THE owner of a sports car who had to run after a lorry to complain to the “oblivious” driver about hitting him at a roundabout has been awarded £21,751 damages.
• Lorry driver Paul Garrett liable for crash but claimed to car driver ‘I didn’t see you’
• Mr Garrett claimed Jeffrey Cruickshanks had been undertaking in his BMW Z4
• Damages of £21,751 awarded to cover repairs, replacement vehicle hire and drop in car’s value
Jeffrey Cruickshanks’s BMW Z4 was damaged down the length of its offside in the incident in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, in September 2009.
Mr Cruickshanks, of Bellshill, told the Court of Session in Edinburgh that a tractor unit had appeared as a shadow from behind and hit his vehicle as it crossed into his lane, and then did not stop after the collision.
He said the tractor unit became stuck in traffic and he ran after it, climbed on and knocked on the window of the driver’s cab. He described the driver, Paul Garrett, as “being oblivious” to having hit him, saying: “Sorry, I didn’t see you.”
Mr Garrett’s insurer, Amlin UK, of London, disputed that he was to blame for the accident, arguing that Mr Cruickshanks had been “undertaking” the tractor unit.
However, Lord Bannatyne ruled that Mr Garrett was liable. The judge said Mr Garrett had not been an impressive witness and his evidence clashed with that given by a policeman, who said Mr Garrett had admitted at the scene that he was at fault.
In contrast, Lord Bannatyne had “no difficulty” in holding Mr Cruickshanks to have been credible and reliable in his account.
“His version of events seems highly probable - that Mr Garrett high up in his very large tractor unit, with the additional problem of blind spots in his wing mirrors, failed to see the small sports car in the left hand lane as he began his manoeuvre,” said Lord Bannatyne.
“Mr Garrett...failed to keep a proper lookout and moved from the right hand land to the left hand lane when it was not safe to do so. (Mr Cruickshanks) could do nothing to avoid the tractor unit...he was to no extent contributory negligent.”
Both sides in the case had agreed that damages of £21,751 for the cost of repairs, the hire of a replacement vehicle and a drop in the value of the car, would be paid on full liability, and the judge made such an award to Mr Cruickshanks.