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Accident - Hit by a car turning right.

martdmcmartdmc Posts: 14
edited September 2014 in Commuting general
Please let me know what you think in terms who is to blame. Here's my case.

I was cycling along the kerb on a two-lane road in central London (Lambeth Palace Rd SE1 7EH eastbound direction). There were stationery vehicles on my right (which I did not notice at the time as I was more focused on what was in front of me). On my left, there was the hospital entrance road and when passing this road I collided with a car turning right from the opposite direction.

It may be helpful to know that at point of the crossroad there is a painted info 'keep clear' on Lambeth Palace Road.

My question is whose fault that was?

Just for info, I came out OK, just a few bruises and scratches. I think this is due to the fact that I was going quite slow, but clearly not slow enough to avoid the collision. However, my bike was not that lucky; the front wheel buckled and the fork snapped plus some other damages...

In addition, I have some other matters I would appreciate your advice on:
1) The driver refused to give his personal details. I have his regs number, TfL licence number (he is a minicab driver), I took his and his car's pictures. I reported the incident to the police. Is there a way I can obtain the personal details of the car owner (presumably the driver's too)?
2) If I want to claim the damages from the driver without instructing solicitors, how do I proceed? The fact is that the loss I have suffered is probably not big enough for personal injury solicitors to pursue the case.

Posts

  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    Have you checked out this thread?

    viewtopic.php?f=40052&t=12722930

    INAL, but I thought that failing to stop was an offence if damage or injury has been caused
  • martdmcmartdmc Posts: 14
    Thanks, I have that read and noted.

    As to the accident, yes he did stop, as it was difficult not to with my bike lying in front of the vehicle, but it is apparently a legal requirement too to provide personal details, which he refused to do. But as we know, one thing is to be right, and the other to prove it!
  • seajaysseajays Posts: 330
    martdmc wrote:
    2) If I want to claim the damages from the driver without instructing solicitors, how do I proceed? The fact is that the loss I have suffered is probably not big enough for personal injury solicitors to pursue the case.

    If you want to claim for personal injury damages and for the bike etc., you could do so through the small claims court:

    http://www.thompsons.law.co.uk/other-services/small-claims-court-fact-sheet.htm

    To trace the driver you can contact the DVLA: See

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e/consumer_cars_and_other_vehicles_e/consumer_driving_and_parking_e/consumer_driving_e/traffic_accidents.htm#h_tracing_the_owner_of_a_vehicle_when_the_driver_refuses_to_give_information

    There is a £2.50 fee, but you would put that into your small claim expenses...
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  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,139
    Sorry to hear of your accident,

    Regardless of who is deemed to be at fault, although if he turn right across your path I would say he was to blame, you were knocked off your bike, injured and have suffered damage/loss to your bike.

    My understanding is that he is legally obliged to give you his/insurance details, sounds like he does not want you to make a claim against him and is treating you with contempt because you are a cyclist. Go to a Police station and speak to a PC to clarify things, you have his licence no. so report him to the appropriate authority TfL, they should be able to give you his details.

    You need to a least be compensated for the damage to your bike/clothing, I hope you obtain a satisfactory resolution.
  • steve6690steve6690 Posts: 190
    He is legally obliged to supply you with his name and address, and the name/address of the registered keeper if a different person. If you're injured (you were) then he has to supply his insurance details too. Report it to the police and they will ensure he supplies those details.
    Was it here ? : https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.498186,-0.117699,3a,75y,34.57h,80.67t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sUEhGCNN2mNL_ZssUDkYMKA!2e0
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    If I understand what you are saying, you were going up the left side of stationary vehicles, there was a keep clear section, which the stationary cars had kept clear to allow cars to turn into the junction, you carried on and were hit by a car turning into that junction?

    without knowing all the details I'd say the driver wasn't really at fault here, when filtering through traffic you should always pass on the right, and if passing a junction you should always check that cars aren't turning into the road.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    From Highway Code - 268
    Do not overtake on the left or move to a lane on your left to overtake. In congested conditions, where adjacent lanes of traffic are moving at similar speeds, traffic in left-hand lanes may sometimes be moving faster than traffic to the right. In these conditions, you may keep up with the traffic in your lane even if this means passing traffic in the lane to your right. Do not weave in and out of lanes to overtake.

    For other roads 163 –
    • only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signaling to turn right, and there is room to do so
    • stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left.

    So in slow moving traffic there is no rule that says you should pass on the right, or that because you are in a cycle lane which is on the left you cannot overtake.

    I think, technically, you had right of way. However both you and the turning car had a responsibility to take extra care to ensure that a situation such as this didnt happen. I think there is slightly more responsibility on the car which is turning and crossing another lane than there was on you. My guess would be that any insurance claim would go 50/50 though, with each party covering their own damages - just because this seems to be how almost all claims get settled without a VERY clear cut case.

    Are you in British Cycling or CTC? If so then they would be the best place to go for help - advice and legal services.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    I'd suggest you join CTC now. They have free legal aid for members and I'm pretty sure they will extend it to incidents that occurred pre-joining.
  • holiverholiver Posts: 800
    Sounds like the definition of an accident. It doesn't seem like either party were fully at fault, and both could have done more to prevent it. However, you have definitely come worse off!

