Motorway Accident Claim *
Motorway accident claims * occur when another driver causes an accident on a motorway which leads to an injury to other people involved. Motorways give way to a higher risk of road traffic accidents * and serious injury due to their marginally higher speed limits and large traffic volume. This large volume of traffic may also give rise to multi-vehicle accidents if an accident happens at rush hour, for example.
Motorways are used by thousands of people throughout Ireland on a daily basis. They are generally a safe means of transport but accidents can happen for a number of reasons. Driving on a motorway can be different from driving on other roads due to the high speeds and volume of cars on the road. It is important that all drivers follow the rules of the road at all times to reduce the risk of accident and injury * to both themselves and other road users. As a road user, you have a duty of care to ensure that you follow the rules of the road and do not act in a negligent manner. If you have been involved in a motorway accident that was the fault of another party you may be able to make a claim for damages and injuries you sustained *.
If it is shown that somebody did not adhere to these rules then they may become automatically liable for the accident.
Types of Motorway Accidents *
There are many types of motorway accidents all of which can lead to serious and at times fatal injuries. Making a claim against the party of fault essential means claiming against their insurance, hence why it is essential that insurance and contact details are taken at the scene where possible. Some common types of accidents are:
Where an accident happens on a busy motorway, this could cause a chain reaction whereby the proceeding cars behind the accident may not have enough time to react to the situation and could end up causing a multiple vehicle accident *. These type of crashes are also known as concertina collisions .
Overtaking Accidents *
Where a person overtakes one or more vehicles without checking if safe to do so they could cause an accident. Accidents have been known to happen when a person overtakes another person on a bend without knowing what around that corner and they have enough room to do so. Undertaking (using the inside lane) is also a dangerous act as may lead to an accident. In both cases, over and undertaking, the driver who committed the act may be held liable for the accident.
Speeding or tailgating accidents *
Speeding and driving to close to the car in front of you means that you are not keeping a safe distance from other drivers. In cases where the driver in front of you has to stop suddenly, the driver behind may cause an accident as they have not given themselves enough room and time to slow down.
Trucks and other heavy goods vehicles (HVGs) present their own set of risks when travelling on a motorway. Crosswinds, if strong enough may tip the vehicle over and if they are speeding they may be held liable for the accident in this case.
Where drivers do not head roadwork warning signs and fail to slow down they can cause car crashes and injury other road users as well as the workers who are working on the motorway.
Vehicles with faulty break lights, head lights or indicators
Driving with faulty lights on your car is a dangerous act. If driving at night and the car in front of you does not have working taillights, if they have to stop the car in front is not given any warning and an accident may occur. The same can be said for cars who’s indicators or headlights are not working. In these cases, the car in front may be held liable for the accident.
- Broken bones and fractures *
- Whiplash *
- Head and Brain Injury *
- Spinal Damage *
- Fatalities *
- Nerve Damage *
The speed limit on a motorway is 120km/h. As this is already a high speed driving faster than this is dangerous. Speeding is one of the most common causes of road traffic accidents *.
It is three times more likely that an accident caused by driver fatigue will lead to a fatality. If you are tired it may be dangerous to get behind the wheel of a car. The RSA have an initiative in place to help overcome this issue. This initiative is Stop, Sip, Sleep. If you become tired while driving you should stop in a safe place, sip a caffeine drink and sleep for approximately 15-20 minutes. If you sleep for longer than this you may become more tired. You should also get some fresh air to wake yourself up.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
It is very dangerous to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This not only puts your own life at risk but also the lives of others. The legal limits for alcohol are 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood for fully licenced drivers and 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood for novice drivers.
Tailgating is the name given to driving too closely behind the vehicle in front. This can be very dangerous as you will not have enough braking distance to stop which may lead you to crash into the vehicle in front. You should make sure that you are at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front to give yourself enough braking distance.
Debris and hazards on the road
You should always be attentive of debris and hazards on the road. You may need to change lanes in order to avoid these obstacles. You should not try to move these hazards yourself as this can be dangerous due to the high speeds that cars travel at on the motorway.
Poor driving and weather conditions
Poor weather conditions can make it harder to drive on the motorway. Rain and snow can make road surfaces slippery so it is advised that you drive at a slower speed. You should also keep a larger distance between your vehicle and the one in front. This should be a distance of at least four seconds.
Making a Claim *
If you have been involved in any type of motorway accident * there are certain details which you should obtain and steps to take:
- Call the Gardaí and ambulance services immediately.
- Obtain contact details and details of insurance companies of those involved.
- Pictures of the scene of the accident, if possible.
- Details of both those involved any witnesses present at the time.
- Seek medical attention, even if your think your injury is minor, minor injuries may develop into more serious conditions if left untreated. You will also need a medical report relating to the injuries you sustained when making your claim.
- Receipts from any expenses and losses as a result of the car accident *.
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