Motorists Owe Cyclists a Duty of Care

Despite the fact that cyclists are more vulnerable than other road users, many drivers are impatient, uncaring and inconsiderate when it comes to cyclists in front of them. Under the general principle of negligence, all road users have a duty to take reasonable care and display reasonable skill to avoid causing accidents. This means that motorists must drive safely, keep a proper lookout, and avoid dangerous driving behaviour that could put other road users at risk.

The standard for judging whether a motorist is at fault for an accident is to consider what an average, competent motorist should have done in the same circumstances. For a claim to succeed, it will be necessary to show that a motorist was driving below this standard at the time of an accident, and that this breach of the duty of care owed to other road users directly caused an accident and the claimant’s injuries.  

There are many circumstances in which a motorist may breach the duty of care they owe to cyclists. Generally speaking, motorists must give cyclists precedence on the road if they are ahead of them. Drivers must take care to overtake cyclists safely, allowing sufficient distance between while doing so, and avoiding cutting them up when they pull in after overtaking. They must also avoid pulling out in front of cyclists at junctions, and must properly check their mirrors before turning off roads.     

Other specific examples of dangerous driving behaviour include motorists drifting into cycle lanes and hitting cyclists, and driving too closely behind them (tailgating), leaving a motorist insufficient time to stop if a cyclist brakes or turns, or otherwise distracting them and causing them to lose control and crash. Parked motorists may also be at fault if they open a vehicle’s door without checking the road properly and hit a passing cyclist. Inattention and driving too fast and/or aggressively are common factors when motorists hit and injure cyclists.   

Our firm has dealt with many cases where motorists have breached the duty of care they owe cyclists and caused an accident, and have successfully brought claims on behalf of the cyclists involved. Over the years, we have become experts at dealing with such claims. Find out more:

Hotel Guests Bitten by Bed Bugs

A number of press reports last week concerned a pair of friends who were bitten more than 200 times by bed bugs during a two-night stay at a Blackpool hotel. As is often the case with bed bug bites at hotels, their room appeared to be clean and tidy when they checked in, making it a shock to wake up in the morning with blood on the bedding and hundreds of bites on their arms, legs and bodies. One of the guests had to go to A&E when the itchy bites did not disappear, and was subsequently prescribed antibiotics and antihistamines to prevent an infection.

While council inspectors had found no evidence of a bug bug infestation just two days before the couple’s stay, the hotel acknowledged that it had received previous complaints about ‘bug issues’, but had effective procedures in place to treat rooms when bed bugs were identified. This indicates the problem that hotels face when it comes to bed bugs – the resilient blood-sucking parasites can easily be transported into a room by newly arrived guests, causing an outbreak which the owners are entirely unaware of and unable to prevent.

Once a single room is infested, hotel cleaning staff may inadvertently transport bed bugs to other rooms and areas of the hotel, potentially forcing an establishment to close for a period of time to deal with the problem. Eradicating a bed bug infestation will normally require assistance from a professional pest control company which can be a difficult and expensive process, with even small hotels facing bills running into thousands of pounds. Bed bugs have also become resistant over time to many widely used pesticides making eradication efforts even more challenging.         

The recent post-pandemic resurgence in travel and tourism is one of the main reasons behind Rentokil reporting a 65% year-on-year increase in bed bug infestations in the second quarter of 2023. If you or your children have been bitten by bed bugs while staying at a hotel in the UK, contact Bartletts Solicitors for free legal advice and to claim compensation for the physical injury, associated mental trauma and financial repercussions:

Accidents at Water Parks

Management and staff at water parks owe their visitors a legal duty of care, and must take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of guests being injured while visiting the premises. With many water parks featuring dozens of pools and slides spread across massive sites of 25+ acres, accidents occur on a daily basis, most of which are fortunately minor and not caused by safety failures on the part of the water park. However, some accidents cause injuries for which the water park operator can be held legally liable and obliged to pay compensation.

One area in which a water park may be responsible for an accident is when employees fail to supervise activities properly, for example, if there are insufficient numbers of trained staff on duty to monitor the safety of visitors effectively, and they fail to notice a safety risk resulting in a visitor being injured. This includes monitoring the behaviour of visitors to make sure they observe the rules and do not pose a danger to others, as well as providing proper instructions to visitors so that they know how to use the facilities safely.

Accidents at water parks commonly occur on slides and similar water-based rides. Slides must be well maintained and regularly inspected to check for safety flaws. Defective slides may cause visitors to be thrown off them at relatively high speed, potentially injuring themselves and others. Apart from pools and slides, water parks offer an ever-increasing range of facilities, including restaurants, bars, arcades, car parks and bathrooms, all of which must be maintained in a safe state by an efficient system of inspection and cleaning. Slipping accidents at water parks may be the result of maintenance failures, such as when a floor surface is left in a slippery and hazardous state by cleaning staff or spillages are not dealt with promptly.

If you have been injured in an accident at a water park through no fault of your own, contact our firm for expert legal advice from solicitors who have recent experience in personal injury compensation claims against water park owners and operators: