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Careless driving - motorcycle accident
silverstar189
post Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 10:29
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Firstly, my apologies for the long post!

I was recently involved in an accident that I caused - I was on my way to work on my motorcycle, came over the crest of a hill to find a set of three traffic lights just after. I believed the central set to be showing green and carried on, checking my mirrors briefly. When I looked forward again I found that the set of lights was actually on the left as the road also had a curve to it, and had appeared central to this. By the time my head overruled what I had seen I braked but was unable to stop in time.

I hit the rear tyre of another motorcycle which was stopped at the junction, the road had a 40mph limit although impact was much slower as I had braked before impact, the rear mudguard of the bike in front was damaged and he dropped his bike, my front fairing was smashed and I was thrown off mine. Although I was not injured I had some pain in my groin at the time, and a doctor and nurse came out of the resulting jam and held my head whilst an ambulance was called. The dual carriageway was shut whilst the ambulance arrived and police moved our bikes. Both of us were taken to hospital for xrays but released immediately afterwards as neither of us had any injuries (soft tissue damage aside). I apologised profusely to the other rider, and my bike has since been written off (I've admitted fault).

The officer who attended didn't have time to take statements at the scene as we were taken to hospital, we were read our rights in the ambulance and breathalysed (both of us blew a zero). He is coming to see me next week to take the statement and believes this will be quite straightforward as he knows exactly what I'm going to say (I mentioned the traffic light to the paramedic at the scene and one person giving first aid). I'm a new rider, on the road for 7 months with a full license for 3.

I have a couple of questions:

1) I am of course responsible for the accident, and intend to admit responsibility in my statement. From what I've read it appears likely that I could be charged with careless driving. Given the circumstances is it your opinion that this is correct, and is it likely to be prosecuted in court, or via fixed penalty?

2) I genuinely believe that speed was not a factor in the incident (it was a 40mph limit and I was able to clearly state the limit at the scene to the paramedics and stated I was within this. I also believe if I was speeding I wouldn't be writing this). However I do fear that witnesses may have a subconscious bias due to the look and sound of my motorcycle. How much weight will witness testimony factor in a prosecution regarding speed if it does not have firm basis?

3) I need to purchase a new motorcycle and take out a new insurance policy to get back on the road, at the moment I have no points and the Police have not mentioned any intention to prosecute (the careless driving charge is just through my own research and conjecture). 3-4 points make a minor difference to my new quote but if I have a pending prosecution I'm not effectively able to get insurance (quotes shoot up to £5-6000). As I can genuinely say that I'm not facing prosecution at the moment, can I take out insurance on a new bike now before I give my statement and declare any points I may receive when they are issued? If they state they intend to prosecute and then wait for months I will effectively be off the road for that time.

I appreciate any advice you can give - I'm not trying to divert blame and feel really guilty for going into the other guy's motorcycle. I also had 3 days of excruciating groin pain and waiting for the paramedics to arrive not being able to move was a scary experience. But ultimately, I read the road incorrectly.
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post Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 10:29
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Jlc
post Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 11:06
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Yes, careless driving (falling below the standard expected of a safe and competent driver) would be the likely charge.

If they decide to prosecute then it can be dealt with in a number of ways - fixed penalty, course or straight to court. A course will normally only be offered if you effectively admit being at fault and are remorseful. Obviously, such ‘admission’ could impact any court case. You’ll have to see how they approach it but you will be entitled to duty solicitor; this is easiest if you attend the police station rather than them visiting you.

Careless, at court, is 3 to 9 points - 6 triggering a revocation of your licence under new drivers act. Any (excess) speed could be considered an aggravating factor if shown to be relevant.

In terms of insurance you would have to declare the accident regardless and I think you know a prosecution is possible - did the Police make any such inferences at the time?

What’s the state of your current (?) policy?

This post has been edited by Jlc: Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 11:09


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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silverstar189
post Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 11:42
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Thank you for your reply. As my bike has been written off per the terms of the policy it will be cancelled. I need a new policy to ride again.

Causing an accident aside, I'm basically mortified that I've gone into another bike - I chatted with the other guy whilst waiting to get checked out and he was just happy that we were both okay, but I'm going to ask the officer when he visits if I can write a letter of apology regardless.

At this point I don't think it would be in my interest to dispute that I was at fault and I intend to explain why I collided as above and show remorse. So far the officer hasn't mentioned anything at all regarding prosecution - I've ran quotes declaring the accident which go through okay, it seems like the issue may be that I need to purchase insurance quickly now as if following the interview I receive a notice that they intend to prosecute I'm effectively uninsurable for the time I will be waiting for the case to be resolved. If I receive a 3 point / fixed penalty at the time I give my statement I can call the insurance company straight after and declare - although this will be a day or two after I took out the policy, it wouldn't misleading, as I genuinely don't know that I'm getting points at this stage?

