Indianapolis Attorneys for Wrong-Way Car Accidents
Consider one of the most frightening things that a driver can see on the road A motorist heading the wrong way down the road and coming directly towards them. In mere seconds the driver must react by either hitting the breaks or recklessly swerving to avoid a collision. Unfortunately, sometimes seconds aren’t enough.
When another driver travels in the opposite direction of traffic and causes a collision, these crashes are referred to as wrong-way crashes or head-on collisions. These types of accidents are extremely serious. Although they don’t occur often, they can frequently be fatal. Statistics from AAA estimate there were 2,008 deaths from wrong-way collisions between 2015 and 2018. That averages out to almost 500 fatalities per year.
At Hankey Marks & Crider, we are passionate about representing victims of wrong-way crashes and recovering the valuable compensation these victims deserve. A driver traveling on the wrong side of the road can cause immense damage and leave a victim struggling physically and financially.
If you’ve been hurt by a wrong-way driver, an Indianapolis car accident attorney from Hankey Marks & Crider can help you with your case.
Our skilled team can manage every aspect of the legal process and seek maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation. Call our office today at (317) 634-8565.
Common Causes of Wrong Side of the Road Accidents
Driver error is one of the most common ways that wrong-way accidents happen. A lack of awareness on the part of a negligent driver can quickly devolve into a life-or-death situation. Some of the ways that wrong-way accidents happen include:
- Driving while intoxicated– Drugs and alcohol can impact a motorist’s awareness, judgment, and vision. Drunk drivers can easily miss crucial traffic signs and signals, allowing them to enter a road going in the wrong direction. Research from the NTSB and AAA shows that impaired drivers are significantly more likely to cause wrong-way accidents.
- Distracted driving- When a motorist is paying more attention to their phone or GPS, it can be easy to miss traffic signs, exit ramps, and other important information.
- Advanced Age- Research from AAA also indicates that elderly drivers are more likely to be involved in wrong-way collisions. Older drivers can have vision problems that make spotting signs and signals difficult. Older drivers also have slower reflexes, and they may not be able to correct their course quickly enough if they veer into oncoming traffic.
- Fatigued driving- Extremely fatigued Drivers can cause wrong-way accidents when they fall asleep behind the wheel and cross other lanes of traffic. Drowsy drivers can also miss signs that indicate they may be entering or exiting the wrong way.
- Unfamiliar roadways- GPS can be immensely helpful. However, drivers traveling on unfamiliar roadways are still at risk for causing wrong-way accidents.
- Illegal U-Turns- Attempting an illegal U-turn can cause serious repercussions and put drivers on a head-on collision course with other motorists.
- Poor road design– Poorly laid-out cloverleaves are especially dangerous, even more so without proper signage.
- Lack of visibility- May wrong-way collisions happen at night. While fatigued and drunk drivers are primarily out in the evening hours, poor visibility can also contribute to nighttime wrong-way accidents.
- Defective equipment– When a tire blows out or, a defective part causes a steering wheel to lock up, a driver may have no control over whether they cross a median and head directly into oncoming traffic. In many cases, manufacturers of these parts may be held liable for damages.
Injuries from Wrong-Way Collisions
Whether a driver ignores a “wrong way” sign or veers into oncoming traffic by accident, the result is almost always the same, a catastrophic head-on collision. Wrong-way crashes tend to cause some of the most traumatic and significant injuries. These injuries can impact a victim for the rest of their life and may include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Other neck and spinal issues
- Facial and dental injuries
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Wrongful death
The initial medical bills related to these types of injuries can be enormous. What may be even more daunting is the cost of continued treatment and rehabilitation. Victims involved in head-on crashes should consider turning to an experienced attorney for help during this difficult time. An attorney can handle the logistics of filing a claim and negotiate for full and fair compensation.
What Compensation Is Available for Wrong Side of the Road Crashes?
Indiana allows victims to recover compensation from at-fault parties through the modified comparative negligence regulation. This system states that a victim can recover compensation from an at-fault individual. However, their compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault they bear for causing the accident. If a victim is 10 percent to blame for an accident, this means they can recover the total amount of damages minus 10 percent. This rule allows anyone to attempt to recover compensation as long as they are not more than 50 percent responsible for the circumstances of the crash. This rule binds court decisions. However, it also guides how insurers will value a claim.
Calculating the total amount that a victim may be due after a wrong-way collision can be challenging. Generally, the severity of the victim’s injuries and the cause of the accident will both play a major role in determining a claim’s value. Generally, victims may be able to seek money for the following after an Indianapolis wrong-way crash:
- Cost of current and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
A speedy assessment from an insurance company may not be taking all a victim’s future losses and complications into account. For a fair estimate of the value of your claim, turn to an experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney first.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
Collisions involving drivers traveling the wrong way can be devastating. In the days and weeks to come, you may need help both physically and financially. You don’t need to depend on the at-fault driver’s insurer for that help. Turn to the skilled Indianapolis legal team at Hankey Marks & Crider.
Our team is ready to give you the support and assistance you need during this challenging time. We want you to have the best chance possible at recovering the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve. For a free consultation and to talk about your case, contact our Indianapolis law office today at (317) 634-8565.