Filtering Accident – Insurance Claim Template Letter

Filtering Accident – Insurance Claim Template Letter

For anyone who rides a motorcycle, there will almost inevitably come the time when you’re picking yourself up off the road whilst a car driver utters the words “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you.”

If you regularly filter through traffic (or ‘lane-split’ to you Yanks) as you SHOULD be doing on a bike you’ll have seen that many car drivers do stupid random things even when stuck in traffic.

In my case, it was a car suddenly deciding to do a u-turn directly in front of me…

I remember seeing him pull out very quickly, then I hit the brakes… and then I was sliding down the road on my back.

Of course, the driver claimed he was merely pulling into a farm driveway and so both insurance companies involved insisted it was a 50:50 blame case.

I disagreed, and despite my own insurance company telling me for two years that I couldn’t hope to get more than a 50:50 decision so should settle at that, I carried on fighting, and believe that the following letter was the only thing that won my case completely in my favour.  Some of you may find it useful in whole or in part, so feel free to adapt it and send it in to be forwarded to the other party if you find yourself in a similar insurance dispute.

—-

Ref- xxxxxx

Date Of Incident – xxxxxx

Date of letter –  xxxxxxx

Dear Mr Solicitor-Man,

Further to our previous conversations I feel it may make matters clearer by reference to the Highway Code. I shall compare my road position and manoeuvre with that of the other driver. You will see it is abundantly clear that I was doing nothing wrong and that the driver is entirely to blame.

My Circumstances

I was slowly overtaking a stationary line of traffic, and had already passed at least ten other stationary vehicles in the line.

I refer you to rule 88 of the Highway Code in the section “Rules for Motorcyclists” which reads as follows:

88: Manoeuvring. You should be aware of what is behind and to the sides before manoeuvring. Look behind you; use mirrors if they are fitted. When in traffic queues look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions or changing lanes. Position yourself so that drivers in front can see you in their mirrors. Additionally, when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.

Remember: Observation – Signal – Manoeuvre

A number of important points arise from this rule.

1. Note the use of the word WHEN as emphasised in the rule. It does not say “Do not overtake traffic queues” (or words to that effect), or suggest that it is an inappropriate course of action to take. It is clearly not a prohibitive instruction (see for example rule 74 which give prohibitive instructions). This clearly envisages that motorcyclists may, in the normal course of riding, overtake traffic queues.

2. I had already checked my mirrors and glanced behind to make sure nothing was overtaking the traffic queue already.

3. It was only the fact that I was progressing relatively slowly, in order to check for pedestrians who may be crossing between the vehicles making the accident much less serious than it would otherwise have been.

Before I move on, it is probably worth referring to the General rules for motorcyclists set out in rules 83 to 88. Again, I have reproduced these below.

83: On all journeys, the rider and pillion passenger on a motorcycle, scooter or moped MUST wear a protective helmet. This does not apply to a follower of the Sikh religion while wearing a turban. Helmets MUST comply with the Regulations and they MUST be fastened securely. Riders and passengers of motor tricycles and quadricycles, also called quadbikes, should also wear a protective helmet. Before each journey check that your helmet visor is clean and in good condition.
[Laws RTA 1988 sects 16 & 17 & MC(PH)R as amended reg 4]

84: It is also advisable to wear eye protectors, which MUST comply with the Regulations. Scratched or poorly fitting eye protectors can limit your view when riding, particularly in bright sunshine and the hours of darkness. Consider wearing ear protection. Strong boots, gloves and suitable clothing may help to protect you if you are involved in a collision.
[Laws RTA sect 18 & MC(EP)R as amended reg 4]

86: Daylight riding. Make yourself as visible as possible from the side as well as the front and rear. You could wear a light or brightly coloured helmet and fluorescent clothing or strips. Dipped headlights, even in good daylight, may also make you more conspicuous. However, be aware that other vehicle drivers may still not have seen you, or judged your distance or speed correctly, especially at junctions.

