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Vulnerable road user accident compensation claims solicitors

Accidents involving vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, are unfortunately all too common. If you or a loved one has been involved in such an incident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. At Stephensons, we specialise in handling vulnerable road user accident claims and are here to guide you through the process. In this comprehensive guide, we'll provide you with all the essential information you need to know about making a successful claim.

Let's explore how individuals classified as vulnerable road users can initiate a compensation claim. The term "vulnerable road users" refers to individuals on the road who face a higher risk of sustaining severe injuries compared to other road users. In January 2022, significant amendments to the highway code were implemented. These revisions aim to enhance the safety of the most susceptible road users and place increased accountability on individuals operating vehicles with the potential to inflict severe injuries.

While anyone has the freedom to initiate their personal injury claim independently, enlisting the assistance of a vulnerable road user accident solicitor can prove significantly advantageous. In this regard, our personal injury solicitors can represent you on the basis of a no win no fee agreement, which serves as a means to finance your legal representation for the claim.

 

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What is a vulnerable road user?

In the realm of road safety, the term "vulnerable road user" is of paramount importance. It refers to individuals who lack the protective shell that a motor vehicle provides, leaving them exposed to the inherent dangers of our roads. In the United Kingdom, pedestrians and cyclists are often at the forefront of this classification, as they are typically considered the most vulnerable among us.

The rules of the highway code have long served as a foundation for safe road use in the UK. All road users are expected to adhere to these standards, which encompass the skills and care expected of the average motorist. However, recent guidance has shed new light on the responsibilities of those operating vehicles with the potential to cause the most harm or damage.

The emphasis has shifted, placing extra weight on the shoulders of individuals behind the wheels of these vehicles. While every road user is obligated to act in a manner that reduces the risk of harm to others, the duty of care is no longer distributed evenly. Those handling vehicles with the capacity to cause the greatest harm now bear the greatest responsibility.

In this changing landscape of road safety, innovative recommendations have emerged, aimed at reducing the risks associated with vulnerable road users. One such recommendation is the "dutch reach" method for opening car doors. This simple yet effective approach requires the motorist to use the hand furthest from the door to open it. By doing so, the driver is compelled to turn and check for oncoming cyclists or pedestrians before swinging the door open, significantly reducing the risk of collisions and potential harm.

As our roads continue to evolve and accommodate a growing variety of users, it becomes increasingly critical to protect the vulnerable. By understanding the concept of vulnerable road users and embracing new safety measures like the "dutch reach," we can collectively work towards a safer, more inclusive road environment for everyone.

What is a vulnerable road user accident claim?

Vulnerable road user accident claims play a pivotal role in ensuring that individuals who find themselves at increased risk due to their vulnerability on the road receive the compensation they deserve for injuries caused by negligence. These claims encompass a wide range of accident scenarios, each highlighting the need for accountability and justice in our road safety system.

Pedestrian accidents

A common scenario involves pedestrians being struck by vehicles, often at busy junctions. In these cases, pedestrians are particularly vulnerable, and claims seek to compensate them for injuries sustained due to the negligence of vehicle operators.

Zebra crossing and junction incidents

Negligence can also manifest when motorists fail to stop at designated pedestrian crossings, such as zebra crossings, or when pedestrians are in the process of crossing at junctions. Vulnerable road users in these situations may find themselves in harm's way, leading to accident claims seeking compensation for their injuries.

Cyclist collisions

Vulnerable road users extend to cyclists, who can be involved in accidents when motorists overtake on the left or engage in risky manoeuvres that result in collisions. Accident claims in such cases aim to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Horseback rider accidents

The safety of horseback riders is a growing concern. Vehicles, including motorcycles and cars, may fail to maintain a safe distance when overtaking, leading to collisions with the horse and causing the rider to be thrown to the ground. Accident claims serve to address the physical and emotional consequences faced by the riders.

Hazardous road conditions

Sometimes, the road itself becomes a source of danger. Uneven road surfaces, such as potholes, can create hazardous conditions. These conditions may lead to accidents where vehicles swerve uncontrollably, potentially colliding with cyclists travelling along dedicated cycle paths. Vulnerable road user accident claims in these instances highlight the responsibility of road authorities to maintain safe road conditions.

It's important to note that this list is not exhaustive. Various other circumstances may arise where larger road users fail to adequately consider the presence of vulnerable road users, thereby increasing the risk for these groups.

In the pursuit of safer roads and just compensation for those who have suffered due to negligence, vulnerable road user accident claims serve as a critical mechanism for holding individuals and entities accountable and promoting road safety for all.

