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First off, this is happening in France (although any advice is welcome).

Last December, as I was driving home on my motorbike, a car suddenly changed lanes and cut me off. Despite trying my best to avoid the collision, the accident occurred leading to the bike being severely damaged and me having a few bruises.

Fast forward 2-3 weeks during the Christmas holiday, I get a call from the expert sent by the insurance company. This guy is supposed to determine whether the bike can be fixed or not. Long story short, he tells me the damage on the bike leads him to say I was performing a wheelie when the accident happened and that I am thus responsible for it.

At this point, it might be worth saying that the road the accident happened on is very crowded and that a wheelie is not even practicable (if we set aside the fact that I can't even perform one). Also, the expert was evidently not present during the accident and only speculates on the circumstances.

Of course, I explained that his expertise is erroneous but he kept saying that I am the one responsible for the accident. I have a couple witnesses in addition to the other driver saying orally she was at fault.

Now I have discussed a lot with fellow bikers and it is pretty obvious the expert either is incompetent or simply lies to put the blame on me.

My question is: can I actually sue the expert for his wrong (and very questionable) expertise?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not into legal proceedings but I gave the expert many opportunities to revisit his (obviously wrong) assessment. His statement to the insurance company has been directly damaging (I have expenses that won't be covered by the insurance because of his nonsense) and I don't want such an incompetent (dishonest?) person being allowed to harm others.

This is not a question to know if I am accountable for the accident.

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No, you cannot sue the expert for his errors.

You can sue the insurance company for failing to pay out per the insurance contract. They will then introduce the expert's report as evidence, and you will contradict it with the following evidence:

  • your two witnesses
  • your testimony that the other driver admitted responsibility (this is normally an exception to hearsay rules - but beware, courts are unwilling to treat saying "I'm sorry" as admitting responsibility).
  • your testimony that the conditions made wheelies impossible
  • your testimony that you cannot perform wheelies anyway.
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    Presumably you could also hire your own expert, although this can lead to a "battle of the experts" in the courtroom – Paul Johnson Jan 18 at 15:55
  • Can I at least report him as "unprofessional" or "incompetent" to his peers or something along those lines? The insurance seems actually willing to pay as they don't seem to have evidence besides their (third party) expert. They even called him today to ask him if he maintains his version. – z3r0 Jan 18 at 15:58
  • @z3r0 I don't know. It depends on the professional organization he is a member of. The only legal aspect (and hence really the only part that is on-topic here) is "beware libel laws". – Martin Bonner Jan 18 at 16:01
  • Thanks for the advice. Also, I don't want to sue him for his "errors" but rather for lying. I might sound obsessed (not sure this is the right word) but I can't wrap my head around an expert honestly maintaining false accusations based on the sole damage of a license plate holder... – z3r0 Jan 18 at 16:03
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    @z3r0 You don't know that the expert lied. You know that his conclusion was incorrect. Experts often reach incorrect conclusions. It may well be that the nature of your damage is often seen with wheelies, but not this time. Saying that the expert lied if he was in fact honestly mistaken might well be defamation, and would be very hard to prove even if he did lie. – David Siegel Jan 18 at 17:37

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