You will note that:

1. I had complied with rule 83 by wearing protective clothing, which again helped reduce the seriousness of the accident.

2. I had complied with rule 86 by using dipped headlights. I always ride with dipped headlights as it is considered good practice and safer to do so.

Accordingly, the only conclusion which may be drawn from the above is that I was riding my motorcycle safely and as envisaged by the Highway Code. I cannot, therefore, be to blame in any way for the accident.

Mr Xs Circumstances

I now turn to Mr Xs driving manoeuvre.

I shall compare his manoeuvre to two fairly similar manoeuvres; setting off from rest as he was stationary and making a right turn.

Setting Off From Rest

This is governed by rule 159 of the General Rules for Using the Road. This is reproduced below:

159: Before moving off you should

  • use all mirrors to check the road is clear
  • look round to check the blind spots (the areas you are unable to see in the mirrors)
  • signal if necessary before moving out
  • look round for a final check
  • Move off only when it is safe to do so.

It is quite clear that Mr X failed to undertake all, or more likely any, of the requirements given that the point of impact was the sill of the drivers door.

Turning Right

This is governed by rule 179 of the Road Junction section for Using the Road. This is reproduced below:

The first point to note, however, is that Mr X was not turning right as I approached. He was stationary in a queue of traffic tailing back from a roundabout. Clearly, Mr X does not have the patience to wait for traffic to flow so decided to pull out quickly and aggressively – also stating at the scene when asked if he had seen my headlight that he had not.

Again, however, the emphasis of the first two requirements is on observation and signalling. As set out above, Mr X failed these on both counts.

In addition to this, Mr X’s place of work on this day is approximately one mile in his original direction of travel, with any alternatives from the location of the accident being many times this distance.  I do not believe he had any reason, as he claims, to have been turning right into the private driveway of the farm, other than impatience at being made late for work by the stationary traffic on his direct route, and his sole intention was to perform a u-turn and travel back in the opposite direction.

Accordingly, the only verdict which can be reached from the above analysis of Mr Xs manoeuvre is that it was undertaken without sufficient care and attention to myself and other road users.

Conclusion

Mr X was stationary and I took all reasonable care to overtake a stationary vehicle. I checked before doing so, no right indicator on the car, no mirror checks carried out by Mr X, no wheel turns to indicate movement, and the car remained stationary so I proceeded to overtake.

Mr Xs lack of patience to wait in a queue to move clearly made him decide to take a different route. The issue here is he pulled out without mirror checks or signals, demonstrating that he was driving without due care and attention.  The fact that other road users in the same queue of traffic had observed my approach is clearly indicative that he was not concentrating on what was going on around him.

Mr X cannot be excused for not making the proper checks – what if I were a pedestrian or pedal cyclist? More substantial injuries could have been caused by his inattention.

The relatively superficial damage to both the car of Mr X, and that sustained to my vehicle as reported by the appointed engineer support that my speed was low enough to demonstrate that I was exercising a high duty of care in my riding, and was unable to avoid the situation caused by Mr X.

As shown above, I have followed the road rules clearly and exactly and am in no way responsible for this accident. If Mr X had made all the checks required as shown above or been paying attention he would have been aware of my presence and not moved until I had passed, in which case this accident would not have occurred.

I trust this is sufficient to pass to his insurers.

Regards,

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Stalker, Stalker, Creepy Fawker

Stalker, Stalker, Creepy Fawker

stalker (stalkers plural )A stalker is someone who keeps following or contacting someone else, especially a famous person or a person they used to have a relationship with, in an annoying and frightening way.

I believe the figures used to show that one in every three women would be the victim of a stalker at some point in their life, to varying degrees.  Men getting stalked aren’t far behind, although for the most part we like to think of stalking as happening to poor defenceless women.

The word ‘stalker’ is thrown around far too much these days, but here I’m not talking about some creepy guy who comments on all your facebook pictures with suggestive comments, or someone sending random ‘meet me for a drink’ emails on MySpace.

