When an accident is reported involving a driver traveling in the wrong direction, the initial reaction is likely, “What in the heck were they thinking?” This is understandable since most people who mistakenly wind up in the wrong lane of traffic take immediate corrective action and get back into the correct lane.
Unfortunately, other drivers fail to take the necessary steps to get into the proper lane of travel and wind up causing serious, potentially devastating automobile collisions. For example, a Greenfield man reportedly caused a serious wreck while traveling the wrong way on Interstate 94, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Police responded to a two-vehicle accident on I-94 south of Ryan Road in which both vehicles were heavily damaged. Both drivers told police that another vehicle crossed the freeway in the wrong direction, causing the collision. The at-fault driver then decided to flee the scene of the crash.
Fortunately, the at-fault driver was apprehended and charged with drunk driving and causing an injury, among other serious charges.
Wrong-Way Accidents More Common Than You Think
The Department of Transportation reports that more than three hundred people are killed in wrong-way accidents each year in the United States. That may not sound like a terribly large number, but it is quite concerning when you consider the fact that each accident involves someone driving for an extended period of time in the wrong direction on busy roads and highways.
Public data indicates that motorists involved in these wrong-way collisions often have the following traits:
- Intoxicated; and/or
The vast majority of wrong-way accidents involve a vehicle entering an entry ramp or taking an exit ramp on a highway. In addition, most wrong-way wrecks occur during the evening time, especially after midnight. For example, the National Transportation Safety Board discovered that approximately 78% of all wrong-way accidents occur between 6 o’clock in the evening and 6 o’clock in the morning.
Damages You Can Recover in a Wrong-Way Accident
If you were injured in an accident where the other driver was traveling in the wrong direction, you should consider taking legal action to pursue financial restitution for your losses. When a wrong-way wreck occurs, liability can be fairly easy to establish on the other driver (though this depends on the specific facts of your case). If liability can be established, you can pursue damages for the following harms and losses:
- Medical bills (both incurred and future medical expenses such as physical therapy, medications, surgery, etc.)
- Lost wages (possibly diminished earning capacity)
- Pain, suffering, mental anguish, anxiety
- Punitive damages (depending on what caused the other driver to travel in the wrong direction)
Have Questions? Contact an Experienced River Falls Auto Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was involved in a wrong-way accident caused by another driver, now is the time to take action. There is a statute of limitations that applies to all civil actions, so immediate action is recommended. Contact the experienced Wisconsin auto accident lawyers of Bye, Goff & Rohde today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.