Reversing van at a Y-Junction

I pulled up behind a van which was on the right hand arm of a rural Y junction.  The van driver then decided he wanted to go down the other arm of the Y, started reversing and only stopped when he felt the van hit the front of my bike.  I was luckily not injured but the bike has some cosmetic damage. The driver said he didn’t see me but where do I stand with my insurance claim?
Helena, Cumbria

Answer           

It would seem that one of two things happened to cause this accident.  Either you were there to be seen but the van driver didn’t check his mirrors. Or that there was a solid back to the van and he did check his side mirrors but in the absence of being able to check a rear view mirror you weren’t there to be seen even though he looked. If it’s the former then it would seem that a court must conclude that he was entirely at fault.

Where a vehicle has a solid back, it is not inconceivable that a judge could criticise a rider who pulls up so closely behind it rather than positioning herself on the road in a place where she could be seen in the side mirror.

The end result would likely be a finding that the van driver was primarily to blame but there may be a degree of contributory negligence on your part but this is unlikely and I would need more information to be sure.

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