As a driver, you expect everyone to drive on the appropriate side, whether on the highway or a freeway. Unfortunately, some drivers may use the wrong way, which causes fatal collisions. A report released by the Federal Highway Authority showed that an average of 300 to 400 deaths annually are a result of wrong-way driving.
While wrong-way accidents only account for about 1-3% of all vehicle accidents, they often result in death or severe injuries [source]. Thankfully, the affected victims can get compensation for the injuries and damaged property. Continue reading to learn about WWD accidents and what you can do if you are the affected party.
Causes of Wrong-Way Accidents
Wrong-way car crashes are a result of one driver using the wrong direction. It’s mostly caused by driver error as some do not pay attention to signage or drive impaired. Here are the most common causes of these accidents:
● Driving under the influence of medication, drugs, or alcohol
● Distracted driving
● Driving for long hours without rest leading to fatigue
● Inadequate lighting on the roadways
● Damaged, improper, or missing signage
● Drivers who are unfamiliar with roads in a specific area
● Poor visibility
● Poorly designed ramp
● Drivers making improper U-turns
Of all the reasons that lead to driver error, intoxication from alcohol and drugs leads the way. Notably, research done in various countries found that 33% to 69% of seriously injured drivers were due to alcohol consumption. Usually, most of these crashes happen late at night and during weekends.
Common Injuries in Wrong-Way Accidents
If a wrong-way car crash does not result in deaths, the affected victims could need to be hospitalized for severe injuries such as:
● Head injuries
● Broken bones and internal bleeding
● Brain injuries
● Permanent disability
● Spinal cord injuries
● Total disability
What You Need To Do
Once an accident happens due to wrong-way driving, get off the road if you can. Call the police and wait for law enforcement officers to file a report since it’s vital when filing a WWD injury claim. Additionally, request for a medical care expert to do an assessment and file medical records.
It’s important to take down the other driver’s license plate, insurance policy number, and insurance company name. Take pictures of the scene if you can. If you cannot move, request someone on the accident scene to do it on your behalf. A police officer will also note down each motorist’s information, including their names, cell phone number, and other contact details.
Once injured victims fully recover, they are usually tempted to file for an auto insurance claim. However, dealing with the legal system and the insurance company without involving an attorney may be an uphill task. Keep in mind that an insurance payout may not be sufficient to cover all the crash expenses.
Compensation and Legal Protection
Wrong-way crashes can lead to lasting injuries to you and your family members. Injured parties may suffer from short or long-term disabilities that can completely alter their life. Further, it affects their way of earning, and the victims have to pay for medical expenses. Getting the right compensation may be the only way to get their life back on track until they fully recover.
Consulting with an attorney can assist victims in getting a settlement they deserve. It can be for expenses such as lost wages, unpaid bills, medical costs, and more. According to an Orlando car accident lawyer, you may have to prove the other driver’s negligence to obtain a settlement. An attorney will help gather all the necessary documentation since they understand everything about WWD accidents.
Wrong-way driving is a growing threat that exposes other drivers to severe injuries or death. One instance in Washington led to a crash of seven vehicles where two people died. If it happens, an experienced lawyer can build a strong case to help you get compensated for losses incurred, both economic and non-economic.