Ronnie approached Cycle Law Scotland following a road traffic incident when he was cycling to work in March 2016. It was a route he was very familiar with. A car overtook him on approach to a junction and then turned sharply across his path. Ronnie was unable to take evasive action and collided with the nearside of the vehicle.
Police and paramedics were both called to the scene. Another cyclist had been travelling immediately behind Ronnie and witnessed the collision.
This scenario is a relatively common one and certainly the type of collision we are used to dealing with. On the face of it, liability seemed straightforward. The driver had overtaken Ronnie on approach to a junction and then turned directly across his path. There were witnesses and the Police believed there was sufficient evidence to charge the driver.
The claim was intimated against the insurance company for the vehicle and within a matter of months liability was denied. The position of the insurers was that there was in fact no collision. They claimed that Ronnie had wobbled and fallen from his bicycle due to a pothole.
Separately, the driver was found not guilty at criminal trial due to the Crown failing to prove beyond reasonable doubt. This meant that a civil court action had to be raised against the insurers of the vehicle. They continued to dispute that there had been a collision and four weeks before the case was due to go to Court put forward a ‘nuisance’ offer to try and settle the case.
This offer was rejected. The Defenders failed to put forward any evidence to support the idea that there had been a pothole present at the junction and we also had witness evidence to a collision having occurred. Within 24 hours of the initial offer, an increased offer was put forward which was also rejected and then one week later an offer, double the amount originally present, was made and duly accepted.
Ronnie was delighted with the outcome and had this to say; “Thank you very much for all the work you have put in, it’s very much appreciated.”
This case is a classic example of how insurance companies can often dig their heels in and proceed with an alternative version of events. This can happen even with cases that appear ‘simple’ and ‘straightforward’ at the outset. Cycle Law Scotland were able to fund this case from start to finish on behalf of Ronnie to allow him the time and space to recover from his injuries and return to cycling.
We were not deterred by the ‘nuisance’ offer put forward by the insurers and were prepared to proceed to the final Court hearing in order to secure the best possible offer for our client.