Key facts of case
- A car and a motorcycle collided, close to a junction.
- The claimant (the motorcyclist) was left with significant foot injuries.
- Crawford Legal Services (CLS) was instructed to defend the claim (ie we acted for the insurer who had insured the driver of the car).
- We were instructed in relation to quantum and liability.
The policyholder approached a give-way sign leading into the main road that was one lane wide in each direction, separated by a hatched area.
This was a difficult junction, which was a staggered T-junction and the speed limit on the main road was 50mph. The policyholder stated he had come to a stop at the junction and, upon considering that his path was clear, he exited the junction onto the main road with the intention of turning right onto the main road and then almost immediately left.
The policyholder stated that he pulled out of the side road and was waiting in the hatched area to turn left when a motorcyclist approached at speed and collided with the front of his vehicle.
The claimant stated that as our client’s policyholder had pulled out of the side road, he had attempted to ride in front of the vehicle, but our policyholder had then pulled forward again and he had collided with the front of the policyholder’s vehicle.
With the motorcyclist suffering life-changing injuries, and being unable to return to his non-sedentary and well-paid job, the schedule of loss exceeded £1.2 million.
Primary liability was not admitted in this matter. Dash cam footage from a motorist behind our client’s policyholder assisted our understanding of how the accident occurred. However our investigations discovered an independent witness who provided evidence that he had been passed by a group of motorcyclists travelling well in excess of the speed limit moments before the accident.
The crucial issue between the parties was whether the policyholder would have possibly had sight the motorcyclist when he commenced his manoeuvre, as the claimant would have approached from a slight bend and from over the brow of a hill.
Our accident reconstruction expert was unable to determine the precise speed of the claimant due to the limited footage, but a question did remain as to why the claimant did not go behind the policyholder and whether there was sufficient time and room had the claimant been travelling at the prescribed speed limit.