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How can it be my fault?

I was waiting at a junction to turn left onto a main road and because the car coming towards me from my right was indicating left, and looked like it was slowing down, I assumed he was turning into the road that I was leaving. But as I pulled out he hit me off my bike. His insurers are saying that the accident was 100% my fault. How can this be the case when he was indicating to turn left and slowing down?

Francois Ducasse, by e-mail


There is a fair amount of case law on these accident circumstances but the case of Winter v Cotton is closest to your accident as that involved a slowing down vehicle that was indicating, like in your situation. Winter relied on both the misleading indication and Cotton’s slow speed and the court decided that Cotton was 100% responsible.

The Highway Code makes it clear that a driver on a main road has right of way but the court will look at all the circumstances surrounding the accident including signalling, behaviour and witness evidence. The advice to those emerging from minor roads is to wait and only do so when you are 100% sure it is safe to pull out.

You should argue for 100% of your compensation based on Winter v Cotton but be prepared to accept a reasonable offer bearing in mind the risk of litigation, as other similar cases have not ended up 100% in favour of the driver pulling out.

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