Deliberate braking causes rear end shunt for cyclist

Rob's Collision LocusRob contacted Cycle Law Scotland regarding a road traffic accident in which he had been involved in March 2015.

Rob had been cycling home from Arthur’s Seat and was proceeding west on Queensferry Street when he was involved in an altercation with a car driver. The car driver became very aggressive and shouted homophobic remarks at Rob. Rob continued behind the car along Alva Street when the driver braked suddenly. Rob had no opportunity to take evasive action and collided with the rear of the car. There was no other traffic on the road to warrant an emergency stop.

The driver was subsequently charged with dangerous driving by the police. However, at trial he was found to be not guilty due to insufficient evidence.

Despite the finding in the Criminal Court, Rob still had a valid civil claim. He had sustained injuries to his back, face, right hand and groin as a result of the collision. His bicycle and kit were also badly damaged and a claim was therefore intimated to the third party insurers.

Liability was initially denied by the insurers and so Rob’s case was raised in the All Scotland Personal Injury Court at Edinburgh. The insurers continued to deny liability and stated “the defenders insured’s vehicle braked due to a vehicle which was parked to the nearside of the roadway pulling out from the parked position.”

A statement was obtained from the reporting officer who confirmed there was no evidence of a vehicle in front of the car to force him to execute an emergency stop. Two offers were made by the Defenders in the sums of £6,000 and £7,000 respectively before the case settled for £9,000 in July 2016.

Rob was delighted with the outcome. He made a full recovery from his injuries.

The key principle to highlight in this case is that usually the shunter in rear end shunt cases is responsible and solely to blame for their actions. However, this case is an example of an exception to this rule as due to the altercation between the car driver and Rob, the car driver deliberately braked leaving Rob no alternative option but to collide with the vehicle.

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