The increasing globalisation of our business world and the associated increase in trade and movement of goods are leading to a continuously growing array of traffic and transport services worldwide. The significance of this development in the private, but also in the business environment is evident from the following figures: In 2017, about 2.5 million traffic accidents have occurred in Germany. In well over 300,000 traffic accidents people were injured or even killed. Commercial vehicles subject to toll collection have travelled about 33 billion kilometres in 2017 In 2016, the transport volume in Germany amounted to approx. 4.6 billion tons.
Traffic accidents regularly entail questions of fault. If you have caused the accident yourself, you are required to inform your liability and collision insurance without delay. The liability insurance is responsible for settling the damage to the vehicle of the other party and the claims of an injured party to the accident. The collision insurance will cover the damage to your own vehicle. If the traffic accident was caused through gross negligence, e.g. in the case of driving under the influence of alcohol, the issue arises if, and to which extent, the insurance is entitled to reduce its benefits to the policyholder. Our traffic law specialists will assist you in all issues in this field.
If the other party to the accident has contributed to the accident, you may consider asserting claims against the liability insurance of the opponent. In the case of damage to the vehicle, the cost of repairs can be claimed in general. In the case of total economic loss, the damage must be calculated based on the replacement value, less the residual value. In addition, expert fees, compensation for loss of use, mercantile impairment, towing costs, car rental costs and, if appropriate, further damage positions can be claimed. If a party suffered injury in the accident, the injured party is entitled to appropriate damages. If a party suffers an injury that leads to their unfitness for work for a period of 6 weeks or more, damage in the form of loss of income may result from the difference between the net income and the pay during sick leave. Not to be neglected is the often substantial damage for an inability to perform domestic work, which can be asserted in principle if the injured person is limited in their ability to manage their domestic work.
In addition to the settling of claims for damages after traffic accidents, traffic-related criminal law responsibility may play a crucial role. This includes administrative offences and criminal acts in connection with road traffic, such as exceeding the speed limit, driving under the influence of alcohol or unauthorised departure from the accident site, commonly known as 'hit and run'. These offences are usually punishable by a fine or a summary judgment order.
Transport and logistics present a complex challenge of crucial and fundamental importance to our economy. Transport law governs the legal relations between the shipping industry, transport companies and the insurance companies operating on both sides. The carriage of goods frequently gives rise to disputes, when the cargo is delivered damaged or late. When looking at the responsibility of the transport company in these cases, it must be taken into account that most freight forwarders limit their liability under the general terms and conditions of the German Freight Forwarders (ADSp) or according to their own terms and conditions. In international transport and forwarding law, the legal relations and liability issues are often governed by the CMR - the Convention on the contract for the international road transport. It is therefore important to create a legal framework already in advance of the business activity to effectively limit the liability risks.
Our firm provides assistance to both companies and private individuals in almost all areas of traffic and transport law.
We will assert claims for damages against the other party involved, or their liability insurance, on your behalf and represent you in court if no satisfactory settlement of the damage can be achieved out of court. If a fine or summary judgment order is imposed on you in connection with traffic violations, or if you are charged with a criminal offence, you can rely on us to defend you in the court proceedings.
Also in the field of transport law, you can draw on the expertise of our lawyers to assert in your name or defend you against claims for damages. Naturally we are at your service already in the early stages, such as the drafting of contracts or general terms and conditions to secure a more positive outcome for you in case of damage.
If related legal fields are affected, such as Insurance Law or the Criminal Law and Administrative Offences Law, we can rely on the support of qualified colleagues at our law firm to provide comprehensive advice to our clients. This allows us to offer high-quality consulting services in complex and multidisciplinary issues.
Due to the presence of our law firm with offices in Italy and Poland as well as our membership in DIRO AG, one of Europe's largest networks of lawyers, we work German-speaking lawyers in almost all European countries and can provide you accordingly with expert legal advice also in cross-border cases. This is especially important if, for example, in a traffic accident occurring abroad, the law of the place of the accident or the law of the place where the damage occurs, instead of German law, applies.