The reality is that the real life stalker doesn’t look like some kind of filthy perve.  Hell, I’m betting that almost everyone here has had a quick stalk of an ex boyfriend or girlfriend.  Either taking a drive past their house to see if they’re in (or to see if a chain of filthy skanks is going in and out of their house day and night!!!), or at the very least you’ve had a good browse of their Facebook pictures since you broke up.

Whilst I can’t say this kind of behavious is exactly ‘normal’, it is understandable after you’ve been in a relationship with someone.

But what about if it’s with someone who you’ve never met?

When I was self employed in the private investigations field, there was a time when I was seriously looking at starting a firm with a partner specialising in anti-stalking.  At that time there were only 10 such firms in the world!  We also looked at several live cases for training purposes.

One of these cases involved a Nutter (male) who had made advances towards a happily married woman.  She had, of course, turned him down, joking that if she didn’t have a husband then he might have a chance with her.

Her husband then died in an unrelated accident, and Nutter was straight around to her house like some kind of stalky Rumpelstiltskin to collect on her ‘promise’.

She told him to go shove his head up a dead badgers ass (or words to that effect), at which point Nutter promptlywent and dug up her dead husband and placed his body on her doorstep to find the next morning.

That’s one of the more extreme examples, but I’m sure all of you know of someone who’s been harrassed.

The most common is an ex turning up at your house, watching your house, or popping up in places where you normally go like some kind of freaky jack-in-the-box.

Why do they do it?

A lot of people who get charges filed against them under the Threat Harrassment Act are otherwise normal people (for big pink talking monkeys, anyway).

The main reasons are jealousy and the inability to let go.  We all go a little crazy when change is thrust upon us, especially with a hefty dose of loss also thrown in there.

It’s the hardest thing in the world to lose someone (even if we never technically had them in teh first place, you Nutter), and the easiest thing to pick up that phone and call them 200 times a day, or just park up outside their place of work to see them as they leave…

But you can’t do that!

Let it go, you weird little badger-brained looney!

If you do find yourself as a victim of a stalker, the best advice I can give to you is to keep a record of EVERYTHING that happens – time, dates, places, witnesses… even the weather at that time!  Build up as much of a case as you can, because whilst most Police forces are absolutely crap at handling these cases, they CAN do something if you have enough to make it worth their while.

There are solicitors out there who can help with the civil litigation of setting up injunctions against people.

It’s either that, or two large mates, the back of a shovel and a bag of quicklime…

Bottom Of The Legal Monkey Tree

Bottom Of The Legal Monkey Tree

It’s probably about time I gave you a Job Update, because I know some of you are nosey buggers.

I had a weeks training before starting the job, which was a mixture of information overload, boring procedures, learning how to use several (flawed, of course) databases, and a bit of a laugh with the trainers other trainee Monkeys, too!

I started wondering what the Hell would take us a week to learn for a job that is essentially at the bottom of the Legal Monkey Tree (especially as we’d already gone through a gruelling half day interview to get that far), and finished up realising that nothing can ever really prepare you for any job where you will be dealing primarily with The Public.

Public Monkeys are a whole new kettle of fish.  Whatever you think you know about a job, some Public Monkey will find something to completely stump or even shock you.

I basically have to provide Public Monkeys and Professional Monkeys with information and resolutions to situations to do with The Law.  This sounds fairly easy, but when you’re plunged into a completely foreign world using all kinds of unfathomable acronyms and technical language, this can be bloody hard work to try and answer the random questions that Public Monkeys will dream up.

On my first day going live, I was a lot like a rabbit caught in headlights.  I knew where the safety of the warren was, and was pretty familiar with the layout of the fields, but with a car bearing down on you like illuminated Death, getting back through the hedgerow without getting splattered was sometimes much harder than expected.

