Do law courts favour bikers?
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06-05-2017, 01:33 PM
Do law courts favour bikers?
Hi,

A few years ago I had a road accident, between myself on a motorcycle and a bus coming around a blind bend on my side of the road. The result will be obvious to the reader.

Eventually the insurance case came to court.

During 6 hours in the courtroom I became aware that the female judge was doing a lot of nodding and smiling towards the bus driver, but was sharp with me. Then she said “You bus drivers do a wonderful job”. At that moment I knew that I was toast.

Towards the end of this session, the judge said to me, “Why didn’t you ride onto the pavement?” With a sinking heart I explained that a bike has only two wheels and would not mount a pavement at an angle, as a car would, but I realised that she didn’t get it.

This case was decided even before we went into court, as I could tell from my own barrister’s face.
She said, “Its about his job.” So, the legal position is decided not by the facts of the accident, but by the type of vehicle and status of driver?

Nice one.

D.
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06-05-2017, 04:21 PM
RE: Do law courts favour bikers?
(06-05-2017 01:33 PM)Dworkin Wrote:  Hi,

A few years ago I had a road accident, between myself on a motorcycle and a bus coming around a blind bend on my side of the road. The result will be obvious to the reader.

Eventually the insurance case came to court.

During 6 hours in the courtroom I became aware that the female judge was doing a lot of nodding and smiling towards the bus driver, but was sharp with me. Then she said “You bus drivers do a wonderful job”. At that moment I knew that I was toast.

Towards the end of this session, the judge said to me, “Why didn’t you ride onto the pavement?” With a sinking heart I explained that a bike has only two wheels and would not mount a pavement at an angle, as a car would, but I realised that she didn’t get it.

This case was decided even before we went into court, as I could tell from my own barrister’s face.
She said, “Its about his job.” So, the legal position is decided not by the facts of the accident, but by the type of vehicle and status of driver?

Nice one.

D.

That's bullshit. You should appeal.
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06-05-2017, 08:51 PM
RE: Do law courts favour bikers?
I'm the other kind of biker (human-powered bicycle), but we get the same thing. Cyclists in Wisconsin have been killed by people driving automobiles (not deliberately, but through clear negligence by the driver), who then got off with a minor slap on the wrist.

A few years ago, a woman here in Madison was passing a parked car, and they opened their door just at the right time to knock her off her bike and send her to the hospital. In her hospital bed, she was served with a citation for riding too close to the parked car.

Facepalm
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07-05-2017, 12:44 AM (This post was last modified: 07-05-2017 12:51 AM by Dworkin.)
RE: Do law courts favour bikers?
Thanks folks,

It is a strange feeling to realise that a law court is biased, kind of unnerving when we are in the seat. I imagine what it must be like for ethnic minorities or other people who are just not going to be believed by certain judges.

In my case the other side produced no eye witnesses, but I had a retired engineer who lived in a house right where the accident happened. In court he drew a picture of where the bus was after the accident (on my side of the road). Summing up, the judge said that we was not a credible witness.

I won't go on, there is so much of it. No

Appeal? No chance. This case was covered by my motor accident insurance and that is where it will end. It has helped to talk about it here, and process the feeling. The case was just three days ago!

D.

PS - There is one slight positive. While I received no compensation for my losses and injuries, the judge rules that there was "no fault" for me and "no fault" for the bus driver. Still trying to get my head around that one? At least it won't load my future insurance premiums.
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07-05-2017, 04:39 AM
RE: Do law courts favour bikers?
In Britain the law favours the cyclist and you can be a complete asshat on the road and totally get away with it.
Don't get me wrong I'm fine with cyclists so long as they ride single file and stop with the superior attitude that many of them have, they should remember its the drivers of motorised vehicles that pay for the roads they ride on.
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07-05-2017, 01:36 PM
RE: Do law courts favour bikers?
(06-05-2017 01:33 PM)Dworkin Wrote:  She said, “Its about his job.” So, the legal position is decided not by the facts of the accident, but by the type of vehicle and status of driver?

In my opinion bus drivers who drives on the wrong side of the road, thus endangering other road users and their passengers should not be protected from the consequences of their actions: if loss of a job is one of those consequences, let it be so.

[rant]Magistrates and judges in Britain seem to be reluctant to impose penalties on car drivers. There was a report in February in several newspapers of one man in West Yorkshire who was still legally driving with 62 penalty points on his licence (you can be banned for driving with 12 points on your licence). I really don't think anyone with that many infringements should be in charge of a supermarket trolley, let alone a motor vehicle.

The Independent
[/rant]

“I am not responsible for actions of the imaginary version of me you have inside your head.” - John Scalzi

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07-05-2017, 01:54 PM
RE: Do law courts favour bikers?
Re motorcycles, generally (at least where I live) the law tends to treat us fairly.

Bicyclists, on the other hand, get away with anything and everything.

If I, as a car driver or motorcycle rider, did half the stuff I see the majority (and yes, I do mean majority) of bicyclists do daily, I'd be fined, maybe lose my license and perhaps even do time.
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07-05-2017, 03:05 PM
RE: Do law courts favour bikers?
(07-05-2017 01:54 PM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  Re motorcycles, generally (at least where I live) the law tends to treat us fairly.

Bicyclists, on the other hand, get away with anything and everything.

If I, as a car driver or motorcycle rider, did half the stuff I see the majority (and yes, I do mean majority) of bicyclists do daily, I'd be fined, maybe lose my license and perhaps even do time.

Heath,

You're not wrong. On a motorcycle we are paying our way and taking responsibility for our every move on the road. Cyclists have a 'get out of jail card' and they use it. No number plates.

I also ride a mountain bike, but not on main roads. I just don't want that tailback of pissed off car drivers behind me.

D.
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07-05-2017, 03:40 PM
RE: Do law courts favour bikers?
Definitely appeal. The only part of that case that should have been about the bus driver's job would have been the bit where they determined if he was negligent. You do not want an incompetent in charge of the safety of others.

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07-05-2017, 09:04 PM
RE: Do law courts favour bikers?
Wait wait wait, let me get this straight (because I used to ride motorbikes). A bus came around a blind corner, it was obviously too big for the corner so had to cross the center line to make the corner, and you on a motorbike started going around that corner and hit the bus (because it was on the wrong side of the road) and it's your fault because, as a biker, you didn't "go onto the sidewalk"...

Like.. what the fuck... the bus crossed the centerline, instantly it's the bus's fault...
It's like reversing if you're reversing and you hit someone it's 99% of the time your fault.

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