A recent Court of Appeal case has highlighted the basic principle of negligence that a claim for personal injury can only arise out of the fault of another.
In Elson v Stilgoe  EWCA Civ 193, the Court of Appeal rejected the appeal of a cyclist who was injured when he veered into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The cyclist tried to argue that there was a duty on motorists to modify their driving if a cyclist is in the vicinity of their vehicle, and therefore may change direction and come into the path of the vehicle. This contention was, unsurprisingly, dismissed.
The Court of Appeal upheld the finding of fact by the judge at first instance that the defendant driver had been driving perfectly properly at the time of the collision. The fact that the cyclist had veered into the path of the defendant’s vehicle, and a collision ensued, did not mean that the defendant’s driving had fallen below the standard of care expected of him.
This decision should bring it home to potential claimants, that their claim will only succeed if another was at fault, and the allegation of fault must be proven, with evidence, by the claimant. This principle can of course leave victims of accidents uncompensated, whose only recourse may then be to private medical cover (if existing).
It is important that potential claimants instruct reputable solicitors at the first opportunity, so that evidence regarding the circumstances of any collision or incident can start to be collated.
If you require advice as to your prospects in pursuing a personal injury claim, then please contact either Hannah Young or Lynne Quarmby, both personal injury specialists, on 01234 270600 for a no-obligation discussion.