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Accident caused by merging traffic compensation claim – Who is at fault?

Car accidents can be devastating, and you’ve been involved and injured in a road accident because of merging traffic, you may not be aware that you could claim compensation for your injuries. In many cases, depending on your injuries, and who is at fault, you may be able to claim for damages that will help you carry on after your accident.

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A guide to accidents caused by merging traffic

Merging Traffic Accident

Merging Traffic Accident

One of the most common traffic manoeuvres is merging into traffic, but it can also be quite dangerous. Depending on the temperament of the road users, the speed of traffic or a split second lack of concentrate, what should be a simple movement into another lane could cause an accident that has far reaching consequences. If you have been injured when a car merged into your lane, or when you merged into another lane, as either a driver or passenger, you may be able to claim merging accident compensation. Here, our definitive guide takes you through the rules on merging, best practice techniques and explains how to ascertain who is at fault for accidents. We also explain exactly what is required to make a claim for injury compensation for your merging injuries.

What to do if you are involved in an accident caused by merging traffic

Whether it is on a motorway or other road, merging traffic accidents can be scary, however, it is important to remember to gather all the facts, and the evidence of what has happened so that if you were to pursue a claim when you are ready, you have collected the important information needed to help strengthen your claim. If you have been involved in a merging accident, try and remember to gather the following:

The other driver’s details – It is very important that you take down the other driver’s details, including the make, model and registration of the vehicle, as well as all the driver address, name and telephone details. If a commercial vehicle is involved, then it is best to get company contact details as well.

Witness details – If other road users have witnessed the incident, which is highly likely in a merging traffic accident, then it is important to get their contact details too. They may be required to give a witness statement, and this could help your case.

Photographs – Whilst it may not cross your mind initially, you should take photographs of the scene, as well as visible injuries such as bruises, cuts etc as soon as you can.

Expenses documents – Whether it is receipts for prescription charges, or bills from physiotherapists, it is essential you keep all the proof of any out of pocket expenses you may have been subject to because of your injuries.

If you have any medical records or reports from after the accident, it would be wise to keep a copy of these too.

If you are in doubt about the evidence you have so far, or want to know if something you have can be used to strengthen a claim, then why not call our team. We will happily review your incident and advise on what you need to take a claim forward.

How to begin a merging traffic accident claim

To begin merging accident claims, all it takes is a phone call. We pride ourselves on making our service as stress-free as possible, and will be happy to take our time to explain the process in full before you decide on whether or not you would like to pursue a claim for compensation. Firstly, we will offer you a no-obligation free consultation, where we will ask you all about the incident and gather together the facts pertaining to your case. We can also arrange a local medical appointment, where a qualified professional will assess your prognosis, as well as detailing your injuries in full along with any other medical information you might need.

From here, we will be able to match you with the in-house solicitor that best meets your needs. We pride ourselves on having experienced professional, highly regarded solicitors at our disposal who specialise in many different personal injury categories. Once we have matched you with the best one to take your claim forward, you can be sure that they will work hard to secure the maximum level of compensation for injuries you have sustained as a result of merging traffic accidents.

The rules on merging traffic

Part of the Highway Code (rule 134) states that in turn merging is a recommended driving technique, but drivers should only do so providing it is appropriate and safe to do so. This action must be completed while traffic is moving very slowly.

When this rule is put into practice, generally, it is acceptable for the vehicle looking to move lanes to give way to those already in a lane.

However, the preceding rule (133) highlights how important it is to only proceed with a lane change with extreme caution, care and attention. Mirrors should be checked carefully, as well as the driver glancing sideways to ensure that other drivers or riders are not forced into changing speed or course.

Putting the rules into practice

Each driver will usually assess any merging situation as it happens, relying on common sense to assess whether it would be a wise idea to merge in turn, or alternatively whether they should prioritise vehicles in the lane that is already established.

A good example would be if traffic has slowed to a very low speed, and no vehicle would be forced to change speed by the merge, then taking turns may be the most appropriate method.

Sadly, however, in some cases, merging lanes can become somewhat of a tussle, with some drivers preferring to assert their own right of way by accelerating in the established lane. This will usually force the car trying to merge to speed up or slow down. This can lead to dangerous situations for other road users as well as the two drivers involved.

Accidents caused by merging traffic on the motorway

If you’ve been injured in an accident on a motorway involving a merging maneuver, then it is likely that you will have been travelling at a slightly higher speed than if you were merging on a road that is not a motorway. The faster you are travelling when merging, the more dangerous this move can be, and if you have been injured as a result of an unsafe merge that was not your fault, the likelihood is that you will be able to claim compensation for your injuries.

One of the most common motorway merge accident occurrences happens on a smart motorway. These types of motorway require different driving practices than those that require merge in turn maneuvres. If you are driving in a lane marked with an X in red above, then you are driving illegally. However, it is clear more education is required to ensure motorway drivers are all working to the same procedures, depending on the type of road they are driving on and the situation that presents itself.

