In my last article I looked at the surprisingly common problem of being injured by a mobility scooter and having the considerable risk of not being able to recover any compensation for those injuries because it is not compulsory to have liability insurance for a mobility scooter. However I suggested that may soon change.
In this article I explain how a decision from the European Court of Justice following an accident to a farm worker in Slovenia in 2007 may result in mobility scooters having to be insured!
The famous (in legal circles at least) farm worker was Mr Damijan Vnuk (pronounced Vernook). He was injured by falling from a ladder that was hit by a trailer being moved by a tractor. This was on a private farm not a public road. He sued the motor insurance of the tractor. They denied the claim saying there was no legal requirement for insurance in this situation.
Without going into the considerable detail of the law of compulsory insurance the European Court of Justice said there was a need for compulsory motor insurance in this situation. They decided it was compulsory for any motor vehicle intended for travel on land and propelled by mechanical power in any location for any use made of the vehicle consistent with a normal function of that type of vehicle.
This dry legal decision might seem irrelevant to most people in their day to day lives but you might be surprised how widespread the affect may be. It may lead to a situation where it is compulsory to have insurance for your mobility scooter but also for your ride-on lawnmower, your child’s motorised toy car and things like forklift trucks even if these things are only ever used on your own private property and never go anywhere near a public road!
The effect of Mr Vnuk’s case is that the English Road Traffic Act 1988 is not compatible with European law. Every European member state must have certain laws compatible with European law. The Road Traffic Act 1988 is almost certainly going to have to be amended because of this decision.
If that happens a lot more people will be comparing the Meerkat for insurance for mobility scooters, go-carts, ride-on lawnmowers etc etc.
This may seem a bad thing for users of these things but no doubt the insurers will be spying a further source of income. More importantly however those people who are seriously injured or worse by this type of vehicle such as the many clients that have consulted me over the years may now have a means of receiving compensation that hitherto has been denied them.
Contact our serious injury claims solicitors
Bray & Bray have three main offices across Leicestershire, feel free to phone or pop in to talk to our solicitors about serious injury claims.