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Motorcyclists are certainly the most vulnerable road users when it comes to road traffic accidents in the UK and it’s our job to ensure that we protect your interests when it comes to obtaining you compensation if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in such an accident.
If we look at some of the case law surrounding the area it’s apparent that even in situations where you as motorcyclist may feel you were for some reason to blame, there is a good chance Express Solicitors will be able to obtain you some compensation.
One manoeuvre that most motorcyclists will be familiar with is that of ‘filtering’. This involves a motorcyclist overtaking slower moving or stationary vehicles on their offside. It is a perfectly legal manoeuvre for motorcyclists in the UK and this has been confirmed by the court. It does however require a high degree of care as stated in Rule 88 of the Highway Code. In a recent decision in an incident involving filtering when a driver of a coach pulled out into a gap in a line of stationary traffic whilst the claimant was filtering in that same line of traffic, resulting in the motorcyclist colliding head on with the front offside corner of the coach, the Court decided that liability should be split 50/50 between the coach driver and motorcyclist even though the defendant proceeded to edge out into the path of the motorcyclist when she had a restricted view of the on-coming traffic. In their decision the Court stated that the main reason why they felt the motorcyclist contributed to the accident, was the fact that they were travelling at too high a speed in those circumstances and so were unable to take evasive action.
Another interesting case found in favour of a motorcyclist where the motorbike was filtering on the right side of slow moving traffic on a two lane carriageway when the driver of a vehicle that was turning right from the opposite side of the road into the same lane of traffic, had been left a space to enter the flow of traffic by a vehicle in front of the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist carried on overtaking the slowing vehicle when the other driver pulled across his path. In this case the other driver was found to be two thirds to blame for the accident.
Other cases have confirmed that motorcyclists are eligible for compensation even if they undertake traffic on the nearside; providing the traffic is at a standstill or moving slowly.
One set of circumstances where motorcyclists often achieve 100% success is when drivers perform u-turns in traffic jams and pull into the path of the motorcyclists.
As can be seen above it is important to note that each case will be dealt with on its own set of facts and all the circumstances of the incident will be taken into consideration. It is important to bear in mind that speeding and other breaches of the Highway Code can be damaging to a case but this does not necessarily mean you will not receive any compensation whatsoever.
In any event we would strongly advise you to contact Express Solicitors Ltd if you have suffered personal injury as result of a road traffic accident in which you were a motorcyclist and a member of our Road Traffic Accident Team would be more than happy to provide you with the appropriate advice.