Photographs are invaluable

On 26th May 2015, Walter was out for cycle on the B6372 passing the village of Temple en route to Gorebridge. A van coming from the opposite direction was sitting stationary in the middle of the road waiting to turn right. As Walter approached, the van pulled across his path and there was a collision. The van driver was very apologetic and admitted fault at the scene. Walter took photos of the vehicle in situ and also got the driver’s details.

Van position post collision
He then contacted Cycle Law Scotland and we intimated his case to the Insurers in early June.

In August, liability was denied stating, “It is our insured’s case that he was waiting to turn right into a minor road. He checked to his left then his right, when he looked to his right a car appeared very quickly from the minor road and braked urgently at the junction. This caused our insured to again apply his brakes and come to a stop. He was waiting to see how the car to his right that had appeared was going to proceed prior to completing his manoeuvre. Our insured prepared to check left again, however, before he was able to move off there was a loud bang, and your client collided with the front passenger side of his vehicle. Please see below the damage to our insured’s vehicle, and his position in the road at the time of the collision”

The image (below) supplied by the Third Party Insurers did not correspond with the image that Walter had taken at the scene. The vehicle was in a different position; the weather and light were also different.

Reconstruction by 3rd Party

On this basis, we raised the case in Court in September.

Walter had sustained a knee injury as well as lacerations to his face, which had left permanent scarring. His bicycle and kit cost around £5,000 to replace. The images that William had taken at the scene were lodged in Court once the action was raised.

Within two weeks, the Defenders made an offer to settle in the sum of £12,000. This was immediately rejected. A further offer was not forthcoming until April but the case settled for £17,000.

Key lessons from this case are:-

  1. The importance of taking photos (if possible) immediately following the collision.
  2. Changing position of the driver re admitting liability at the scene - this happens all too often so it is a good idea to have experienced Lawyers on your side who can take the appropriate action if this occurs.
  3. Holding out for a reasonable offer before settling – Insurers will try and minimise settlement values but as we deal with cycle cases on a daily basis, we ensure that the true value of the case is maximised to ensure you get the compensation you are due as a result of the injury, damage and/or loss.

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