The motorcycle accident
In the recent case of Kickbusch v Lehane & Anor  QDC 16, 14 February 2022 a motorcycle rider was injured in an accident with a truck and trailer. The motorcycle rider was injured and claimed more than $400,000 as compensation. The motorcycle rider claimed that he had been following the truck and trailer as it turned off Coronation Drive and right into Park Road. He said that he had been following the truck at it made the turn and that as the truck straightened the truck had kept to the left of the road and looked to be intending to proceed in that left lane. The motorcycle rider relied on that assumption and accelerated to overtake the truck when suddenly the truck moved across into to the right of the lane and caused him to crash. The truck driver defended the claim. He denied that he had suddenly moved across to the right and said that he was still in the process of straightening the truck after the turn when the motorcycle had tried to overtake. The Parties could not settle the dispute and the matter went to trial. The Court had to decide whether the truck driver was negligent and had caused the crash, or, whether the crash was caused by the motorcycle’s negligence.
What happened next
At Lian Hall Injury Law we see cases where a Court is faced with deciding what happened in a crash when both drivers have different versions of what happened, and, the accident happened many years before it eventually got to Court. In this case the Court relied heavily on diagrams and measurements of the scene of the accident and on evidence of the exact position of the vehicles when the crash happened. The Judge even visited the intersection to get an idea of the road system that was involved. The Court then considered photographs of the truck taken at the time of the collision. Significantly the truck driver had said in his evidence that he had never seen the motorcycle in his rear-view mirrors before the accident. In the end the Court decided that the truck had probably moved to the right and given that the driver had not checked his mirrors before doing so, and had he checked he would have seen the motorcycle, that he was negligent. On the other hand the Court also found that the motorcycle rider was also negligent because he had decided to overtake when he should have waited to be absolutely sure what the truck was going to do before trying to overtake.
What was the courts decision?
The Court assessed the relative fault of the drivers at: Truck Driver – 60% at fault; Motorcycle rider – 40% at fault. The Court then assessed the motorcycle rider’s compensation at just under $300,000, but took off 40%, and the claimant landed up with about $175,000.
What do to if you are in a mototcycle accident?
This case shows how difficult it is to settle claims when two drivers have completely different explanations as to how the accident happened and who is to blame. At Lian Hall Injury Law we strongly advise that if you are involved in a car accident that you:
- Never assume that the other driver will accept that the accident was their fault – even if they give such an indication at the time;
- Take photographs of the cars in the position where they land up after the accident;
- Make a note of the position of the point of impact on the road, and take photographs;
- If there are skid marks – take photographs;
- Get the contact details of any witnesses;
- Chat to Lian Hall Injury Law for advice on your claim. We are happy to chat on a no-obligations basis.