If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, an experienced wrong way driver accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is ready to fight for you today. Let our car accident injury lawyers pursue your legal rights so you can focus on healing both physically and emotionally.
Call today at (855) 866-5529 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation.
What do you do if you are driving on a one-way street and suddenly find yourself facing a car driving toward you, in the wrong direction. This is exactly how wrong way driving accidents happen.
Wrong-way accidents almost always cause severe injuries, and often fatal to both the wrong way driver and the other vehicles involved in the wrong way crash. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), wrong-way accidents caused between 300 and 400 deaths annually in the U.S. That number represents about 1 percent of traffic deaths each year.
In fact, in the NTSB Special Investigative Report, “collisions involving vehicles traveling the wrong way on high-speed divided highways” are referred to as “one of the most serious types of highway accidents.” These kinds of head on collisions are 27 times more likely to be fatal than all other kinds of motor vehicle accidents.
What Is a Wrong Way Driving Accident?
Wrong way crashes are a a kind of head on collision. It happens when a driver drives in the wrong lane, in the direction of oncoming traffic, and hits a vehicle traveling in the proper direction.
In fact, wrong-way accidents occur more often than you may think. They are more likely to occur at night or in other times with poor lighting, such as fog or heavy rain. Wronf-way driving accidents often involve impaired driving on the part of the other driver. Nearly all wrong way accidents are caused by a negligent party.
Common Causes of Wrong Way Driving Accidents
Wrong way driving accidents have many different causes. Some of the most common causes of of these kinds of head on collisions include:
Impaired Driving: Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Operating a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is always dangerous. Anyone who does so is a negligent driver. Reaction times are slowed sigificantly when the blood alcohol content is above legal limts. Judgement is seriously impaired when a driver is drugged. In addition, a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs can become easily confused, miss important road signs, and end up on the wrong side of the road. As a result, drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs can easily become wrong way drivers that cause serious wrong way driving collisions.
One of the most serious forms of distracted driving is texting while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that texting and driving leads to more than 2,800 fatalities in the United States every year. When a driver texts while driving, they are not focusing on the road and may not realize they have missed a turn, turned onto a one-way road, or failed to take some action needed to drive safely. They may also veer into the other lane and hit an oncoming car.
In addition to texting while driving, there are other times when driver distractions cause a wrong-way accident, including
- changing the radio station,
- smoking, and
- looking at a GPS system.
Many wrong-way drivers cause accidents at night when they are tired. The effects of driving while fatigued are similar to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Response times are significantly reduced. If a driver falls asleep, they can cross a median, multiple lanes of traffic, and end up on the other side of the road.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), some head on collisions are caused when a driver is confused due to a cognitive impairment. Drivers over the age of 70 may suffer cognitive impairment in to form of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the NTSB report shows that 15% of all wrong-way accidents are caused by drivers over the age of 70 years.
Confusing Signage or Ineffective Traffic Control Devices
Sometimes accidents happen because road signs or traffic control devices are confusing or ineffective. Included in this cause of accidents is lack of artificial lighting on roads and at intersections, highway entrance ramps that are not clearly marked, and a lack of “wrong way” and other directional signs. The most common type of accident that occurs because of confusing signage or ineffective traffic control devices is entry onto a highway by the exit ramp.
Driver Unfamiliar with Location
In some cases, a wrong-way incident is caused by a driver in a location they have never been in before. This can be a problem, especially in an area where there are many one-way streets. When a driver is not familiar with a location, any missing or blocked signs can easily lead to an wrong-way crash. may occur in some large downtown cities that have several different one-way streets going in opposite directions.
When roads are wet and slippery from rain, snow or ice, a car is more likely to slide and veer into another lane of traffic. This can easily cause a head-on collision.
Commons Injuries in Wrong-Way Accidents
Wrong way car crashes cause serious injuries and are often fatal. Even when drivers and passengers survive a head on crash, they suffer injuries that are severe. Common injuries include:
- Head injuries, including brain trauma
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Spinal cord injuries that can cause partial or complete paralysis
- Internal injuries, including severe injuries to organs in the abdomen and ches
- Broken bones
If you or family members sufferend any of these injuries in a wrong way crash, you may have a legal right to sue the driver. You may be able to file a personal injury legal case to pursue compensation for injuries and other damages, including pain and suffering.
