The Court says a lorry is a potentially dangerous machine on the road
March 2, 2017
A cyclist sustained significant injuries when she was hit by a lorry. The lorry had been stationary in traffic, intending to turn left, and was straddling two lanes of traffic. As its driver began his turn, the cyclist began to pass him on his left and collided with the lorry.
The judge at the 1st trial decided the lorry driver was mostly to blame. He did not do enough to make sure it was safe to turn left. Had he done so, he would have been able to see the cyclist approaching from behind him before he turned.
The cyclist was 30% to blame. Had she been acting ‘carefully’, she would not have tried to “undertake”. The lorry’s indicators would not have been visible to her as she approached.
The insurers for the lorry appealed to the higher court, the Court of Appeal. On 28 February 2017 they argued the cyclist’s award should be overturned, or reduced as she was more to blame. The appeal was dismissed.
One of the judges added as a useful reminder “[the lorry] was potentially a very dangerous machine. Its size and bulk were such that, in the event of collision, it constituted a very serious danger to a person in the position of the claimant.’
Drivers can be too ready to blame injured cyclists for putting themselves in dangerous positions but this case is a reminder that the Court will not ignore the fact that cyclists are the more vulnerable of the two and drivers do need to take care to look out for them.
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.