Recent years have seen an increase in the popularity of dashboard cameras. Their footage tends to provide a clear and incontrovertible account of how an accident occurs. Sometimes that is not always to the benefit of the person who owns the camera, as our most recent case study will demonstrate.
In this case our client was cycling to work. She had stopped at traffic lights alongside the opponent’s 4x4 vehicle, equipped with a dash-cam. She was in a cycle lane which continued beyond the traffic lights. The junction was undergoing roadworks and there were cones and barriers narrowing the route across the junction. To make things more difficult, there was a large traffic cone sat in the middle of the narrow cycle lane in front of her. The lights changed and she set off ahead of the opponent, who then chose the narrowest point in the road at to overtake, just as she was moving over to ride around the traffic cone blocking the cycle path. She was struck by the vehicle as it accelerated past her. We know all this because it was clearly recorded on the opponent’s vehicle dash-cam.
At the Trial recently, the Judge was critical of the opponent’s decision to choose that particular moment to overtake our client. Had he chosen to wait for literally a few more seconds, the collision would not have occurred.
Under questioning, the opponent driver claimed that as a cyclist, our client should not have been riding out of the cycle lane, despite the fact there was a large traffic cone blocking her path. The Judge did not find our client to have been to blame in any way for riding out of the designated cycle lane (or using the main part of the road on which to ride) in that situation.
The end result is that the Defendant’s own dash-cam footage recorded both his impatience and also his negligent driving.
As a footnote, the Claimant had a policy of legal expenses insurance cover, yet her insurers (and their panel Firm of solicitors) assessed this case as having poor prospects of success at less than 50%. As such the insurers were unwilling to support the claim. Despite this, we were able to help our client secure a complete success and 100% recovery of damages from the opponent in this case.
This example shows that when selecting a solicitor, it is important to choose one who has an understanding of the difficulties facing those of us who ride on the public roads and who will properly assess the level of risk involved in pursuing an accident claim.