When driving on a motorway or a dual carriageway, one of the most common manoeuvres drivers face is merging into high-speed traffic. Although this may sound like a simple task, if a road user were to merge into a lane negligently, it could cause a road-related incident to occur. If you have been involved in a traffic merging incident that was created by the negligent actions of another, then you might be searching for legal advice on how to claim compensation.
Here at Legal Helpline, we understand that a car accident of any nature can be a stressful and unfortunate event, and if you wish to claim the injuries you’ve endured, then you might have questions on how the claims process works. Within this guide, we shall provide those that have been involved in a merging traffic accident with relevant and beneficial information. If you reach the end of this guide and have additional questions, a member of our team would be more than happy to speak with you. Our phone lines are free to call, and our advisers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Jump To A Section
- A Guide To Merging Into Traffic Accident Claims
- What Are Merging Traffic Accidents?
- Accidents Which May Be Caused By Merging Traffic
- Highway Code Rules For Changing And Merging Lanes
- A Vehicle Hit Me Whilst It Was Changing Lanes, Could I Claim Compensation?
- A Vehicle Hit Me Whilst Changing Lanes On The Motorway, Could I Claim?
- I Was Injured In A Merging Traffic Accident, What Should I Do?
- Merging Into Traffic Accident Compensation Calculator
- Special Damages Which May Be Claimed
- Why Get In Touch With The Legal Helpline Team
- No Win, No Fee Merging Into Traffic Accident Claims
- Start A Merging Into Traffic Accident Claim
- Resources And Further Information
Whether it’s on a motorway or a dual carriageway, merging into traffic can be a stressful and intricate manoeuvre. Merging into traffic requires all road users to follow the rules of the road, be highly alert of their surroundings, and to operate with due care and accuracy. But if a driver were to act negligently, or, if they were to misjudge their ability to merge into traffic, their actions could cause a road traffic accident to occur. If you have been involved in a car accident due to the fault of another, then you might be questioning whether you have grounds to make a claim. This guide will answer commonly asked questions about the claims process, such as:
- What is a personal injury claim?
- What is a margining traffic accident, and how are they caused?
- Who is at fault if someone merges into you?
- Who is at fault in a car accident changing lanes?
- How could Legal Helpline support me when making a claim?
Throughout this guide, we shall provide those that have been affected by roadside negligence with relevant and useful information. If you have any questions our team of advisers are standing by to take your call and assist you however they can.
As a driver, you’ll merge into traffic when joining roads that have multiple lanes, such as dual carriageways and motorways. In some circumstances, a motorway or dual carriageway might have a slip road, which helps with the flow of traffic and assists road users with the merging process. But despite a slip roads ability to support drivers that are merging into another lane, being able to manoeuvre safely is the driver’s sole responsibility. To merge into traffic safely, you will be required to match the speed of traffic, pinpoint your entrance point, and apply your indicator signals to alert other drivers of your manoeuvre. A failure to comply and perform these rules could make you liable in the event of an accident.
You might be questioning how the negligent actions of another driver could cause a lane change and merging accident? When using a road with various lanes, drivers are required to act safely and uphold the guidelines of the Highway Code. However, if a driver were to merge into traffic carelessly, or, if they were to misjudge their ability to merge into traffic safely, it could cause a road-related incident to occur.
Collisions often happen when a motorist:
- Merges into a lane too quickly or slowly.
- Makes a sudden lane change without signalling or checking mirrors.
- Cuts off another vehicle in order to merge.
- Recklessly merges across multiple lanes of traffic.
- Drifts over the lines of the road and enters another lane.
The Highway Code was established by the Department of Transport to create a sense of unison between all road users and to prevent incidents from occurring. Under the multi-lane carriageway rules within the Highway Code, it states that road users must:
- Follow the signs and road markers accordingly.
- When changing lanes, you must use your mirrors, adjust your speed, and make sure it is safe to do so.
- In congested road conditions, the driver should not change lanes unnecessarily.
- Merging into traffic is recommended when it is safe, appropriate, and when vehicles are travelling at a slow speed.
These measures have been set in place to ensure all road users understand what is expected of them on the road. If a road user were to neglect these obligations while driving, it could make them liable in the event of an accident.
You might ask “who is at fault if someone merges into my vehicle?” and “could I make a claim?” To make a claim for compensation for a merging traffic accident, the third party must have acted negligently. For example, if you were to speed-up in an attempt to avoid traffic that is merging into your lane, then you could be considered liable in the event of an accident. This is because you are required to maintain your speed and create space for incoming vehicles. However, if you were following the rules of the road and another driver made a negligent and unsafe lane change, they could be deemed responsible for the accident.
