Who is at fault for filtering crash

I was filtering down a line of slowly moving traffic just on the inside of the central white line at about 5mph faster than slow-moving traffic, when the car I was just drawing up to turned sharply right across my path, without indicating; I had no chance to take evasive action and was knocked off my bike, which I'm told is a write-off. Fortunately I'm not badly hurt.
The police have the signed witness-statement, which his insurers (and mine) can purchase, they say - but I've been told that, even though this is clearly not my fault, in cases that go to court such as this, it tends to go to 'split-liability', where each side is equally to blame. I've been told that he is denying liability; can this be right?
TH, by e-mail

Answer

Your insurer will almost certainly obtain the police report and associated witness statements before they make a decision on who was to blame and in what proportions. When an accident victim who claims compensation is partly to blame for the accident, that is known as “contributory negligence”, reflecting that they also did something wrong. Blame in civil cases is apportioned in percentages. Each case turns on its own facts and whilst the term “split-liability” is a correct phrase it is not correct to say this means 50%/50% or that all filtering cases end up being 50%/50%. The starting point is for you to establish what is known as “primary” liability which is that the other driver was primarily to blame. It is for the other driver to argue and prove that you contributed to the accident. In your case your speed was appropriate for filtering. He did not indicate and it is likely he did not look in his mirror or over his shoulder. As long as you were not filtering on the approach to a junction then I don’t see why you shouldn’t succeed 100%.

Download

Ask the expert (MCN Column pdf)