This post has been edited by silverstar189: Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 11:44
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Redivi
post Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 12:17
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Your insurance policy probably includes in the terms and conditions that you mustn't accept liability

The guy may have been nice immediately after the collision but may not appreciate the apology if your insurance company exploits it to avoid payment
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southpaw82
post Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 12:27
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 12:06) *
6 triggering a revocation of your licence under new drivers act.

Not if he’s held a licence for 3 years as claimed.


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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silverstar189
post Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 12:34
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 13:27) *
QUOTE (Jlc @ Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 12:06) *
6 triggering a revocation of your licence under new drivers act.

Not if he’s held a licence for 3 years as claimed.



Sorry, to clarify I've held my full license for 3 months and obtained my cbt for 7 months.

I can't do anything about apologising to the other rider at the scene, but would writing a letter of apology affect the insurance company's payout to the third party? I've admitted liability to the insurance company alresdy.
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Slapdash
post Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 12:59
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Irrespective of how bad you feel about it all do not apologise to the other party.

You can do nothing about what you have already said but you do not need to dig.

This post has been edited by Slapdash: Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 13:00
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cp8759
post Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 15:49
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The outcome you want to aim for is a driver improvement course, which would mean no points and and no fine (although you'd obviously have to pay for the course, which I believe is around £90-£100 and you'd have to spend the better part of a day attending the course itself). As mentioned above, courses are normally offered where the party at fault immediately accepts responsibility and shows remorse. I would therefore recommend you follow the approach you have already indicated, admit fault, express remorse and a driver improvement course is a likely outcome.

If they go for a Fixed Penalty Notice, the points and fine are by definition "fixed" so you can't really make things worse by following this approach.

In the very unlikely event it goes to court (which would likely happen, for example, if you were to put forward some cock and bull story to shift blame onto someone else), the courts can (and often will) give credit for an early admission of fault / remorse, so this approach would help minimise the likely sentence.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
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Churchmouse
post Sun, 17 Jun 2018 - 22:13
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QUOTE (silverstar189 @ Sat, 16 Jun 2018 - 11:29) *
3) I need to purchase a new motorcycle and take out a new insurance policy to get back on the road, at the moment I have no points and the Police have not mentioned any intention to prosecute (the careless driving charge is just through my own research and conjecture). 3-4 points make a minor difference to my new quote but if I have a pending prosecution I'm not effectively able to get insurance (quotes shoot up to £5-6000). As I can genuinely say that I'm not facing prosecution at the moment, can I take out insurance on a new bike now before I give my statement and declare any points I may receive when they are issued? If they state they intend to prosecute and then wait for months I will effectively be off the road for that time.

Not the best introduction to the world of motorcycling...

When you "propose" a policy of insurance you have to truthfully answer all of the questions you are asked, but you do not need to volunteer any information (this used to be the case, and some people think it still is). If asked about previous accidents, claims, prosecutions, etc., you need to answer those questions truthfully. But, you may not be asked about anything else, so you may indeed be able to obtain a new insurance policy on a new bike without committing insurance fraud. However, after you take out the new policy, the terms and conditions of that policy may require you to inform your insurer whenever you have been convicted of certain serious offences, or at the very least you will be asked about motoring convictions when you propose to renew the policy. As a result, they may decide not to renew. But check your (new) policy's exact wording, as there is no such thing as "standard wording" in an insurance policy. Good luck.

--Churchmouse
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Stoofa
post Mon, 18 Jun 2018 - 09:23
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Just to echo the bit about shopping around to find the insurance company that do not ask the questions you don't want to answer.
Obviously, as the experts above said, you cannot lie on an insurance proposal - well you can, but it all gets very messy if you are ever found out.
A friend of mine has a criminal record and you wouldn't believe how much that adds to his car insurance, when he can find one that will take someone on with a criminal record (it's not motoring related, but that doesn't seem to bother the insurance companies).
After much research he found a couple of insurance companies that don't ask the "Do you have an unspent criminal conviction" question (or presume you don't - as per wording of the T&C's).
He can now get sensible insurance - his record becomes spent in 18 months time so he'll be open to more options then, but you can find those companies that won't ask the questions you'd prefer not to answer.
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flexeh
post Mon, 18 Jun 2018 - 15:47
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Just so we can see what you thought you saw.. What road and set of lights did it happen on? Can you post the GSV link.
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notmeatloaf
post Mon, 18 Jun 2018 - 20:14
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It would probably be a good idea to speak to a specialist motorcycle broker as they tend to know exactly which insurers either don't ask or don't heavily weight for your circumstances.


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My username is notmeatloaf because I'm not made of meat loaf. I hope that clarifies things.
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Logician
post Tue, 19 Jun 2018 - 00:21
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QUOTE (Stoofa @ Mon, 18 Jun 2018 - 10:23) *
A friend of mine has a criminal record and you wouldn't believe how much that adds to his car insurance, when he can find one that will take someone on with a criminal record (it's not motoring related, but that doesn't seem to bother the insurance companies).


There is a high correlation between being convicted of the more serious motoring offences and other criminal activity, so that makes sense from an underwriting perspective. Plus of course the possibility of insurance fraud.



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