When you file a lawsuit, the other driver’s insurance company will likely reach out to offer you a settlement. It is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve.
This is especially true if you have filed a lawsuit because your loved one was killed in the wrong way accident. This kind of lawsuit is called a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawyer can assist you in your claim for damages, which could include funeral and medical expenses, lost future wages, mental anguish, emotional distress, and other damages.
What Compensation Can I Receive as a Victim in a Wrong Way Accident?
Victims of wrong way collisions may be able to receive compensation for some or all of the following:
Present and Future Medical Bills. The accident attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help you receive compensation for past, present, and future medical expenses. These medical expenses may include hospital stays, physical therapy, or any cost incurred in the treatment of an injury caused by the accident.
Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity. Your normal life may be on hold after a car crash, and your injuries may have stopped you from working. You may be able to receive compensation to cover your lost wages as well as any future income that you will miss because of the injuries you sustained.
Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy. Car accidents can cause all types of injuries that can result in long-term medical care which includes physical therapy and rehabilitation services. Our accident lawyers will make sure the insurance company will pay not only for your current medical bills but any future medical expenses as a result of ongoing care.
Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress. In addition to physical injuries, car accidents are a traumatic experience that can result in mental anguish and emotional distress for the victim. During your case, our accident attorneys will compensation that covers the costs of your resulting anguish, such as depression, stress, and even loss of sleep.
Loss of Enjoyment of Daily Activities. Similar to emotional distress, severe car accidents may cause an injured victim to lose enjoyment in their usual daily activities. They may withdraw from social interactions and lose interest in activities that they used to enjoy.
Loss of Consortium / Loss of Companionship. If you have been severely injured in a car crash, you may experience a loss of consortium. Simply put, loss of consortium refers to the deprivation of the benefits of parenting or married life due to the inability to show affection or love.
Wrongful Death Damages. If your family member was killed, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver in order to get justice for your loved one and to ensure you and your family are secure financially in the future. These damages allow you to grieve, move forward, and build a life without worrying about providing for your family. You may be entitled to receive some or all of the following forms of compensation:
- Payment for damage to your vehicle, or to buy another vehicle
- Payment for your and your loved one’s medical expenses
- Payment for past and future lost wages
- Compensation for emotional anguish and mental pain and suffering
- Reimbursement for funeral expenses
Contact a Wrong-Way Accident Lawyer Today.
If you or a loved one were involved or killed in a car crash, you likely have severe injuries and serious property damage. The accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have years of experience helping victims of car accidents recover the compensation they deserve. We can explain your legal rights in a free case evaluation. So contact us today. You can start chat right here, use our online form, or call us.
FAQs About Wrong-Way Driving Accidents
What Are the Most Common Causes of a Wrong-Way Car Accident?
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), these are the most common causes of wrong-way car accidents:
- Driving while impaired by alcohol causes more than 60 percent of wrong-way driving collisions.
- Erroneous entry onto exit ramps of divided highways that are not clearly marked with adequate signage or where the road interchange is confusing to drivers.
What Should I Do If I’m Faced With a Wrong-Way Driver?
If you are faced with a wrong-way driver, you should get to the far right hand side of the road. Slow down as much as possible. If you cannot entirely avoid a collision, turn right to reduce the impact of the collision on the front of your car.
Is Driving the Wrong-Way a Traffic Violation?
Yes. It can be careless or reckless driving that is automatically deemed negligent. This is important because when you file a lawsuit after a car crash, you must show that the driver was negligent in order to receive compensation for your injuries.
How Do I Protect My Claim Following a Car Accident?
What you do after a car crash is important in proving fault in your personal injury case. Here are a few things to keep in mind to protect your claim:
Request a copy of the police report. The police report will have all the information you need about the car crash. The police report will also give the opinions of the police as to what happened and who may be at fault. Insurance companies use this information when assigning who is at fault and negotiating a settlement.
Contact the insurance companies. Even if you weren’t at fault, you must contact your insurance company to let it know you were in a car accident that involved injuries.
