Knocked off while speeding. Can I claim?

Unfortunately I had an accident in May when riding home. A car pulled out of a side road in front of me. The problem is I was doing around 60mph in a 40mph limit so I am being charged with dangerous driving. I accept I was going too fast but it was on a long straight and he should have seen me and not pulled out on me. I have been told by my insurer’s solicitors that they will not claim compensation for me due to my speed but they will help with defending the criminal case. Am I prevented from claiming compensation – I was hurt but I feel lucky to still be here.
Ryan, Cleethorpes

Answer

There are many decided court cases where motorcyclists have been exceeding the speed limit on a main road when someone pulls out into their path, resulting in an accident. It will be important to establish the sight line that was available for the car driver – that is for how long you would have been visible to him had he looked properly. Motorists joining a road are obviously under a duty to ensure it is safe to pull out and this includes not just looking but taking the time to judge the speed of approaching traffic. These cases are very fact specific but you are likely to succeed with a compensation claim, but with you accepting contributory negligence as a result of your speed. 

Download

Ask the expert (MCN Column pdf)