With each passing hour, I am learning more and more, and becoming more relaxed and confident in my ability to do this job.

And then, of course, Public Monkey asks for something so left-field it smashes you in your right ear!

This can be a downside to the job when Public Monkey is angry, knows more than you do about your job, or is just a plain bastard.

This is a definite upside when you can help Public Monkey through their despair, or if they’re a bit… umm… you know… a bit of a Frothy-Mouthed Gaa-Gaa.

A prime example of this so far has been a Monkey who, when offered the choice of legal aid for his case, launched into a rant about how legal aid was:

a) A Government Conspiracy.
b) A way for The Rich to keep The Poor down, and
c) A Satanic Conspiracy.

We’re not allowed to express any kind of opinion on Legal Monkey matters, but can you imagine just how much I was dying to ask about this last one?  Especially as Public Monkey was telling me all this very calmly and rationally, as I’d gained his trust and was now his friend.  And he stated these three facts about legal aid THREE times!

I fully appreciate he’s probably a Nut-Nut, but I would LOVE to have a pint with that man to hear him out!

There is also the occasional crossover with some of my previous work where we’d often have to work in the grey areas of the law.  These are very interesting to hear, as I’m speaking to the people we’d be working against!

I am finding that after constant phonecalls my voice is knackered towards the end of the day.  It’s almost as if my mouth is exhausted, and some words like ‘statistics’ seem almost impossible to say!  Weird stuff, but I guess I’ll get used to it.  This isn’t being helped by some weird Lurgy that’s affecting my throat and sinuses much like you get at the start of a cold.

Friday is supposed to be the main day for weird calls, so hopefully I’ll get some that I can safely mention on here!

The job looks good!  Helping Monkeys can be very fulfilling – plus there are prospects for climbing further up the tree…

For now just hope they go gentle on me, and my voice holds up.

Doing A Suicidal 129mph!

Doing A Suicidal 129mph!

That’s the actual line I heard in an episode of ‘Police, Camera, Action’ the other night, as they filmed Police following a driver on a UK three lane motorway: “Doing a SUICIDAL 129mph!!!”

As if 130 would have made him instantly drop dead from speed?!

Because we all know that speed kills…

Never mind lack of skill, inattention or a poorly maintained vehicle.  Nope – these are all perfectly safe as long as you NEVER go above the speed limits that were set for the vehicles of 46 years ago

Don’t get me wrong here – we need some limits and I’m all in favour of 30mph zones and respect them totally.  They’re almost always there for a reason (schools, dangerous roads, old biddies crossing etc).  40mph zones are a bit more dodgy as they seem to have changed a lot of previously 60mph roads to 40mph limits for no known reason… But 70mph on a modern three lane motorway is ludicrous!

 

Let me just put that into perspective for you.  Here is an ‘average’ car for 1965:

1965 Triumph 2000
This kicked out a mighty 89 bhp

And here is 2010’s ‘average’ car:

2010 Ford Focus
This wheezes out a measly 140 bhp

The braking road holding abilities of cars has come just as far, too – and that’s without any electric aids such as stability control.

And we shouldn’t forget how much road building technology has advanced, and the signage on the roads…

I think most cars in 1965 struggled to even reach 70mph!  Now most will cruise at 100 without too much stress…

If you actually DO 70mph on a motorway these days, you’ll find just about everything will come streaming past you.  85 is the new 70, baby!  And to be fair that probably is a nice sensible new speed.  There are people who still do 50mph on motorways, so you can bet they’ll still be doing that speed even if limits are raised, and for the rest of us it makes life a lot easier…

Or how about going even further and introducing an advanced license to let people do faster speeds – only on motorways.  100mph?  Unlimited?  You’d have to prove you could pay attention and display forward planning, and if you did cause an accidents penalties should be severe…

And put motorway driving in the driving test – focusing on making sure people stay in the -ing left hand lane unless they’re overtaking!

You know – just common sense?

It’ll never catch on…

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