Motorway driving could appear daunting to many road-users as it involves high-speed driving, lane changing, and can often be very intense. In the UK, there are distinct rules that apply to drivers when travelling on motorways. These rules have been outlined by the Highway Code, which clearly states that:
- You must not drive on the hard shoulder
- Traffic on motorways travels faster than regular roads, meaning you have less time to react. Therefore, you must be on high alert and use your mirrors earlier.
- When approaching a junction, you must look well ahead for signals or signs.
- Motorway signals are used to warn you of dangers, such as spillages or accidents. Therefore, you must be familiar with the smart motorway system and its signs.
- When joining the motorway, you must give priority to traffic already on the road, match their speed, stay on the slip road until safe to cross over, and check to see if you’ll fit in the flow of traffic.
These measures ensure all road users drive safely and prevent accidents from occurring. In addition to these measures, motorists are required to have a good understanding of motorway signage. For example, all drivers that use smart motorways must have an understanding of the signs that could appear. In the event a smart motorway displays a signal to all drivers, the motorist is expected to have the knowledge and ability to act accordingly. A failure to do so could be considered a breach of the highway code and make them liable in the event of an accident.
So if you have been involved in a merging incident caused by the negligent actions of another, please speak to a member of our team, as you could have grounds to claim compensation.
If a driver has negligently merged into your vehicle and has caused you harm, you might ask what you should do. In many cases, those that have been involved in a negligent event may wish to make a claim and to make a successful claim, evidence will be required. In the event you are involved in a car accident, Citizens Advice suggest:
- Taking photographic evidence.
- Swap contact details with those who witnessed the incident.
- Take notes of the registration of the car.
- Seek medical attention if needed.
- Inform your insurer of the incident.
- Do not admit liability or apologise at the incident.
- Document any financial expenditures caused by the incident.
In addition to these steps, you must also begin your claim within the personal injury claims time limit. All personal injury claims have what is known as a statutory time limit in which they can be made. This time limit is 3 years, and the clock begins to tick from the date of the accident. A failure to issue a claim within this time period may prevent you from making the claim at all. However, there are limited exceptions that could affect the time limit, such as delayed diagnosis. So if you have been involved in an accident and require legal advice, please contact legal Helpline today.
If you are awarded a compensation package for your claim, it will likely consist of two heads of claim: general damages and special damages. General damages are designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity experienced as a result of the injury. The value of general damages is often determined by the level of pain and suffering that has been inflicted. To illustrate how the severity of an injury will play a crucial role, we have provided a personal injury claims table.
Injury The Severity of the Injury Compensation Awarded Injury Description
Mental Anguish Serious £4,380 Those who could be awarded compensation of this nature would have an impending fear of death after being involved in an accident, or, have serious concerns with regards to their health, typically involving a reduction of life expectancy.
Tetraplegia (also known as Quadriplegia) Severe £304,630 to £379,100 The typical case of Tetraplegia is often with the midrange of this bracket. However, the compensation awarded is often dictated by the severity of the pain and injury inflicted. For example, those at the top end of the. Bracket would be expected to experience physical pain, severe sensory impairment, inability to communicate, and in various cases, life-altering brain damage.
Paraplegia Severe £205,580 to £266,740 The level of awarded compensation will be affected the by factors, such as:
Impact on sexual function
The presence and the extent of pain
The degree of Independence
Brain Damage Minor £14,380 to £40,410 Brain damage of a minor nature is often expected to make decent recovery, and the affected individual will be able to take party in day to day life. However, they individual may have concretion issues, memory loss, and their career prospect could be affected.
Brain Damage Severe £264,650 to £379,100 Severe cases of brain damage are expected to endure a loss of basic commands, a loss of life expectancy, sensory impairment, the inability to communicator without assistive technology, the presence of epilepsy.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Minor £3,710 to £7,680 Minor cases of PTSD are expected to have minor symptoms, and the affected individual will make a full recovery.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate £7,680 to £21,730 In cases where the affected individual will have recovery, and the side effects will not be grossly disabling.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe £21,730 to £56,180 With professional help, the affected individual will be able to make some recovery, however, the affects are likely to cause significantly disability for the foreseen future.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe £56,180 to £94,470 Severe cases of PTSD often involve permanent effects, causing the affected individual from working at anything approaching a pre-trauma level. All aspects of the individuals life will be seriously affected, causing life-altering implications.
Chest Injury Minor Up to £3,710 Injuries of this level are expected to cause soft tissue injuries to fractures, and the affected individual will make a recovery within a matter of weeks.
