What the law says

Breach of Duty of Care

In many road traffic accidents it is clear that a duty of care exists between parties. What is often the cause of the argument is whether or not the actions of the parties were sufficient to meet that duty of care. In order to determine this, the court has to firstly define the standard of care which should have been met by the parties.

What is the Standard of Care expected?

The standard of care consists of the actions an ordinary, reasonable, prudent person would have taken in the circumstances. The exercise of reasonable care is not the same as perfect care and the standard should take into account factors such as whether one of the parties is a child, a professional or has a disability.

Breach of Standard of Care

In certain cases, charges will be brought against a party due to their actions and a conviction will be obtained. However, a conviction should be viewed as evidence in support of a claim rather than a conclusive liability verdict as it may not exclude the possibility of contributory negligence being found against any of the parties involved.


Filtering through stationary or slow-moving traffic is not illegal and it is a skill learned by motorcyclists during their basic training. Road users need to be aware that motorcyclists filter and they should be taking all necessary action to avoid colliding into a motorcyclist who is safely filtering through the traffic.

This is why you need to instruct a solicitor who has extensive experience in dealing with these sort of accidents.

Examples of case law*
involving filtering


If you are found to be speeding, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot make a claim but it can result in a reduction of the compensation award that you may receive.

Witnesses will often make assumptions about speed based on what they have heard rather that what they have seen. You therefore need to instruct a solicitor who can effectively challenge any evidence of speed that has been raised against you.

Examples of case law*
involving speed


Should you choose to make headway through the traffic by undertaking or filtering on the inside of the stationary or slow-moving traffic and then become involved in a collision with another vehicle, the consequences of your manoeuvre can have a serious impact on your claim.

You need to instruct a solicitor who is familiar with the caselaw dealing with accidents arising out of these circumstances.

Examples of case law*
involving undertaking

*Please remember that no two cases are exactly the same, each case is unique and is based on it’s own set of circumstances and available evidence.