We recently settled a claim on behalf of a motorcyclist badly injured in an accident.
She was riding along a country lane without a care in the world. She was passing the entrance to a private school when a car driver (in the middle of an argument with his passenger) pulled out of the driveway straight into her.
She broke both wrists, and had other minor injuries. Breaking both wrists has a serious impact on the ability to do anything, and she was reliant on friends and family for a while. She was unable to work, and as a self employed photographer who had just begun to pick up work post-pandemic, this was a real blow.
Added to all that stress, the driver of the car refused initially to accept that the accident was his fault! We refused to take “no” for an answer, though, and eventually managed to get a full settlement for the injuries, loss of earnings and other expenses.
Most importantly, the client is back on a ‘bike and enjoying her riding again.
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Over six months ago the Department For Transport (DfT) made significant changes to the Highway Code. One of the most noticeable changes was made to the hierarchy of road users to increase the safety of those who are most vulnerable on the roads.
Although these changes have been made a hard copy of the new Highway code has only just been updated.
The Institute for Advanced Motorists (IAM) RoadSmart has reported that one in five motorists were unaware of the latest changes to the code. This makes up more than 7 million out of the 35.9 million drivers in the UK. Additionally, while 80 per cent of the survey respondents believe the changes to the Highway Code to be important, over half admitted they cannot remember the last time they referred to the code.
Cycling UK and others have voiced concerns that there has been nowhere near enough communication from the DfT. This is confirmed by the 51 per cent of drivers who believe the government has not done a good job communicating the updates.
Last year there were over 100,000 reported casualties on the UK’s roads, 1,560 of which were fatal and a further 27,300 of which were serious injuries. Based on these statistics more needs to be done to make UK roads safer. IAM RoadSmart director Neil Greig thinks the changes to the Highway Code pose “a serious safety risk which could actually see the updates code causing more conflict on our roads rather than less.”
We want to hear from you, have you seen changes in road users since the new code came into place? Email in your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have suffered injury whilst out on two wheels let us know. We may be able to help and claim back any losses.
Fergus, one of our senior solicitors and bikers (40+ years on the road) has won 100s of cases for fellow bikers.
We received an enquiry from a client who suffered a broken leg following an accident. They explained that on viewing the CCTV and ignoring his own version of events, their insurance company said they were at fault. Having listened to the client and seeking any excuse to get out for a ride, Fergus put on his leathers and took a 2-hour round trip to the scene and checked the sequence of the traffic lights where the incident occurred. Having taken in all the relevant facts Fergus took the opinion that our client was in the right, so we took the claim on (‘no win, no fee’) even though the other party’s insurers also held them to blame too. Following a very detailed letter to outline the true accident circumstances, an admission from the other side’s insurers followed and our client is now looking at a five-figure settlement.
The extra mile (or in this case 70 miles) made the difference and is an example of why we succeed where others fail.
This is another reason over 25% of our new clients transfer their claims from their insurance solicitors to move to us. Not many people are aware that if you are unhappy with the solicitors dealing with your claim you can transfer to another solicitor at any point while your claim is ongoing. All you need to do is notify the solicitors you want to transfer to fill out a simple form then they will handle the rest.
Talk to us today about your motorbike accident. If you fill out the contact us form and one of our specialist biker solicitors will call you at a convenient time or you can call 0800 6300 301.
This was one of those cases where the downright unfairness of the accident served to be the spur we needed to push and win this case.
Our client was on his bike on a ride out with his mate. They had filtered to the front of a queue and were stopped at traffic lights with their feet down waiting for the lights to change.
Once the lights changed our client slowly moved forward to be hit at speed from the right by a BMW that had jumped a red light and hit our client side on, taking him clean off his bike.
Very fortunately our client escaped from serious injury, but then began a case to prove it wasn’t his fault.
You’re probably thinking have I read that right? It’s not immediately the fault of the driver jumping the light? But that was exactly the situation we found ourselves in.
We registered the claim when it came through to us as we would normally do and after some investigation the insurers of the third party vehicle came back to say that they considered the accident was not their client’s fault. Clearly, someone hadn’t been entirely truthful with their version of events, and it was put to us to prove the third party fault.
