Bereaved family of motorcyclist secure settlement of claim

Matthew Claxson, a Partner in the specialist Serious Injury Team at Moore Barlow LLP, was instructed in an insurance claim by the widow of a motorcyclist who sadly lost his life in a road traffic collision.

The motorcyclist had been proceeding on a main road when the Defendant van driver negligently emerged from a side road turning right, against a no right turn sign, across the path of the motorcyclist resulting in a collision.  The motorcyclist suffered catastrophic injury, that despite being transferred to a Hospital Major Trauma Centre, were not survivable.

The van driver, who had misread his Satellite Navigation System, pleaded guilty to Causing Death by Dangerous Driving and at Crown Court was sentenced to 22 months in prison.

Matthew was instructed by his client to pursue an insurance claim against the motor insurer of the van driver on behalf of the Estate of the motorcyclist permitted under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 and for the Dependants under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

The motor Insurer of the van initially delayed making an admission of responsibility in the case requiring Matthew to attend the criminal Plea Hearing to take a note of the evidence presented.  When the Insurer finally made an admission of fault they then tried to allege a portion of blame against the motorcyclist alleging that he was overtaking at a junction notwithstanding the van had pulled out, turning right contrary to the road signage, onto the motorcyclist who was established on the main road with the intention of going straight ahead. Needless to say, this allegation was robustly and successfully resisted.

Matthew, following the initial admission of responsibility, secured from the insurer for the van driver an early interim payment representing reimbursement to the Estate of the payment for the funeral expenses and a further payment to our client representing the Statutory Bereavement Award.

Matthew then proceeded to gather evidence in respect of the client’s claim for loss of services dependency (those tasks that her husband would have done such as DIY, gardening, housework and similar) and for financial dependency (the part of her husband’s earnings and pension that she would have relied upon).  The case settled by way of negotiation with the insurer for a six-figure sum.

Matthew said “This was an entirely avoidable road traffic collision where the van driver was fully distracted by his satnav instead of watching the road signs and road ahead.  As a result of this distraction it has deprived my client of her husband and best friend. Through the insurance claim we have been able to piece together for our client what happened in this road traffic collision to cause the loss of her husband, support her through the legal process from criminal court to the inquest and eventually the civil claim where we secured from the insurer funding for our client to have a degree of financial security”. 

Matthew Claxson is a panel member of RoadPeace who are the national charity supporting people bereaved by road crashes, and campaigning for justice, rights and recognition for road crash victims, and road danger reduction.

If you have been seriously injured or tragically bereaved as a result of a road traffic collision then contact Matthew Claxson at Moore Barlow LLP on 07715 700 901 or

Moore Barlow LLP have offices in London, Richmond, Woking, Guildford, Southampton and Lymington.