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VIC crashed while emergency braking on tram tracks... where do i stand

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by xa-mont, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Hey everyone,

    I had an accident 2 days before christmas where i was riding up Nicholson street in brunswick area and a driver pulled out directly in front of me from a side street. He came all the way out onto the tram track part of the road (so almost all the way to the center line)

    To avoid an accident i swerve slightly to the right (fron the middle of the tram tracks) and then applied an ample amount of brakes. As my front tyre hit the right tram track the bike fell out from under me instantly.

    I went sliding down the road as did the bike, but neither me nor the bike actually hit his car.

    I dont have insurance, and his car was a company car and his boss seems to be giving me the run around.

    My question is, do i have a leg to stand on in small claims court should i choose to take the driver there to try and recoup costs to fix the bike?

    I have a witness that will attest to him pulling out right in front of me and me having no other choice but to grab a handfull of brake.

    any advice (especially from someone who has been in a similar situation) would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Usually having not hit the car it will only be luck that see you through

    This however is very much on you side. Get this statement written down and an affidavit signed and witness. Then get a letter of demand to the company. There is proforma on this site.

    I'd say your chances went from 20/80 to 70/30 with the witness statement.

    Your not at the court stage yet. Letter of demand first, then if you don't hear from them in 14 days or get a refusal, then it's court time.
  3. btw I wouldn't be pushing the tram track angle too much. He could argue you wouldn't have gone down if it weren't for them and then it becomes messy.
  4. It's probably way too late to get the police to actually look at it, but you might consider letting the company think you are prepared to go down this path. They might consider it simpler to settle than get tied up in proceedings.
    A rep at my work brought down a bike in similar circumstances about a year ago. The cops did actually charge him even without a witness, and he did pay.

    Letter of demand (with signed affidavit from witness) next step, for sure. You're going to have to be a king size nuisance to make this worth their while.

    FFS get some insurance.
  5. I rang the police the day after to ask if there is anything i can do through them and they said that if no-one was injured badly (i only had a few grazes) then there is no point doing a police report.

    I would get insurance... if it wasn't rediculously expensive for my bike.

    I have my car/s insured, but paying $1700 a year for insurance on a $7-8k MAX bike is just nuts IMO.
  6. well unfotunately there is not much you can do
    You fell off whilst executing a braking manouevre tram traccks are only so wide yet you managed to slip on them whereas there is a metre of concrete/asphalt either side of that thin strip.
    Proper bike control is assumed at all times.
    Don't take this the wrong way as this is what an insurance assesor would say.
    Grin and bear it.
  7. Forget the tram tracks, don't even mention them,

    He pulled out in front of you, you had to execute an emergency braking maneuver, and went down as a result. Your witness saw it, get the statement, get it witnessed by a JP, and send a nice letter of demand as per the ones on the site with this information attached, requesting damages, or his insurance details.

    If you haven't read the letter, go take a look at it, in most cases it scares the piss out of most people and will save you having to do any more work than that.
  8. Depending on the size foof the company, they might have a legal team and the letter won't have the desired affect. Sounds like this will be a tough one to get something out of them. Good luck
  9. If they do have legal representation the letter may not have the psychological impact it does on the individual, but it will have an impact. A lawyer will be very much aware of it's legal implication and be aware that action has to be taken.

    Either way it is the next step. Without it they can continue to give him the run-around.
  10. wouldn't i be sending the letter to the actual driver of the vehicle though? as it was him who is at fault and him who i would be taking to court if it goes that far?
  11. $1700 on a $7-8k bike is nuts if you don't have any accidents or claims but this is an example of why you should have insurance. The insurance company would handle the claim and you would get it resolved quicker.

    Also $1700 isn't nuts if your bike gets totalled and you can't track the guilty party. Then you would have lost $7-8K!

    Always worth looking at the bigger picture.
  12. #12 Rusti_GotRage, Jan 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Incidentally, why is your insurance so high? I just bought my bike and I'm less than $500 for full comp insurance with an agreed payout of $11k!
  13. Yep it's up to him to sort out his arrangements with his company. doesn't mean the company won't see the letter and tell him how to proceed.
  14. At $1700 a year i could have an accident of the same level of damage of this one per year and just fix it myself, no hassle at all.

    If the bike was written off within the first 4 years of having insurance it would JUST be worth it.

    I assume my insurance quote was so high because i am 24... i have tried a few places and they were all similar prices (that was about a year ago now at least though, may give some another go now)
  15. I wouldn't pay that much for insurance for a bike worth that much. I'd just get third party property and take the risk on the value of the bike as parts. 5:1 is the worst I'd go but 7:1 is preferable.
  16. xa, I was in a similar position to yourself early last year - 19yo female licensed for 10 days pulls over to the left without indicating then immediately turns right into a driveway (also without indicating) right in front of me.

    I locked front and rear and slid down the road but stopped a metre short of hitting her. She of course denied all responsibility because I never made contact with her vehicle.

    My insurance paid me out except for the excess. They then sicced their legal department on to her and in December she finally relented and agreed to pay up.

    I recommend speaking to a legal office for further advice. You mention the accident was in Nicholson St - that's not far away from the Fitzroy legal service (cnr Brunswick and Johnson Sts) where you can get FREE legal advice - my son works there pro-bono most Friday nights.
  17. Do you have 3rd party property insurance? Some policies cover you if its someone elses fault and you identify them.
    I went through a long battle with a woman in a 4wd who backed into my car but didn't damage her car. Had comp insurance though and the insurance company did all the legal stuff. She or her insurance company backed down before the court case.
    Get legal advice.
  18. Best of luck getting some recompense xa.

    If you and your bike stopped before hitting the car sliding down the road, then you had time to stop whilst staying upright, regardless of how brain dead the driver was. A timely reminder for all (me especially) to practice their emergency braking in this annoyingly wet Melbourne summer we are having.

    twistngo - In my own policies, I've only ever seen that offered if the other party is identified, at fault, and has no insurance. Even then the maximum payout had a maximum somewhat less than market value.
  19. Have a look for a thread involving not4resale. His position was slightly different because it did involve an accident, but he was in similar situation as you with no insurance. He still managed to get them to stump up.
  20. Likely to be a mix of under 25, type of bike and the location of where it is housed and how it is housed.

    If the rider has a reasonably serious rap sheet or a history of accidents then this would also push it up. Although it seems rap sheets seem to do more damage than accidents even up to a certain limit.