Luckily, as our client had been at the front of traffic at a set of lights, there were cars both behind him, and also coming in the other direction, who had an excellent view of both the accident and its timing.
At the scene of the accident many of these cars stopped and offered first aid assistance to our client, but also their details incase witnesses were needed..and how invaluable this was.
These witness statements were sent through to the third party insurers and proved that not only was their client not being truthful about the incident, but that he was also at fault for the accident.
We won this case, and our client is now back on his bike and recovering well from his injuries.
It serves a useful warning however, that left to using his own insurers, our client may well have ended up with no settlement at all and also had on his insurance records that his was an at fault accident.
Always seek an alternative to going through your own insurer. You are entitled to do so and will end up with a much better outcome.
Always get witness details and take as many photographs as you can at the scene. Remember that not everyone is as honest as you!
If you have an accident call Sorrymate.com. Its what we do best
I wrote a while ago about the situation with MCE going into administration. This article is by way of an update.
The background is that MCE (as was) now Green Realisations 123 Limited, registered in Gibraltar, went into administration last year. All policies were cancelled as of 31st January this year.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme must step in any pay compensation to
- those whose policies were cancelled before 12 months expired and who had paid up front for their insurance and
- Those people who made a claim on their policy between the date that MCE (as was) went into administration and 31st January this year and
- People who had made a claim against an MCE policy holder.
The administrators are the people tasked with managing, among other things, the handling of all the above claims.
For those who are seeking a refund of pre-paid premium, my understanding is that this process is ongoing, though slow. Those who have third party claims against a MCE policyholder should, in my view, claim against the actual rider and those claims will ultimately be met in full by the FSCS. I would not advise issuing against Green Realisations 123 Limited for reasons below.
If you are not at fault, claim for bike damage from the driver’s insurance and leave MCE out of it.
The real issues arise for those who have made a claim against their MCE policy.
I write to the administrators, the FSCS and after some chasing received a response from the Administrators.
If you have a claim under your MCE policy, they advise that you take the following steps:
The issue arises when the complaint fails. The gut instinct is to issue proceedings however, under the law of Gibraltar, which is the law governing the situation, proceedings cannot be issued against Green Realisations 123 Limited (previously MCE) without the permission of the Court or the permission of the Administrators. The Administrators have advised that they will not grant permission and will fight any application to the Court for permission. There is also a good chance that the costs of any application, if successful, would not be recovered. So, what to do.
I have spoken to a couple of people who have had some success. They did so by making themselves a real pain for the claim handlers. Whether this works for you or not, it may be worth the try.
- Follow the route of submitting the claim and making a complaint above
- Make a GDPR request for all the personal data they hold (Article 15). Google GDPR Article 15 and you will get a list of all the data you can request. Or you can see below.
- Challenge them to show their FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) reference number and ask how they are able to operate without supervision. Basically, ask awkward questions.
- Each time you do anything also offer to settle your claim for the amount that you think is reasonable. This allows them to consider the cost of arguing against the cost of paying you out.
If I get anything more, I will add it. In the meantime, I am writing to the Prime Minister, the Department of Transport and the Opposition to ask on what basis they allow insurance companies to operate in this Country without the laws of this Country applying.
And next time you insure, it might be worth paying a bit extra to insure with a UK registered company rather than a company who can hide behind the rules of a foreign jurisdiction. Just my thoughts.
On a closing note a couple of positive tales.
I was acting for a client whose son was killed in a bike accident and MCE were being a nightmare. The father came to me about a claim for the costs of the funeral etc. I submitted a claim to AXA Insurance for all losses except the bike as MCE were dealing with that. AXA paid out in a few weeks. Months later, after MCE and their solicitors had put every imaginable hurdle in my way I went back to AXA and asked if they could pay the bike directly as well. Yes, and within a couple of weeks all sorted. It was nice to come across some integrity and decency from an insurer so it should be noted.
A second case, a client who had been struggling to get MCE to handle a claim against him and was being taken to Court got in touch. One solicitor’s letter to the administrators and all sorted. It should not have taken a letter, but such is.
