On 28th June 2003, on A675 near Abbey Village, Lancashire, Mr Chadwick was riding a Suzuki travelling away from the village when he was hit by a Kawasaki ridden by Mr Barber who at the time was on the opposite side of the road on the brow of a hill entering a left hand bend.

Mr Odgen who was riding a Yamaha and following the Kawasaki was also injured.

The Suzuki rider Chadwick and the Yamaha rider Ogden sued the Kawasaki rider Barber and another participant, Mr Higgs, who had been driving a Subaru ahead of the Kawasaki rider.

Before the accident, the Kawasaki tried to overtake the Subaru.

In response, the Subaru accelerated so the Kawasaki rider fell in behind.

On the next short straight section of road and before the solid white line, the Kawasaki attempted a second overtake.

Again the Subaru accelerated.

Realising he was running out of time, the Kawasaki rider dropped his speed to enable him to pull back in behind the Subaru, but was blocked by the Subaru who also decelerated. Unable to get back in, the Kawasaki rider came over the brow of the hill on the opposite side and ran into the Suzuki rider.

The Yamaha came over the brow of the hill and collided with the Suzuki. The Subaru kept going but stopped a short distance away.

At the Civil trial, the Judge found the Subaru driver 80% to blame and the Kawasaki rider 20% to blame.

In finding the Kawasaki rider 20% to blame, the Trial Judge observed that the Kawasaki rider knew of the Subaru driver’s dangerous reaction to an attempt to overtake and should have waited to overtake at a later opportunity.

He should not have embarked on the second overtake approaching the hill and a bend at speed. The decision was upheld on appeal. Interestingly, the Subaru driver was prosecuted for Dangerous Driving but was acquitted!

Car Driver 80% to blame       Motorcyclist 20% to blame

Please have a look at more decisions below. Remember, no two cases are the same: your case is unique, the accident circumstances are unique and each case is fact sensitive.


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