Car accidents caused by a driver traveling the wrong way on the road can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. These accidents often occur while driving at high speed on highways or in congested areas.
If you have sustained injuries due to a wrong-way driver, you may be eligible to pursue significant compensation to help cover medical bills, loss of income and more.
At Sigman Janssen, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of accident victims, especially when negligence is involved. Let us review your situation and discuss your available legal options during a risk-free, no-obligation consultation. We charge zero upfront fees to take or work on a case.
Call 24/7 for a Free Case Review: (877) 888-5201
Why Wrong-Way Driving Accidents Often Happen
Wisconsin has seen a 230 percent increase in wrong-way driving accidents across the state. The number of deaths caused by these accidents has been higher than the previous five years. There were 500 wrong-way driving accidents reported in 2018 alone.
Wisconsin State Patrol estimates that 86 percent of wrong-way drivers are either intoxicated or impaired, with accidents generally happening between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Wrong-way driving accidents are also twice as likely to happen on the weekends compared to the weekdays.
Many wrong-way driving accidents happen at night due to low visibility and when drivers are more likely to be tired or drowsy. These accidents often involve drivers entering a highway exit ramp in the wrong direction
Poor road signs/construction zones can confuse drivers, causing them to travel the wrong way. Drivers texting or reaching for an item in the car can lose focus and veer into the opposite lane
The injuries sustained in wrong-way driving accidents can include lacerations and broken bones but tend to be more severe, resulting in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or permanent disability.
Recovering Compensation for Your Injuries
Wisconsin’s laws on auto insurance and car accidents impact how a claim is handled and how much compensation can be sought in a claim. Since fault is a factor in Wisconsin car accidents, the driver who was at fault for causing the accident is also liable for any resulting harm.
You may be asking yourself: How can an insurance company dispute fault in a wrong-way crash?
However, insurance companies often use flimsy excuses to claim the victim is to blame for a crash. It is important not to take a chance by attempting to resolve the claim by yourself. Even if the insurance company does not contest fault, it may try to lowball you with a settlement offer.
You should strongly consider working with an experienced Oshkosh-based car accident lawyer. The attorneys at our firm are prepared to investigate and gather evidence to show that the other driver owed you a duty of care on the road.
While punitive damages are rarely awarded, there may be a chance of pursuing them after a wrong-way crash. You would need to show the driver acted with malice or intentional disregard for your rights. If the victim was heavily intoxicated, the crash may meet this standard. However, this is something that should be discussed with a licensed attorney.
Preventing a Wrong-Way Crash
Some accidents are impossible to avoid, which is often the case with a rear-end accident. You simply may not have enough time to swerve to avoid the crash.
That said, there may be steps you can take to potentially lower your risk of a crash. First, avoid distractions and keep your eyes on the road, particularly if you are right next to traffic traveling in the opposite direction. You may only have a few seconds to avoid a crash. Looking at your phone or changing the radio station could eliminate any chance of avoiding a crash.
If you see a driver heading the wrong way ahead of you, get as far away as you can. Be safe and use your turn signal before changing lanes. Call 9-1-1 and notify them of the wrong-way driver. It is possible the police can be dispatched to get this person off the road. At the very least, you are giving emergency responders a head start in getting to the scene of a crash with the wrong-way driver.
While traffic in the right lane travels slower than traffic in the left, you may want to stay in the right lane at night. That way you are farther away from a wrong-way driver.
What to Do If Hit by a Wrong-Way Driver
Although proving fault for a wrong-way accident may not be as complicated as it might be for other types of accidents, there are steps you can take after the crash to help your attorney.
Move Over and Dial 9-1-1
Certain types of injuries or damages to a vehicle may make it impossible to move over, but if you are able to, get off the road as safely as you can. Dial 9-1-1 and wait for the police to arrive at the scene. An official police report can be an important piece of evidence.
Get Examined by a Doctor
Many injuries sustained in an accident require immediate medical care. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is important to get examined by a doctor. You may have hidden symptoms of a brain injury that can get worse over time without treatment. Your medical records can provide proof of the extent and seriousness of your injuries and be able to connect them to the wrong-way driving accident.
If possible, take photos of the scene, your injuries, damage to your vehicle and other property. Jot down everything you can remember while still fresh in your mind. Ask the others involved for their contact details.
Decades Advocating for Accident Victims
Wrong-way accidents often cause serious injuries that often result in a long and costly recovery process. Our lawyers at Sigman Janssen have the knowledge, skills and resources to build a strong case for compensation. We have been advocating for accident victims throughout Wisconsin for decades.
Reach out to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and see how we may be able to help. There is no risk in calling us to learn about your rights and no upfront fees to utilize our legal services. We only get paid if we help you obtain compensation via a settlement or verdict.
Always on Your Side. Ph: (877) 888-5201