote:

The motorists' car is damaged with an expected bill below 1 000 currently. Initially, the motorist did not want to claim anything from an insurance company and to repair the car themselves, as it would lead to additional loses for them, but later they changed their mind when the cyclist told they are not going to claim anything.

It's not clear what's going on here.

The best suggestion would be to consult a solictor, one with real certificates, rather than a group of highly opinionated internet tossers.

I'd be a very worried pedestrian knowing that this driver is unable to see me. Even without lights, cyclists are visible and hitting one would/should be quite a difficult task when concentrating on driving.

As for apportioning blame, as an internet tosser, I'd be leaning toward the driver being responsible. From an insurance point of view, I would have thought that they'd go for 50:50 as there are no witnesses, unless there is clear evidence to support otherwise, but from your description I can't work out what's happened.

Pictures might be useful.

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mc [7 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Pushing50 wrote:
mc wrote:

Going by your description, it does sound like the driver could have a claim. Hour after sunset would mean it was getting pretty dark, and even the lack of indicating would likely not have any material impact, as you only need to indicate if there are other road users. Going by the lack of witnesses, it would suggest the driver hasn't seen any reason to indicate,

 

Is the cyclist not another road user and therefore the driver DOES need to indicate for said other road user? Even if there are no other witnesses?

They do if they had seen another road user, but going by the collision, they've obviously not.

I suspect the basis of any claim would be on just how dark it really was. An hour after sunset could vary from grey dark to near pitch black, then things like shadowed areas also affect things.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2134 posts] 4 weeks ago
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If the driver turned across the path of another it's up to the driver to ensure it is clear to do so, END OF STORY.

The lights thing is bullshit and always had been, the HC specifically states go at a speed you can stop well within the distance you can see to be clear, this in fact should usurp the lighting regulations for people on bikes which are a motorist based set of rules to obviate them from their responsibilities and so they can go faster at night.

If that was a pedestrian crossing with no light or his vis they would have mowed them down and likely kill or seriously injuring them, would you then blame the pedestrian for crossing legally and not having lights/hi vis, no, then why should this apply to people on bikes? Lights for cyclists are yet another responsibility diverting tool, hence why the then CTC were opposed to them being made compulsary in the 1920s/30s, they weren't wrong!

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Pushing50 [79 posts] 4 weeks ago
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I agree with the fruit juice man 

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Pilot Pete [62 posts] 4 weeks ago
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This article may offer useful info regarding bike lights and the law;

https://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclists-library/regulations/lighting-regulations

an interesting comment is this one;

”any slight irregularity (with regards the lighting regulations) could be challenged in court and may be regarded as 'contributory negligence' (a polite way of saying that the accident is partly your fault!)”

I reckon any half decent lawyer could successfully argue that point and prove contributory negligence on behalf of the cyclist, whatever the requirements of the driver. As it is one person’s word against the other I can’t see much point in pursuing either way.

PP

 

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vonhelmet [948 posts] 4 weeks ago
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What, no pedal reflectors? Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect £200.

As for indicating, it’s a should rather than a must in the Highway Code, so that’s a bit irrelevant. If the driver has driven into the cyclist because they weren’t looking or whatever then they’re probably not the type to be too arsed about indicating anyway.

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don simon [2411 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Pushing50 wrote:

I agree with the fruit juice man 

Is there something wrong with boxed sangria?

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SteveAustin [147 posts] 4 weeks ago
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insurance company will not pursue any claim against the cyclist. not finacially viable, and a potential counter claim for *injury, damage to bike could equal a lot more than the car damage.

a Small claim could go the same way. counter claim would be more than the car damage.

Might be prudent to get a value for the bike repair/replacement, and a detailed report of the physical injury.

*no idea of the injury, but typical whiplash is £2500-£3000, Physical injury claims can go crazy figures. more than any car damage

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generationby [1 post] 3 weeks ago
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Recently the motorist gave several calls to the cyclist. Here is the chronology:

day 1. "Please, do not make claims against me. My bill is £X. I will pay for my car myself"

day 2. "Please, pay me 60% of my bill. By the way, my bill is £X+100"

day 4. "Please, pay me 50% of my bill. By the way, my bill is £X again. Or I will sue you. "

 

How would you respond to such requests? 

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CygnusX1 [869 posts] 3 weeks ago
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bezuher wrote:

Recently the motorist gave several calls to the cyclist. Here is the chronology:

day 1. "Please, do not make claims against me. My bill is £X. I will pay for my car myself"

day 2. "Please, pay me 60% of my bill. By the way, my bill is £X+100"

day 4. "Please, pay me 50% of my bill. By the way, my bill is £X again. Or I will sue you. "

 

How would you respond to such requests? 

Sounds like the driver is bullying the cyclist into paying. Suggest to your 'friend' that she should tell the driver she will only deal with their insurance company. State you, sorry she, suffered personal injury and damage and will counter claim.

Hypothetically speaking of course.

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SteveAustin [147 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes
bezuher wrote:

Recently the motorist gave several calls to the cyclist. Here is the chronology:

day 1. "Please, do not make claims against me. My bill is £X. I will pay for my car myself"

day 2. "Please, pay me 60% of my bill. By the way, my bill is £X+100"

day 4. "Please, pay me 50% of my bill. By the way, my bill is £X again. Or I will sue you. "

 

How would you respond to such requests? 

i would calmly say that you are seeking a solicitor who will be dealing with this matter from here on, ask him to put any further requests/correspondence in writing. and put the phone down.

if you get a letter, find a no win no fee solicitor who will happily take the case.

or alternatively, inform him you dispute his claim and want a bike replacement and compensation for injuries caused, and ask for details of insurance company.

i suspect youll never hear from him again

 

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zero_trooper [245 posts] 3 weeks ago
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The circs are as clear as mud, but it would appear that a car has crossed into the path of the cyclist.

Therefore, despite some mitigation re lights, the DRIVER IS AT FAULT.

The driver must provide to the other party their name and address and vehicle reg details. As the cyclist was apparently injured, the driver MUST also provide insurance details. The police at the scene should have ensured that this was done. As someone is injured, the police should also investigate the accident (as opposed to just record details). However, their findings/conclusion may well have no bearing on any insurance outcome. e.g. they take NFA as there's no witnesses and the lighting issue.

If the rider didn't own the bike, has the OWNER any insurance or legal cover?

My advice would be to get a decent (one experienced in cycling cases) solicitor and let them sort it out with the insurance company. Do not deal with the driver directly.