Keep a record of all expenses after the crash. Not only should you keep track of medical expenses but also time off from work and property damage.
Make all your medical appointments. It’s very important for you to get healthy, which means you have to follow up with your doctor after a car accident. Not only will you get the medical treatment that you need to recover but you will get a better sense of how long it will take to get over your injuries. This will help when determining how much your claim is worth.
Don’t accept a settlement offer without speaking to an attorney. The first settlement offer is usually the lowest amount the insurance company is willing to pay. Never accept a settlement offer from an insurance carrier unless you have consulted with a car accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys.
How Do I Know If I Need a Lawyer After a Wrong-Way Car Accident?
As the injured victim, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the negligent party to obtain maximum compensation for your injury. Unfortunately, you will likely face legal hurdles without a lawyer on your side. Many victims of car crashes don’t get the total compensation they deserve when they handle their claim without a lawyer.
The legal process can be confusing. Insurance companies profit by settling for as little as possible. As an injury victim, you may be concerned about paying your current medical bills, especially if you’re missing a lot of time from work. So a quick settlement may seem like a good idea. But it rarely is. You will likely have future expenses, so you must consider whether a settlement will cover those future expenses, such as your lost earning potential or rehabilitation.
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, an experienced and knowledgeable attorney will ensure that you receive compensation for both present and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. A lawyer will protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
If our experienced attorneys are handling your case, we will also:
- Discover who is at fault for your injury: Many serious accidents involve multiple parties who can be held responsible. The more parties involved in the crash, the more complex a claim can be.
- Estimate how much your claim is worth: The initial settlement you receive from insurance companies generally does not cover all your expenses. That’s because the adjuster is trying to settle your claim for the lowest amount possible. Unfortunately, many injury victims don’t know how much their claim is truly worth and will take the first settlement offer they receive. This is a mistake.
- Negotiate with the insurance company: Insurance companies will do whatever they can to pay you as little as possible. Insurance adjusters may try to bully you or persuade you to take the first amount offered. You’ll need a strong negotiating team to help you with a settlement.
- Represent you in court: If a settlement cannot be reached, you’ll need an aggressive trial team to represent you in the courtroom. All our attorneys have experience in the courtroom and will fight on your behalf.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Top Pennsylvania Lawyer?
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we understand the financial burdens following a serious injury can be overwhelming. That’s why our lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. This means that we do not collect legal fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.
That’s right. You pay nothing upfront.
Plus, we offer a free consultation to review your case and inform you of your rights.
If you think you may have a case, or if you have questions about filing a lawsuit, we will evaluate the details of your situation at no charge and let you know what legal options are available for you.
If you or someone you love suffered an injury, call an experienced lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys or use our online form.
Why Choose Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys ?
With so many law firms to choose from, how do you know who you can trust to fight for you and your family? Here’s what we think sets Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys above the rest:
Track Record – Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys has earned national recognition for our large settlements and verdicts. Our entire staff works diligently to make sure you get the maximum compensation owed to you.
Experience – When it comes to complex cases, experience counts. Each of our partners has decades of experience representing individuals and families who have suffered serious injury or been denied benefits. Because we are a family firm, we often work closely together on our cases to achieve the best possible results for you.
Industry Leaders – The board-certified attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are among the highest-rated and most respected legal advocates in the country. Other lawyers regularly look to us as industry experts. All of our credentials (including Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, and Million Dollar Advocates Forum) reflect the fact that we are an exceptional law firm.
Resources – At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we utilize resources that are typically available only to big law firms. We work closely with our network of engineers, reconstructionists, investigators, experts, and in-house medical personnel to build your case.
Client Satisfaction – Perhaps the best testament to our success is the satisfaction of our past clients. Read what former Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys clients have to say about their experience with our firm.
Our No-Fee Promise – We do not collect a fee unless we win your case. If we do not produce results for you, you owe us nothing.
Contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Today.
When considering legal action, time is of the essence. In Pennsylvania, claims for injuries or death caused by a car crash must be filed within 2 years of the injury or death. Once the end date comes, you can no longer file a lawsuit.
Contact the experts at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys by chat, phone, or using our easy contact form to get your questions answered, free of charge. We will get you the maximum compensation and the justice you deserve.