As stated in The Highway Code, there are certain road users who are at most risk on the road. This includes cyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians as they are less protected on the roads than those in other vehicles such as cars, vans or buses. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident as a vulnerable road user, this guide could help. We’ll explore vulnerable road user accident claims and how you could seek compensation for your injuries.
Have you been injured in a cycling, motorcycle or pedestrian accident? If so and the accident was caused by another road user breaching their duty of care, you may be able to seek compensation. In this guide, we’ll help you understand whether you hold a valid claim and the evidence you may need to provide in support of your case.
Furthermore, we’ll look at what your settlement may comprise and how it may be calculated.
In January 2022, new Highway Code rules were brought into effect. We will explore how these new rules could affect your claim.
Although we have aimed to provide the information you need, please don’t hesitate to contact our team if you need clarification on anything mentioned in our guide. For more information, get in touch by:
- Calling on 0800 408 7825
- Filling out the online contact form.
- Speaking with an advisor on the live chat function below.
Select A Section
- What Are Vulnerable Road User Accident Claims?
- What Priority Do Vulnerable Road Users Get In The New Highway Code Rules?
- Do The New Pre-Action Protocols Apply To Vulnerable Road User Accident Claims?
- How The Pandemic Changed Transport
- Vulnerable Road User Accident Claims Calculator
- Contact Us
Vulnerable road user accident claims could be made if you can demonstrate that another road user acted negligently. There are three criteria that must be met in order to demonstrate negligence:
- Someone owed you a duty of care
- Someone breached the duty of care they owed you
- You sustained harm as a result
For example, the driver of a car may have been drinking while operating their vehicle. As a result, they may have crashed into a pedestrian walking on the pavement causing them to sustain multiple fractures and a severe head injury.
Alternatively, a car may have failed to pay due care and attention when pulling up to a set of traffic lights. As a result, they may have driven into the back of a cyclist causing them to fall off their bike and sustain a broken elbow.
If you have experienced a similar incident, call our team to discuss whether you’re eligible to make a personal injury claim.
What Is Classed As A Vulnerable Road User?
The Highway Code outlines road users who require extra care, including:
- Pedestrians, in particular children, older adults and disabled people such as those who have problems with their sight or hearing.
- Horse riders
The Code also stipulates that road users who have the potential to cause the most harm have a bigger responsibility to reduce the risk they pose.
For example, a deaf pedestrian may not be able to hear a car coming when they are crossing the road. Therefore, drivers should take extra care when approaching crossings to reduce the danger to pedestrians.
There have been multiple changes to the Highway Code rules that came into effect on the 29th January 2022. These new rules establish a hierarchy of road users based on their vulnerability on the roads.
The new rules aim to provide more protection to vulnerable road users by placing more responsibility on road users who have the potential to cause the greatest harm.
Drivers of different vehicles already have a duty of care towards other road users. However, the new rules state that drivers should show extra care to vulnerable road users.
There are various new rules that provide vulnerable road users with more protection. For example:
- Cyclists, horse riders and people driving a horse-drawn carriage should respect the safety of people walking in shared routes and spaces.
- Drivers of different vehicles are now expected to leave at least 5 feet when overtaking cyclists riding at a speed of up to 30mph and should give more space when overtaking at higher speeds.
- Pedestrians have a greater priority when crossing the road as traffic should give way to people crossing or waiting at a junction.
For more information on how the new rules might impact vulnerable road user accident claims, call our team.
What Is The Hierarchy Of Road Users?
The new Highway Code rules introduced a new hierarchy of road users. The hierarchy puts road users most at risk at the top of the hierarchy, whilst the road users who have the potential to cause the most amount of harm are at the bottom.
The less vulnerable road users include those in charge of vehicles and they have the most responsibility for taking care and reducing the danger they pose to others. In particular, drivers operating large goods and passenger vehicles, vans, minibuses, cars, taxis and motorcycles are advised to adhere to this guidance.
Furthermore, cyclists, horse riders and drivers of horse-drawn vehicles are particularly responsible for reducing the danger they pose to pedestrians.
If you’d like to understand how this hierarchy may play a role in vulnerable road user accident claims, get in touch with our team on the number above.
From the 31st May 2021, the Whiplash Reform Programme made changes to the way claims are made for whiplash injuries to passengers and drivers over the age of 18 sustained in vehicle accidents.
