Mitrasinovic v Stroud (2020) EWHC 914 (QB)

On 29 April 2017, Mr Mitrasinovic was riding his motorcycle on the A413, Lillingstone Road, Akeley, Buckinghamshire. The stretch of winding countryside road is subject to 60mph. The motorcyclist was riding with fellow members of the Spyder Motorcycle Club, based at Silverstone. He approached a left-hand bend and was positioned at the far right-hand side of the carriageway. A hedge, as shown below, blocked the view around the bend.

Mitrasinovic v Stroud - Left hand bend
The left hand bend from the motorcyclist’ POV

Ms Stroud was driving her Ford Ka and was about to navigate the bend from the opposing carriageway. As the two vehicles proceeded around the bend, a collision occurred.

The motorcyclist sustained significant injuries including multiple fractures to his right leg and a spinal cord injury. He required numerous operations during his 10-month inpatient stay.

The motorcyclist raised a claim against the driver for personal injury. He alledged the driver was “on or over” the central white lines. The driver argued the opposite in that it was the motorcyclist who encroached her carriageway.

Police evidence stated a straight tyre mark was present on the central white line of the driver’s carriageway.

Evidence was heard from Collision Investigators that the motorcyclist had entered the bend too quickly at around 40mph and attempted to brake to correct his speed. This had caused the motorcycle to lift and straighten rather than continue to follow the bend’s curve.

The Judge agreed with this evidence and put the collision down to a momentary error on the part of the motorcyclist with tragic consequences.

Motorcyclist 100% to blame                       Driver 0% to blame

As a result of the motorcyclist’s speed on approach to the bend and his subsequent attempt to brake and correct, he was unable to claim any damages despite sustaining life changing injuries.

The motorcyclist held a licence in the U.K, U.S and Croatia. He was an experienced motorcyclist but his speed on approach to the left hand bend was too quick. Many collisions occur on left hand bends particularly when a motorcyclist has taken a line toward the centre to extend vision. Observation is key and always have something in reserve in case the bend is not as it first appears.

To view the full judgement, click here.

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