You won't believe the answer to this question.
This video has caused a fair bit of interest and Roberto made a very good point.
What can you do? And who could you claim against should this accident happen to you?
First of all, let me make this clear, I am not a traffic law expert, but I can give you my personal opinion.
There is a procedure you should follow at an accident site to guarantee not only your safety but the safety of others around you at the scene of the accident. We do cover this during our advanced rider course at MotoIntell Academy.
What the Law states.
But let’s start with what the traffic laws state. According to U.K. traffic law (section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988) the driver of the motor vehicle must stop at the scene of an accident (this includes damage to a person, property or animal), regardless of the severity of the collision or who is to blame.
so, let’s imagine all is secure, the road, the vehicle, the participants and there is no further danger to any other road users or the participants of the accident. Lets look at what could happen.
At this point, the rider is legally obliged to report the accident to the police and inform his insurance company. not a legal requirement but in this case, an ambulance should be called as the initial shock of the accident and the adrenaline levels in both parties will be very high, and as we know this could fool you into believing you are not injured when you truly are. Only once your adrenaline levels drop back to normal will you start to feel some discomfort.
So What’s the problem with claiming against the pedestrian?
The problem in this particular case is that the pedestrian is walking across the road and is not in charge of a motorised vehicle. Legally, should she feel fit enough to walk away, she can.
One important note to mention is you should not physically detain the pedestrian as that might take you down a road you do not want to go down and the pedestrian might file an assault charge against you.
So now what?
Well, you do want them to hang around until the authorities turn up and this is where a touch of psychology is required. Don’t get angry at the pedestrian, this will only infuriate and encourage the pedestrian to leave the scene of the accident.
Instead, you need to persuade them politely and show care for their safety because they have just been involved in a motorised vehicle accident. You should persuade them to stay so that they can be checked out by an ambulance crew. You need reassurance and persuasion to achieve your objective of reporting the incident to authorities and not anger and blame.
What is your objective?
The point is, you want the pedestrian to pay compensation for your motorbike and any personal injury claims you might have. This is all great.
So, let imagine your persuasion worked,
the ambulance and police have turned up, you managed to get her seen and they have the name and contact details of the pedestrian and you have your traffic police incident number. Excellent
You want to claim for damages incurred against your motorbike and normally you would claim against the other person's insurance company but the problem here is where or what are you going to claim against.
Pedestrians do not need Insurance to walk on the road so your only course of action is to submit a personal claim against the pedestrian for your financial and physical losses. I guarantee you one thing, the pedestrian will seek legal advice and their lawyer will advise them to countersue you back.
At this point, you're in a world of frustration and disbelief as your claim is eventually dismissed or even worse, the pedestrian gets to claim injury compensation against your insurance policy, making your premiums rise the following year.
If you think this is fantasy land, I know of a cyclist that had an accident with a car and as far as he was concerned the blame was totally his. He did not pursue any claim, but then he received a letter from the car driver’s insurance company demanding the cyclist pays the £550 excess on the car drivers’ policy. At this point, not wanting to lose £550 the cyclist decided to get some legal advice. His lawyers then advised him to countersue the insurance company. Instead of paying the £550, the insurance company was found guilty by the courts and demanded that the cyclist be awarded £10,000 for personal injury compensation from the same insurers. (Talk about backfire).
Just imagine what that did to the car driver’s insurance premiums the following year. So through no fault of his own, the car driver actually pays the compensation.
So, where else could you look?
if you had an accident with an uninsured driver you you may be able to claim compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) but a pedestrian is not an uninsured driver.
You do however have one other possibility.
If the pedestrian has a home insurance policy it might include personal liability insurance and you might have a way in. But good luck trying to get that information out of them, because as far as I am aware, they do not have to legally disclose this. But if your approach to this accident was reassurance and persuasion with the pedestrian rather than anger and blame, you just might get lucky and the pedestrian might disclose their policy as a gesture of good will or by mistake.
Governments could make it a legal requirement for all households in the country to take Liability Insurance for all the occupants. However, I cannot imagine any government introducing that law anytime soon, especially if they want to be re-elected.
Normally in an insurance accident claim scenario, you will have at least two defendants; you and the third party (the other person). To arrive at a 100% liability for any individual involved is not as common as you might think. Claims can be settled 75% against 25% or 60% against 40% or 80% against 20%, etc, I am sure you get the idea.
Do you think the law is equal?
This situation of having an accident with a pedestrian is a huge GREY area for insurance claims, but one thing I do know is that it will be very rare that you get any compensation from this situation.
The traffic courts will always favour a pedestrian first, a cyclist second, and a motorcyclist third and so on. This is not a situation I would want to be involved in, and I know from experience because no one got seriously hurt in this example (video) this case would just grind down to a stop and eventually you would lose your claim.
It’s not right, you did nothing wrong and you always believe that the law is fair and equal to all road users. But I’ve got some sad news to give you: it is not equal.
Conclusion and Result.
Honestly the time you will waste and the effort you will put into this claim will not give you the results you want. It will only serve to frustrate you even more and affect your mental state of mind when riding, possibly causing another more serious accident in the future due to the distraction and frustration this situation would have given you.
Me, I would just have to take this hit on the chin, fix my motorbike at my own cost and move on. Best to let it lie and move on.
As for you, take that stab in the dark, try to claim but don't expect miracles.
Crazy, I know, but it’s the truth. Talk to anyone who has had an accident with a pedestrian or cyclist and I know a few from my years of riding in central London and they will tell you, its not worth the hassle or the claim when their are no serious injuries to report.
I realise you probably wanted a fairy tale ending but I am sorry, real life scenarios rarely ever emulate Hollywood or Disney land endings.
Stay Alert, Ride Safe.
Want to read about a real example follow the link: