Presumed Liability Case Study: Andrew McNicoll


Andrew McNicoll was a cyclist who was killed in a collision with a lorry on the Lanark Road, Edinburgh in January 2012. His family had to wait over two years for the criminal case to be concluded. During those 2 years, neither the bereaved family nor their lawyers were allowed access to the Police Collision Investigation reports or police officers who investigated the collision.


The Police investigation report was made available in August 2014 leaving only 5 months to go before a civil action would become time barred and would then have to be raised in Court. This means that any civil case raised on Andrew’s behalf is immediately under a restrictive time limit.


The current fault based system lends itself to increased litigation rather than addressing the issues of compensation for victims at an early stage with consequent reduction in litigation rates. This disadvantages all parties involved. Presumed liability on the other hand would encourage a fairer and more streamlined system with potential savings for the insurance industry, and considerably less difficulties for victims and the families of victims.


Andrew’s family has since started The Andrew Cyclist Charitable Trust, which was set up to make cycling safer in Scotland.


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