WE'VE BEEN kicking off a new weekly section of the site, with some proper learned answers to your bikey legal queries. Whether you’ve been knocked off by a pissed-up driver, been stitched up by a dodgy trader, or looking down the barrel of a six-month ban for one speeding ticket too many, we can help – with some clever judicial stuff from Thompsons Solicitors, one of the biggest law firms in the country.
Send your questions to email@example.com, or post on our Facebook page. We’ll answer as many as we can.
This week - a timely one after our video yesterday of the pedestrian/bike interface in London...
"Can pedestrians be claimed against after a crash? I was riding through London, and a pedestrian walked out in front of me while on his phone. I hit them, came off my bike, and my bike hit a parked car. The police arrived, and took everyone’s details - luckily no-one was really injured. I wasn’t speeding or anything, and the pedestrian admitted they just walked out in front of me. The car driver is (quite rightly I suppose) claiming against my insurance - now I’ve lost my no-claims discount, and only had third-party/theft cover, so my bike and kit damage isn’t covered at all it seems. I’m massively out of pocket - is there anything I can do?"
David Robinson, senior road accident specialist at Thompsons Solicitors, says: “Unlike motorists, pedestrians do not have to have insurance. However, if the pedestrian owns their own home or has a car insurance policy, it may be possible to claim against them on those policies. You should contact your own insurer to discuss whether it’s possible to go down this route.
“If you do make a claim against a pedestrian, you would need to send them a letter of claim saying they were negligent in stepping out in front of you, and you should advise the pedestrian to pass the letter on to his or her insurer (such as home or car insurance provider).
“If the pedestrian’s policy of insurance does not cover them, then the only course of action would be to bring a claim for any financial losses against the pedestrian in the small claims track of the County Court. Providing the pedestrian has the means to pay, and a Judge finds the pedestrian at fault, then you may be able to recover financial losses to pay back the insurer of the parked car and restore your no claims bonus. This may all seem like a lot of effort with no guarantees, so you may want to proceed with how your insurance company is dealing with it instead.
“For more information on making a road traffic accident claim, visit our #StayRoadSafe campaign page.”