MOTORIST CLAIMED CYCLIST RAN THE RED LIGHT
A gentleman approached Cycle Law Scotland in June last year following a cycling accident in December 2012 when he was cycling home from work in Glasgow.
As a cyclist, he was correctly proceeding along a main road when the third party vehicle, which had been traveling in the opposite direction, made a right hand turn across his path.
He fell from his bike and sustained a minor soft tissue injury to his neck and a small fracture to his right hand. On top of this there was £200 worth of damage to his bike.
This appeared to be a straightforward claim on the basis that Cycle Law Scotland’s client had right of way and the third party vehicle turned across his path. However, after the claim was intimated the third party made an allegation that their client had proceeded through a red light. The insurers denied liability.
While the civil claim was ongoing the police had charged the driver with careless driving. After a long awaited trial date, the third party was found guilty of careless driving. On the very same day Cycle Law Scotland received a call from the insurers to formally admit liability for the accident.
Within three days of the admission of liability, an offer was put forward and accepted.
The cyclist waited 13 months to get compensation for his accident because of the third party’s accusations despite the evidence against her.
Cycle Law Scotland achieved the right result in the end and the cyclist was delighted with his award for damages.
This case was delayed due to spurious accusations made by the driver and then Cycle Law Scotland could not gain access to the reporting police officer’s statement until conclusion of the trial which inevitably held up progress of the civil action. If the burden of proof was shifted from the vulnerable to the powerful as the Road Share campaign proposes, the driver would have to prove the cyclist was at fault at the outset and not the other way round as presently exists.
What difference would that have made? In all probability, the case would have been concluded in 4-6 months as opposed to 13 months.