Motor vehicles

Special legislation is applicable in The Netherlands in case of accidents involving motor vehicles. This legislation, the Motor Vehicles Liability Act (WAM), is based on EU legislation.

The WAM is applicable to all accidents involving (a) motor vehicle(s). The law also dictates that each owner or holder of a motor vehicle is required to take out motor vehicle liability insurance. There are fixed, EU determined, insured sums for material damages and personal damages.

Two aspects deserve special attention: firstly, the law grants a direct personal claim on the WAM insurer to the injured parties that have become a victim of an accident with a motor vehicle. Such a direct claim to an insurer is quite unique in Dutch legislation.

The second special aspect is the establishment of a Guarantee Fund Motorised Vehicles (Waarborgfonds Motorverkeer), which was set up to provide a safety net for the benefit of injured parties/victims of accidents with motor vehicles. The Fund comes into view if the motor vehicle, in contravention of the legal requirement, turns out to be uninsured against liability. A similar Fund exists in all countries in Europe with similar legislation for accidents with motor vehicles.

Van Traa Lawyers advises and litigates regularly on the interpretation of the Motor Vehicle Liability Act. Our lawyers are especially knowledgeable about the peculiarities of this law and the way it is interpreted in case law. In these cases, Van Traa Lawyers mainly assists the WAM insurers.

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