    I would still seek advice and pursue, because of damage to your bike.

    Hope your injuries are minor and you recover well.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    agree, get legal advice, did you get any witnesses at the scene?

    I do think, however, if you are cycling along and don't notice a stationary car in front of you, you might want to pay more attention to the road around you in the future. I don't mean that to sound harsh (i once very nearly cycled straight into the back of a parked car because it was very bad conditions, strong head wind with heavy rain, so i was cycling with my head down), just a bit of advice.

    might have to chalk it down to experience.
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  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 737
    I have no legal training so this is nothing more than an opinion but it sounds similar to numerous cases I've heard involving motorbikes and vehicles emerging/turning into junctions across them. They always seem to come out as 50/50 blame.

    This happens to me a lot on my commute (not the crashing bit fortunately, just people pulling out across me at junctions) so I'd be interested to know how the law sees a cycle lane - is it classed as a lane of traffic like a bus lane or are you essentially just filtering alongside cars?

    Bit of bumf from someone who knows stuff here http://thecyclingsolicitor.blogspot.co. ... st-is.html
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    I think a great many insurance claims come out as 50/50 because that way both parties lose their no claims and both parties pay an excess - so ultimately the insurance companies are better off as a cartel if claims are settled this way... Also it means that they dont have to bother fighting with associated legal costs etc.
  • steve6690steve6690 Posts: 190
    If you were undertaking stationary traffic on the nearside, whether in the cycle lane or on the pavement, how is a driver supposed to see you when turning as you describe ? His view would have been completely obscured by the cars you were (illegally ?) undertaking until you suddenly popped out in front of him.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    If its as in the picture linked above, then the motorist was turning across two lanes of traffic and should not assume because one is stationary that the other will be too - it could be a bus coming along. This is not undertaking - in slow moving traffic, you are just going the speed of the lane you are in - doesnt matter what speed the other lanes are travelling at. It would only be undertaking if you switched lanes to do it.
  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 737
    I think that's the crux of it, is the cycle lane considered to be a 'proper' lane of traffic - effectively meaning the driver crossed a dual carriageway and only checked the first lane for traffic, or is it just a bit of paint on the road - meaning that cyclists are filtering and shouldn't overtake at junctions (paraphrasing the highway code).

    Clearly it makes no difference in practical terms - being hit by a car is going to hurt the same if you're in the right or the wrong - but it'd be interesting to hear the legal standpoint.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    The OP had a right of way, a vehicle turning right across traffic has to give way, you can pass to the left of slow moving traffic legally, and if the cycle lane is demarked by a solid line your case is stronger still, slam dunk driving without due care and attention, had he paid enough attention/taken enough care he would have made sure the cycle lane was clear, he did not.

    That said as a cyclist, personal preservation takes over and I always slow when approaching such keep clears.

    He was required to give you name and address at the scene, but the Police wont prosecute as he stopped and gave you 'enough' details to make him traceable, report to the police and they'll make him disclose his details anyway (I had this with a hit and run driver) usually via them.
  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 737
    But the highway code says the filtering cyclist should also be prepared to stop at junctions which would put both parties at fault. The judges rulings in the link I posted (admittedly relating to motorbikes) all seem to go for 50/50 blame.
  • steve6690steve6690 Posts: 190
    The cycle lane ends prior to the junction. A car turning right at that junction cannot see the cycle lane markings if there is stationary traffic. Put yourself in the car drivers position.
    The cyclist should wait before proceeding across. If you filter up the inside of traffic, bluntly put, you are an accident waiting to happen.
  • andy9964andy9964 Posts: 930
    Surely, if there's a cycle lane, its not filtering. As far as I am aware, filtering is where you pass slow or stationary traffic in the lane(s) it is oçcupying
    If the car turning right has a gap to go through, then he should be able to see the road in front of him, which would include the cycle lane markings if it hasn't ended before the junction. I use several every day which continue uninterrupted past junctions.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    monkimark wrote:
    But the highway code says the filtering cyclist should .
    Should, therefore no directive which is a must......
  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 737
    No, the actual line is rule 167 of the Highway Code - "Do not overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example, approaching or at a road junction on either side of the road."

    incidentally, I'm not saying the OP was in the wrong, I certainly don't stop everytime I approach a side road when passing stationary vehicles, nobody I see cycling in London does.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    But filtering is not overtaking (which is accepted as being on the 'wrong' side of the road anyway) but passing.

    There is no advice for filtering in the cyclicst section but for motorbikes it says
    When in traffic queues look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions or changing lanes. Position yourself so that drivers can see you in their mirrors. Additionally, when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.

    So no need (apparently) to be aware of vehicles crossing your path who haven't looked properly.
  • Filtering doesn't have to be on the wrong side - I sometimes filter on my motorbike on the motorway between lanes 2 & 3 and on wide roads I can filter down the outside without crossing the line.
    Here's what Cyclescheme says about cycle filtering http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/community/how-to/filtering
    And here's a cycle solicitor's view http://www.cyclelaw.co.uk/overtaking-an ... st-cycling
    In the context of cycling, ‘filtering’ means moving past slow or stationary traffic, either on the left or the right of the traffic ahead.
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