How to avoid liability

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How to avoid liability

#1 Post by TC » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:21 am

When we as riders have accidents, it is often the motorcyclist that is considered blameworthy simply because to the non riding public we appear to be aggressive, fast and perhaps to a certain degree arrogant, which in some cases I dare say are true. On this basis, the third party insurers will whatever the circumstances try and hold us as far liable as possible simply so they can mitigate their losses and reduce the overall costs to their shareholders.

So in simple terms, someone will try and allege what is known in the trade as contributory negligence which can range from 0% to 100% dependant on the circumstances.

The reason I mention this, is that often riders will give stories of bravado, or they will try and show their mates how good they are, but very little thought is given to the consequences if it all goes paer shaped, not from the injury point of view, but from the point of view that it could seriously affect the amount of compensation you may get.

So for example.

Filtering. Perfectly legal as it is only another word for overtaking, but at the moment current case law means that you are in all but exceptional circumstances likely to see your award cut by 50% . However there have been a couple of cases recently, where the filtering rider has been adjudged to be 100% blameless, so we will need to see how things develop over the coming months.

Kit. Many threads on various boards have gone on about the idiots who, during this hot weather have chosen to wear nothing more than a pair of shorts and a T shirt. OK, such kit may not be protective, and yes it will hurt, but your compensation will only be reduced by 25% Which I think is crazy.

Speed. Up to last year, excess speed could not be considered as contributory negligence by the courts, but now, yes it will be considered big time, and, depending on the circumstances, the location and the amount of excess speed, contrib could be as high as 100% which would mean you get nothing.

Riding without a licence or insurance would not prevent you making a personal injury claim if ther accident was not deemed your fault, and whilst you may be prosecuted for traffic offences, there would be no contributory negligence as far as a civil action was concerned.

This perhaps gives you a bit of a flavour. Civil law and claims work different to traffic laws although there is an overlap, but, if you are unfortunate enough to have an off, make sure that you have your story straight before you say anything, make sure you can account for any degree of what might be considered "Stupidity" but perhaps most important of all, if in doubt, don't do it because the consequences could be nasty both physically and financialy.

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