How the Vulnerable User Law Protects Bicycle and Pedestrian Accident Victims

Free Case Evaluation

A Washington Personal Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Compensation If a Negligent Driver Violated the Vulnerable User Law 

Bicycle riders, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users face many dangers. Currently, our state is one of only 12 in the U.S. that enacted a Vulnerable User Law (VUL) to protect them. Also referred to as Vulnerable Road User (VRU) laws, negligent motorists may receive more severe penalties if their actions cause serious injury or death.  

If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident or a bicycle accident, you may deserve compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The dedicated team at Max Meyers Law understands the importance of compiling significant evidence to prove wrongdoing and will advocate for your rights and fight for what you need to pick up the pieces of your life. 

Understanding Your Rights Under Washington's Vulnerable User Law

RCW §46.61.526 makes it a criminal offense to drive in a negligent manner that endangers or is likely to endanger an individual or property. Under the law, a vulnerable user includes the following:  pedestrian-one-way-street-sign

  • Bicycle rider
  • Pedestrian
  • Scooter rider
  • A user of an electronic personal assistive device like a wheelchair
  • An individual riding a horse or other animal
  • Motorcycle rider 
  • A driver of a farm tractor or other farm equipment 

Motorists must exercise caution and vigilance around VRUs, ensuring their safety and well-being. Additionally, drivers can be found guilty of endangering or threatening to endanger VRUs if they: 

  • Fail to yield. This includes at an intersection, a four-way stop, or a highway entrance.
  • Follow too closely. A motorist could also breach the VUL by crowding or tailgating.
  • Pass a bicycle. When going around a rider on a single-lane road, a driver must leave at least three feet of space between their vehicle and the bike if possible.

VUL violations are defined as “negligent driving in the second degree.” Significant penalties exist for them, including but not limited to a $5,000 fine, driver's license suspension, community service, and mandatory traffic school participation.

How Max Meyers Law Upholds VUL Violations in Your Pedestrian or Bicycle Accident Claim

If you've suffered injuries as a pedestrian, cyclist, or other vulnerable user due to a negligent motorist’s actions, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. However, you’ll need the help of a skilled personal injury attorney at Max Meyers Law to prove how the driver violated this law. Because we understand the legal complexities of pedestrian and bicycle collisions so well, here’s how we can assist you in building a solid case: 

  • Collect the evidence you need. Crucial evidence to preserve and acquire includes the police report, traffic cameras, witness statements, a criminal case verdict, expert witness reports, medical records, insurance policies, and wage loss documents. 
  • Investigate the accident's cause. In claims like these, there are many circumstances to consider, so our team doesn’t hesitate to approach the accident from all angles. Was it due to distracted driving? An improper lane change? Facts proven by evidence help reinforce your case.
  • Value your claim. Our knowledgeable team also carefully evaluates how much your claim is worth to ensure that you obtain compensation for your medical wages, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damages in your restitution. 
  • Negotiate your settlement. We work tirelessly to negotiate fair compensation with the at-fault party's insurance company and utilize strategies to defeat an adjuster's arguments about the seriousness of your injuries. This approach makes a difference in your physical and financial recovery—here’s just one example of a settlement we secured for a mother and son hit in a crosswalk.
  • Litigate your case. If a proper settlement can’t be achieved through negotiation, we won’t hesitate to take your case to a jury trial if this is in your best interests. 
Post A Comment
Max Meyers
Connect with me
Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.