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Compensation after a diesel spill


I decided to dust off my bike yesterday and go out for a ride due to the nice weather. No more than ten minutes later I lost traction on a roundabout, and ended up with a smashed collarbone and badly bruised ribs. My brother went to the scene of the accident for me and took some photos of what looked like oil or diesel on the road. Is there anything I can do? I’ve lost out on a summer of riding, my bike is stuffed and I’m going to be off work for a few weeks.

Robert, Leeds, by email



I’m sorry to hear about your accident but the good news is that you can potentially claim compensation against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, which compensates the victims of untraced and uninsured drivers.

You will need to show that on the balance of probabilities (that is, that it’s more likely than not) that the spill was caused by the negligence of another road user. Most instances which result in diesel on the road are due to an individual’s negligence, and on roundabouts or bends diesel spills commonly occur because an industrial vehicle has overfilled or ‘necked’ the tank.

Your brother’s photos will be useful and if you haven’t already done so, I suggest that you notify the police so that they can attend the scene and get the local authority to clean up the spill to help other bikers.



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