A car merged into me, can I claim compensation?

Simply put, with an accident while changing lanes, who is at fault depends on who is seen to acting negligibly or dangerously. As there is a certain lack of clear direction within statute, often, each case is assessed on its own merits. Establishing fault in these circumstances will often involve assessing how reasonable the action of each driver is seen to be. If one (or even both) drivers are seen to have acted unreasonably and put other road users in danger, that will imply negligence, and therefore fault on their side.

An example of this would be as follows:

If driver A who was merging, did not give way to driver B, who was in the already established lane, and an accident occurred, the burden of fault would usually be on driver A.

However, if driver X was trying to merge into an established lane and driver Y was driving aggressively, and pulled ahead of driver X in order to assert their position, causing an accident, then driver Y would be at fault.

If neither driver gave way and the two cars collided, it could be found that both drivers are at fault.

If you are involved in a merging car accident and are not the driver at fault, it is highly likely that you would have a case for compensation, along with passengers in the car if they were injured. If you are not sure who would be seen to be at fault, then do not hesitate to call us. Ask us anything about merging accident fault claims, and we will be happy to help you find out if you could make a claim.

What can be claimed for after an accident caused by merging traffic?

There are several different portions of a claim for compensation after an accident in merging traffic. However, these boil down to a few categories, as follows:

Medical claim –Any medical expenses you will have incurred as a result of your accident can form part of your claim. Physiotherapy appointments, counselling sessions and prescription charges can all form part of a medical expenses claim.

Care claim – Similar to a medical expenses claim, but this must be submitted by the person who has had to care for you if you have required care at home whilst recovering from your injuries.

Loss of earnings claim– If you have been unable to work due to your injuries and have lost out on income because of this, it may be possible for you to submit a claim for loss of earnings.

Travel expenses claim– If you have incurred expenses for travel pertaining to your injuries – for example if you have had to travel to a specific clinic – then you may be eligible to claim for this.

General damages claim – This portion of your claim will attempt to compensate you for any suffering and pain you have encountered.

If you require any more clarification on what your claim will include, or are unclear on what is involved in proving your claim, then our team will be happy to advise you. Simply call us and we will explain anything you need to know.

The most common types of accidents caused by merging traffic

Whilst every accident is different, there are a few common types of accident that are more common than others. The most common questions we are asked, and the most common types of accidents are listed below:

‘A car merged into my lane and hit me’ – This is an extremely common complaint. If the driver merging into your lane was not paying due care and attention to the road, and the positioning of other cars, or was trying to merge at speed, then they may be found to be at fault and you may be able to claim compensation.

‘I was rear ended while merging’ – This is another common incident. If a driver is not watching the road carefully or speeds up when you are trying to merge, they may be found at fault for the accident. If so, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

I was injured in an unsafe lane change accident as a passenger – This is another common occurrence. If you were travelling as a passenger in a car that merged unsafely and caused an accident, and you wound up with injuries because of this, you may be able to make a change, as the fault was not your own.

Whether you have any questions about the ins and outs of a lane changing accident, whose fault an accident was, or would like to start a claim for compensation, then do not hesitate to call our team as we will be happy to explain how to get started, or answer any questions you might have.

How much compensation will I get after an accident caused by merging traffic?

It is extremely difficult for us to tell you exactly how much money you would likely to be awarded after a lane change accident fault in the UK, but we know that people looking to make a claim would like to have some idea of the sort of settlements that have been reached before. It would be remiss of us to provide this information without explaining that whilst the table below contains information as a guide amount, there may be intricacies within your case that could lead you to be awarded more, or less, than the stated amounts.

No two cases are the same, and for us to guarantee you a certain amount of money. What may seem like a small detail when it comes to your injuries can make a huge difference in terms of what compensation is determined to be appropriate.

If you do not see your specific injuries contained within the table below, or would like clarification on any of the information contained in the table, then it is wise to call our team, who will be happy to take you through a few questions to determine your injuries, then provide you with more information on the sort of awards you may receive as a result of your injuries.

