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Will I get less compensation for wearing the wrong boots?

I had an accident in September on my Vespa. I was knocked off when the other driver pulled out in front of me at a junction. I tried to brake but it really was too late to do anything. I had left leg injuries but fortunately nothing too bad. My solicitor is telling me that his insurer wants to deduct 25% from my compensation because I wasn’t wearing protective boots. They say my injuries would have been less serious. Can this be right?

Geoff, by e-mail



This is not correct. Bikers are legally required to wear helmets. There is no law requiring bikers to wear protective clothing such as gloves, boots, jackets or trousers. The Highway Code advises that ‘strong boots, gloves and suitable clothing may help to protect you if you are involved in a collision’. The Highway Code does not say it will protect you which is partly the reason there is no legal requirement for riders to wear protective jackets, trousers, gloves or boots. This advisory guidance is not compulsory.

As such you cannot be held to be in breach of a law that does not exist. Further, I know of no court decisions (judicial precedent) that states that a rider can have his compensation reduced for the lack of protective boots. The other side is wrongly trying to apply the law relating to car drivers who don’t wear seat belts where there can be a 25% or 15% reduction in compensation.



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