Under the new whiplash rules, you may need to use the government’s online portal to make your claim if your injuries are worth less than £5,000. However, there are certain road users who are exempt from these rules, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
For that reason, the pre-action protocols may apply to vulnerable road user accident claims.
If you choose to hire a solicitor, your solicitor will follow pre-action protocols if your claim is valued below £25,000 or if your claim is valued below £5,000 but can’t be made through the online portal as per the Whiplash Reform Programme.
The aim of the pre-action protocols is to try and settle the claim to avoid it going to court.
For more information, please get in touch with our team on the number above.
A report published by the Department for Transport exploring the impact of lockdown on reported road casualties in Great Britain highlighted the following:
- Road casualties saw a monthly percentage decrease of 68% in April 2020.
- Road deaths saw a 17% decrease in 2020.
- Pedal cyclist traffic increased.
- The average pedal cyclist fatalities increased.
Successful vulnerable road user accident claims may include general and special damages.
General damages compensate for the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity caused by your physical or psychological injuries.
Special damages allow you to seek reimbursement of any financial losses incurred by your injuries. They reimburse you for both past and future losses provided you have evidence, such as receipts, payslips or invoices that prove any losses.
Examples of special damages you can claim after a road traffic accident might include:
- Home or vehicle adaptations
- Medical expenses for treatment not available on the NHS
- Travel expenses
- Loss of income
In order to accurately calculate the value of your injuries, medical evidence may be used to determine how severe your injuries are and how badly they’ve impacted your quality of life.
Alongside medical evidence, a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) may also be used to help value your claim.
The table below provides example compensation payouts for different injuries using the JCG. However, please note the final amount of compensation you receive will vary depending on factors unique to your case.
|Injury||Injury Details||Example Compensation Figure|
|Pelvis and Hip Injuries||(a) Severe: (i) An extensive pelvis fracture involving a dislocated lower back joint and a ruptured bladder.||£73,580 to £122,860|
|Foot Injury||(f) Moderate: A displaced fracture of the metatarsal causing permanent issues and a risk of future surgery.||£12,900 to £23,460|
|Back Injury||(c) Minor: (iii) The person may have sustained a soft tissue injury that they fully recover from within three months.||Up to £2,300|
|Leg Injury||(c) Less Serious: (ii) Where there has been a simple break of the femur which did not cause damage to the articular surface.||£8,550 to £13,210|
|Knee Injury||(a) Severe: (iii) A less severe injury that causes ongoing symptoms such as pain, discomfort and limited movement.||£24,580 to £40,770|
|Neck Injury||(b) Moderate: (ii) Injuries might include a soft tissue injury and a severe disc lesion that results in cervical spondylosis.||£12,900 to £23,460|
|Ankle Injury||(d) Modest: Injuries might include a less serious undisplaced fracture.||Up to £12,900|
|Brain Damage||(e) Minor head injury with minimal brain damage.||£2,070 to £11,980|
|Mental Anguish||(e) A person may have a fear that death is impending.||£4,380|
|Achilles Tendon||(c) Moderate: Partial ruptures of the Achilles tendon or other significant injuries.||£11,820 to £19,770|
Vulnerable road user accident claims could be made if another road user breached their duty of care and caused you to sustain harm in an accident.
If you wish to seek legal representation, a solicitor from our panel could do so on a No Win No Fee basis. There are several benefits to consider when you hire a solicitor to represent your claim on this basis such as:
- No upfront fee to pay your solicitor.
- No ongoing fees to pay while your claim proceeds.
- If your claim fails, you won’t pay solicitor fees.
For successful claims, you will need to pay a success fee which is taken from your compensation as a percentage. However, the percentage is subject to a legal cap.
If you require more information on how a solicitor from our panel could begin working on your claim, an advisor could help. As well as assessing your claim to determine whether it has a chance of success, they can answer any questions you may have. So, why not get in touch with our team on the details below?
- Telephone: 0800 408 7825.
- Online form: Contact us by filling out the online form.
- Live chat: An advisor can address your queries using the chat feature below.
Featured Services And Resources
We have included some other useful guides that could help below. Also, we have included some useful external resources that you may find beneficial.
- Public Transport Accidents
- Cycling Accidents
- Car Park Accidents
- See the Reported Road Casualties In Great Britain: Provisional Estimates 2021 on the government website.
- Visit the NHS website for any medical advice.
- See the Road Traffic Act 1988.
We hope our guide on vulnerable road user accident claims has helped. However, if you have any more questions, please get in touch with our team on the number above.