Compensation for..Possible payout amountExplanation
Loss of benefits£5,000 - £500,000This will depend on the income you have lost as a result of your accident and injuries sustained within it. It is designed to replace the income you will have been found to have lost and is calculated using your current salary. If you perform a highly paid job, it is possible for your loss of benefits award to exceed the maximum stated here.
Anticipated Earning Lost£10,000 - £400,000This is a little more complicated than working out actual income lost. The award will be put together after review of not only your current salary but any future earnings, in order to provide you with compensation deemed to replace your future earnings while you are still unable to work whilst in recovery.
Suffering and Pain£1,000 - £200,000Your level of pain & suffering will be assessed and an award may be offered in order to compensate you for this.
Anguish (Mental)£3,550If it is deemed that you have suffered anguish mentally as a result of your accident, leaving you expecting the end of your life and/or fearing death, this may form part of your compensation.
Severe Neck Injury/injuries£34,575 - £112,750Whilst some neck injuries are common as a result of a merging accident, this is the severe end of the scale. Permanent spastic quadriparesis or incomplete paraplegia caused by injuries sustained in the accident are at the higher end of this scale. The ‘lower’ severe neck injury awards cover severe soft tissue damage, as well as very severe fractures and dislocations.
Moderate Neck Injuries£6,000 - £19,000Immediate symptoms in this bracket will usually be severe, often caused by fracture or dislocation. The lower level of this award is often given in cases where a pre-existing condition has been worsened or accelerated due to the accident.
Minor Neck InjuriesA few hundred pounds - £6,000The lowest awards in this category are of injuries that have been recovered from in a couple of months. The level of award offered in this category will take into account how severe the pain and the disability initially was, as well as the ability to work of the injured party. The medication required will also be taken into account when calculating the award.
Severe back injuries£53,000 - £122,350If damage to the spinal cord and/or nerve roots is involved, the award will likely be at the higher end of this bracket. Lower awards in the sever category include disc lesions, disc fractures and severe soft tissue injuries, that will cause chronic conditions.
Moderate back injuries£9,500 - £29,475Residual disability will be present at cases awarded the higher amounts in this bracket. Ligament and muscle disturbance that causes back pain and soft tissue injury are within the lower portion.
Minor back injuriesA few hundred pounds - £9,500This is awarded based on an assessment of the pain, severity, prognosis and medication required both initially and whilst you were recovering from these injuries. A prognosis for full recovery within the space of a few months is usually at the lower end of the scale.

No Win No Fee merging traffic accident claims

You may have seen the words No Win No Fee before, and it is true that many claims companies offer this service. The reason we do so is that we believe you should, no matter what your current financial situation is, be able to seek compensation quickly after an accident, and you should not be asked to pay any money upfront for doing so. In addition to this, we do not believe you should have to pay out of pocket for a claim that is not successful. When it comes to our claims service, No Win No Fee means exactly that. You will not be expected to pay for any legal fees pertaining to your case if it is deemed not to be successful.

This, we believe, benefits you in more than one way. Firstly, and most obviously, we will only take on cases that we believe to have a good chance of success, so you’ll know from the beginning that if we take on your case, we will be looking for it to come to a satisfactory conclusion. If we do not think your case will be successful, we will explain this to you, along with making you aware of the reasons why we think this way. When you hire a solicitor that charges by the hour, you’ll likely face legal bills regardless of whether your claim is successful.

The second reason we feel you benefit from the No Win No Fee Service is that you’ll know we will be working as hard as possible to secure the largest payout possible for your specific situation. We don’t just go for any award, we will be pushing hard for the highest claim award we can, as we know only too well how this will help you after your accident.

Why choose us as your claims service for a merging traffic accident claim?

Aside from our No Win No Fee service, which we believe offers you the best chance of getting high-quality legal representation no matter what your current financial situation is like, we also pride ourselves on our fantastic reputation amongst our former clients. A lot of the enquiries we receive come from word of mouth recommendations, and we feel there is no bigger compliment than this.

We have assisted thousands of injured people in thousands of personal injury claims, whether on the road as part of a merging accident claim, in a car park, after an accident at work, or in many other situations where they have suffered injury due to an accident that was not their fault. With this experience, we have built a reputation not only with our clients but within the industry as having a high success rate when it comes to compensation claims. Our professional and friendly team have been fully trained to deal with even the most sensitive of cases, and we pride ourselves on our ability to put you, the client, first at all times.

Call for free advice and to start a claim

Whether you have any further questions about making a compensation claim for a merging accident, or would like to start a claim with us, all it takes is a simple phone call to 0800 073 8804. Your call will be answered by one of our dedicated staff, who will be happy to take some details from you, and either answer your query or help you get started on a claim.

Whether you are left confused after an accident while changing lanes about who is at fault in the UK, want to find out whether any evidence you have collated after your accident is useful, or simply want to get started with making a claim, we will be happy to assist you. The earlier you begin your claim, the earlier it could be concluded, so do not hesitate to call us today, and we will get started on fighting for the compensation you deserve.

Helpful Links

Government’s guide to the highway code

The Government’s guide to road use for riders and drivers includes general rules, as well as advice on techniques pertaining to different road situations.

HSE road safety

The Health and Safety Executive has produced a page showing road safety legislation for road users. This particular page covers work-related road safety information.

LegalExpert.co.uk Car Accident Claims

If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, whether as a result of merging traffic or otherwise, our general car accident claims guide may provide you with additional information.

 

LegalExpert.co.uk Check out our Whiplash Compensation Calculator

Whiplash is one of the more common types of injury after a car accident caused by merging. This guide deals specifically with whiplash claims, offering information and advice for this specific injury.

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