Blinded by the light
I have an issue with my accident claim after a bike accident that happened at night in December. I was returning from my work night shift. I was on a rural road when a car came around a bend towards me which I think must have had its main beams on. It blinded me causing me to come off and hurt myself. I am still recovering. The driver realised what happened as he stopped and called the police. His insurers say he did nothing wrong and did not have his main beams on but I think he did. Is there anything I can do?
Niall, by e-mail
A lot will depend on the evidence you have to show that the other driver was negligent – i.e., that he drove towards you with full beams on, it being reasonably foreseeable that the full beam lights would dazzle you.
Before Xenon headlights, also known as High-Intensity Discharge (or HID) lights, it was easy to tell when someone failed to turn off the main beam but these days it is much harder to tell. There used to be lots of claims made to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau for negligently dazzling someone (and driving off) although they are so much harder to prove now due to technological advances in the brightness of headlamps. If the other driver does not admit to having his main beams on when he should not have, and the vehicle has these HID lights you are going to struggle to prove your case.