Road Traffic Accident*

Merging Traffic Accident Claims*

Merging traffic accident claims* arise when a person is injured in a car accident* that is caused by the negligence of another driver as they are merging from one road to another or one lane to another.

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Where are Merging Lanes Commonly Found?

These merging lanes are common on motorways or ramps leading into a motorway and can also be found on a motorway where construction is present. The transition of moving from one road merging into another can be a tough task to handle if the driver is not concentrated and experienced. The bottlenose effect that merging roads create can increase the risk of a car accident*.

Common Injuries

Injuries suffered from a road accident caused by merging traffic* can be both physical and emotional. If a person’s quality of life is affected a legal remedy can be sought after for both this and any expenses incurred such as rehabilitation and medical bills. Some of the common injuries sustained from a collision include:

Causes

Poor Shoulder Design

Shoulder drop-offs that are too pronounced or sharp can lead to motorists losing control of their vehicle. This means that there is a possibility they will cross over into the adjacent lane causing a collision with oncoming traffic. Drivers may also incorrectly judge the distance between vehicles.

Medians

The median strip is the area between opposing lanes on a motorway. The purpose of medians is to separate motorists travelling in different directions to prevent an out of control vehicle to cross over. Medians that are implemented too low to the ground can pose as a high risk. Barriers can also be too rigid which results in a crushed vehicle. Furthermore medians are supposed to be reflective to warn drivers at night.

Improper Grading

It is the responsibility of the local authorities to maintain all roads to a high standard. Some parts of the road can erode away causing potholes to form. These potholes can fill with rain forcing the motorist to move out into the road to avoid it, which can cause a collision.

Motorway Construction Zones

Construction zones on nearby motorways carry risks to all road users. Lane changes, uneven pavement and poor visibility due to weather conditions can impact driver’s vision on seeing each other. Where motorway construction is present a 3 lane motorway may merge into 1 and where a negligent driver is on the road an accident may occur.

Other common causes that contribute to the amount of accidents caused by merging traffic include:

  • Merging too slowly from the on-ramp onto the freeway
  • Changing lanes suddenly without using signals
  • Crossing multiple lanes of traffic at one
  • Cutting off other vehicles abruptly

Multi-vehicle Collisions

Given the nature of the motorway and the speed of the cars, one wrong move by one driver could cause an accident which may involve multiple vehicles. In these cases, the person who caused the accident in the first place may be held liable for the car accidents. This will be determined when the accident is investigated to determine who caused the accident.


What to do after a road traffic accident*?

Following a road traffic accident*, whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after a road traffic accident*, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if any passengers or anybody else involved in the accident need medical attention. If you or anyone else involved has sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Gather all relevant information at the scene

    It is important that you gather all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    • Details of another driver(s)/people involved: name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number and vehicle insurance information. You can also offer your own information to the others involved in the accident.
    • Name and contact details of any emergency service workers at the scene – paramedic/Gardaí.
    • Take a picture of the scene and damage to all vehicles involved from different angles; this will help your solicitor understand how the accident happened.
    • If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident, such as CCTV cameras in a nearby shop, for example, you should try to obtain this footage.
    • Dash Cam footage – if you have any.
    • Record the time and date of the accident.
    • Weather conditions at the time.
    • Receipt for repairs of damage to your vehicle.
    • If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed the accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a road traffic accident claim*.
  3. Report the incident to the Gardaí

    Regardless of how minor or serious the road traffic accident* was, it is important that you call the Gardaí to report the accident immediately.

    For minor accidents, the Gardaí may tell you that they will not be attending the scene. In this scenario, the appropriate information should be exchanged. In these cases, it is also important that you visit your nearest Garda station to request that they take details of the accident and to take your statement about the accident.

    For more serious road traffic accidents*, where an ambulance has been called, the Gardaí may arrive at the scene to assess, take statements from the people involved and any witnesses.

  4. Contact your insurance company

    If you are the driver of the vehicle involved in a road traffic accident* it is important to inform your own insurance company so they have a record.

  5. Speak to a road traffic accident solicitor*

    If you are considering moving forward with a road traffic accident claim* for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with a road traffic accident claims solicitor* as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A road traffic accident solicitor* can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or Garda reports, where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist road traffic accident* solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your road traffic accident claim* it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of the party at fault – including their name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number, insurance information. If the other party left the scene and you were unable to get their details – don’t worry there are still options for you to pursue a case
    • If any emergency services attended the scene, and their details
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Details of your injuries
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
    • Details of any witnesses
    • If there may be CCTV in the area that may have caught the accident on tape
    • Hospitals/Doctors attended with your injury
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the road traffic accident claim* process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important document in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or Hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us progress your case.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your road traffic accident claim* will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or the person at fault reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your road traffic accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a road traffic accident claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a road traffic accident*.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the road traffic accident*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages

Material Damages

Material damage refers to damage caused to your personal property. For example, in a road traffic accident, the material damage would be the damage to your car.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases* is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident* to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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