Chest Injury Severe £94,470 to £140,870 Severe chest injuries are expected to cause serious damages to the lung and heart, in drastic cases, the worst type of case will include the removal of one lung or heart damage. The amount of compensation awarded is often dependant on age, scarring, the ability to enjoy life, work, the the effect on life expectancy.
Back Injury Minor £2,300 to £7,410 A settlement of this nature often involves no surgery, and the affected individual will be healed within 3 months to 2 years.
Back Injury Severe £85,470 to £151,070 Cases of this nature will often impact the spinal cord and nerve roots. The injury would lead to life altering consequences, and there will be severe pain, incomplete paralysis, and impaired bladder, bowel, and sexual function.
The figures within the table are based on the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication that details compensation awards made by the courts for different injuries. Each claim for compensation takes into consideration the unique injuries and circumstances at hand, so it’s difficult to provide a precise value on your claim at this stage. However, you will be able to find out more by giving our team a call on 0161 696 9685.
Along with general damages, those that have been affected by third party negligence may also be awarded special damages. Damages of this nature are awarded to those who have experienced any financial loss or out-of-pocket expenses after an accident. This could be expenses or losses that have been incurred already or those that may be incurred in the future. Here are some of the things that you could claim for:
- Medical Expenses – If you have had to personally fund any medical treatment, such as surgery or prescriptions, the cost could be taken into consideration.
- The Cost of Care – In many cases, those who experience life-altering health implications after an accident might require the support of a carer. If that is the case, then the cost of care could be taken into consideration when pursuing a claim.
- The Loss of Career Prospects – If an accident limits your future career prospects, then this could be factored into your claim for compensation. In many cases, the loss of career prospects would apply to those of a younger age whose lives have been completely altered.
- The Loss of Potential Income – If an accident seriously affects your health and well-being, then you might require time off work to heal and recover. If your employer doesn’t have a sick pay scheme set in place, then you could suffer financial loss. If that is the case, then this could be taken into consideration.
The most important thing to remember with special damages is to keep all receipts and invoices, even bus tickets! Without evidence, it may be difficult to recover costs.
The claims process can often appear daunting, and many people could be unsure whether they have grounds to make a claim. If you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident and wish to make a claim, why not contact Legal Helpline? We understand that a car accident can be a stressful and life-altering event, which is why our team of friendly advisers are standing by to take your call and support you however they can. Here at Legal Helpline, we work with a well-informed and distinguished panel of specialist solicitors that have decades of experience handling cases such as these. They each strive to achieve the maximum amount of compensation possible and will guide you through the complexities of the legal process with ease. And if ever you have a query or would like an update on your case, they’ll be on hand to take your call. So if you have been harmed due to the fault of another and wish to make a claim, please contact a member of our team today.
If you have valid grounds to make a claim, then a solicitor from our panel could offer to handle the claim under a No Win, No Fee agreement. 100% of the claims we handle are under a No Win No Fee basis. An arrangement of this nature may also be referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
The CFA is designed to offer you financial protection and the confidence to pursue justice. If a solicitor takes on a claim under a CFA but is unsuccessful in winning your claim, you will not be required to pay your solicitors legal fees. Likewise, you will not have to pay any fees upfront or during the claim. The only fee you’ll be required to pay is a success fee in the event you win your case. A success fee is a small contribution toward your solicitor’s costs which is deducted from the compensation awarded. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped! However, the percentage that will be taken from the awarded settlement will be discussed with your solicitor ahead of time.
To discover whether a solicitor from our panel could handle your potential claim under an agreement of this nature, please speak to a member of our team today.
If you have been involved in an accident and wish to make a claim, you might have questions regarding the claims process? If that is the case, why not speak to Legal Helpline? Our phone lines are free to call, and our knowledgeable team of advisers are more than happy to speak with you and answer any questions that you might have. They can also offer you a free, no-obligation consultation. Alternatively, you could enquire through our online form? Once submitted, a member of our team will review your enquiry and contact you at a time that suits you.
If you wish to speak with an adviser to begin your claim, the number to call is 0161 696 9685.
If you wish to enquire online to begin your claim, please click here.
In addition to this guide, we have provided some extra materials that could be of use. You can find these materials located down below.
Could I Have Grounds To Make A Whiplash Claim After A Road Traffic Accident?
Road Traffic Accident Claims
How Do I Make A Claim Against A Negligent Road User?
Bus Accident Claims
Does A Bus Driver Owe Me A Duty Of Care?
Guide by MN
Edited by REG