Road priority rules under the new highway code

The latest revisions to the highway code have brought about several important changes and directives concerning the right of way and safe passage for various road users:

  • Drivers are now required to maintain a minimum distance of one and a half metres when overtaking cyclists while travelling at speeds of 30mph or below. At higher speeds, an even greater distance should be provided for the safety of cyclists.
  • When passing horse riders who are travelling at speeds of 10mph or slower, motorists must allow a generous clearance of at least two metres. This measure ensures the safety and comfort of both the riders and the animals.
  • In cases where pedestrians are walking on the road due to the absence of a pavement, drivers should exercise caution and maintain a minimum distance of two metres from the pedestrians. Additionally, drivers should reduce their speed when encountering such situations to enhance safety.

Furthermore, noteworthy changes have been introduced regarding cyclists' behaviour at junctions:

  • In the absence of dedicated cycling facilities, cyclists are advised to proceed as if they were operating a motor vehicle. This may involve positioning themselves in the centre of the lane, provided it is safe to do so.

Additionally, the following rules regarding the right of way at junctions have been either introduced or clarified:

  • When a pedestrian is crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, it is incumbent upon other traffic to yield the right of way, ensuring pedestrian safety.
  • Drivers, motorcyclists, and cyclists must yield the right of way to individuals using zebra crossings and parallel crossings, reinforcing pedestrian safety measures.

If you are uncertain about whether you have a valid claim as a vulnerable road user, we encourage you to reach out to a member of our team for clarification and assistance. Your safety and rights on the road are of utmost importance to us.

Why choose our vulnerable road user accident claims solicitors?

Choose our vulnerable road user accident claims solicitors for their expertise in advocating for those at risk on the road. We understand the unique challenges faced by pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users. Our dedicated team is committed to securing the compensation you deserve, ensuring your rights and safety are upheld. With a proven track record of successful claims and a deep understanding of UK road laws, we are your trusted partners in seeking justice and support after road accidents.

How can our vulnerable road user accident claims solicitors help?

Our vulnerable road user accident claims solicitors provide invaluable assistance by navigating the complex legal landscape on your behalf. We handle all aspects of your claim, from gathering evidence to negotiating with insurers, ensuring you receive fair compensation for injuries and losses.

Our expertise in road safety laws and dedication to your case will ease the burden and stress of the claims process. We're committed to protecting the rights and well-being of pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users, offering expert guidance to achieve the best possible outcomes for your claim.

Who is the most vulnerable road user?

The most vulnerable road user is typically considered to be pedestrians. Pedestrians lack the protective structure of a vehicle and are completely exposed to the potential dangers of road traffic. Cyclists are also considered vulnerable road users, but pedestrians, due to their complete reliance on walking, are often regarded as the most vulnerable group when it comes to road safety.

Who is classed as a vulnerable road user?

Vulnerable road users are individuals who are at a higher risk of injury or harm on the road due to their lack of protection compared to those inside motor vehicles.

Common examples of vulnerable road users in the UK include pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, horseback riders, and individuals with mobility impairments who use wheelchairs or mobility scooters. These road users are particularly susceptible to accidents and injuries in traffic and are deserving of special attention and protection under road safety regulations and guidelines.

Can I claim for vulnerable road user accident compensation?

Yes, you may be eligible to claim compensation for a vulnerable road user accident if you have been involved in such an incident. Vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, often have the right to seek compensation for injuries and losses if the accident was caused by the negligence of another party, such as a driver.

To determine the validity of your claim and the specific process involved, it's advisable to consult with a qualified solicitor who specialises in vulnerable road user accident claims. They can assess your case and guide you through the necessary steps

How long do I have to make an vulnerable road user injury compensation claim?

The time limit for making a vulnerable road user injury compensation claim in the UK is generally three years from the date of the accident. This time frame is known as the "limitation period." It means that you have three years to initiate legal proceedings and file your claim.

Do I need a lawyer to make an vulnerable road user accident compensation claim?

While you're not legally required to hire a lawyer to make a vulnerable road user accident compensation claim in the UK, it is highly advisable to seek legal representation. Vulnerable road user claims can be complex, and insurance companies may try to minimise compensation.

How long does it take to settle an vulnerable road user injury compensation claim?

The time it takes to settle a vulnerable road user injury compensation claim can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the cooperation of the involved parties, and the willingness of the insurance companies to negotiate. In some straightforward cases, settlements may be reached relatively quickly, within a few months. However, more complex cases with disputed liability or severe injuries may take significantly longer, potentially extending to a few years.

Contact our vulnerable road user accident compensation claims solicitors

If you've been injured as a vulnerable road user, our experienced solicitors are here to assist you in making a compensation claim. Contact us today to ensure your rights are protected, and we'll guide you through the process to secure the compensation you deserve. Your well-being is our priority. Call us on 0161 696 6235.

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