Art. 15 GDPR Right of access by the data subject
- The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning him or her are being processed, and, where that is the case, access to the personal data and the following information:
- the purposes of the processing;
- the categories of personal data concerned;
- the recipients or categories of recipient to whom the personal data have been or will be disclosed, in particular recipients in third countries or international organisations;
- where possible, the envisaged period for which the personal data will be stored, or, if not possible, the criteria used to determine that period;
- the existence of the right to request from the controller rectification or erasure of personal data or restriction of processing of personal data concerning the data subject or to object to such processing;
- the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority;
- where the personal data are not collected from the data subject, any available information as to their source;
- the existence of automated decision-making, including profiling, referred to in Article 22(1) and (4) and, at least in those cases, meaningful information about the logic involved, as well as the significance and the envisaged consequences of such processing for the data subject.
- Where personal data are transferred to a third country or to an international organisation, the data subject shall have the right to be informed of the appropriate safeguards pursuant to Article 46relating to the transfer.
- 1The controller shall provide a copy of the personal data undergoing processing. 2For any further copies requested by the data subject, the controller may charge a reasonable fee based on administrative costs. 3Where the data subject makes the request by electronic means, and unless otherwise requested by the data subject, the information shall be provided in a commonly used electronic form.
- The right to obtain a copy referred to in paragraph 3 shall not adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others.
This motorcycle accident shows how important it is to have a legal team on your side who are willing to go the extra mile on your claim.
One of our solicitors Liz was called by a gentleman asking for our help as he had been in a motorcycle accident.
Unfortunately he had been knocked unconscious in the accident, and the next he knew was waking up in hospital with a broken wrist.
All he knew was that he had gone into the back of a car. He didn’t know exactly where the accident had happened as he was not on a familiar route, and he had no idea of the registration number of the car he had it.
He had two vague memories whilst slipping in and out of consciousness which were viewing his motorcycle smashed on the road from the ambulance, and being told by the ambulance crew that there were cars parked illegally on the nearside of the road immediately after a left-hand bend. The occupants had pulled over suddenly to look at something.
He had tried to claim for his accident with his own insurance company but the solicitors he was put in touch with couldn’t take his case on without further details.
He felt he had hit a dead end. His call to Sorrymate.com changed all that for the better!
We knew that his motorbike had been damaged in the accident and would have been recovered from the scene. We had the details of the recovery company who had been instructed to recover the motorbike that day and we got in touch with them.
The recovery company were able to give us the details of the police reference number.
We contacted the police and were then able to obtain details of the car driver and their insurance company.
At last we had the details we needed! We contacted the third party insurance company for the car which had suddenly pulled up, and they accepted liability for the accident.
Our client was delighted and has recently been compensated for his injuries and is back on his new bike!
We take on all cases, no matter how difficult they may seem.
How can SorryMate help you?
If you have been knocked off your bike, it can often feel like there is no one to turn to, to help you get back on. SorryMate are there for bikers who need legal advice when they have been knocked off their bike by a car, injured themselves due to potholes or poor road surfaces, or when they have been involved in an accident with other road users or pedestrians.
We are bikers, just like you, and understand the distress an accident can have. We want to make our roads safer, and we go after those who don’t.
SorryMate deal exclusively with motorbike accident compensation claims. We are made up of a team of specialist personal injury motorcycling lawyers, registered with the SRA, that can help you recover your deserved compensation.
Find out today if you have a claim for compensation by completing an enquiry form or by calling 0800 6 300 301.
As of 25th March, new rules to The Highway code have come in to force to make using any hand-held mobile phone illegal while driving.
The changes were supported by 80% of respondents in a public consultation in 2021.
The new rules now state you must not use a device in your hand for any reason, whether online or offline. The law applies to you if you are.
- Supervising a learner driver
- Stopped at traffic lights
- Queuing traffic
- Driving a car that turns the engine off when you stop moving
- Holding and using a device that’s an offline or in-flight mode
The only exceptions are needing to call 999 or 112 in an emergency or making a contactless payment in a vehicle that is not moving.
It is important to stay up to date with any changes made to The Highway code as it is your responsibility for the safety of other road users.
You can view The Highway Code for free on www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code