Car accidents are one of the leading causes of fatal accidents in America. Even if they are not fatal, they can have lasting consequences for you as a victim and your family. No one ever expects to be involved in a car accident, and they certainly shouldn’t happen as often as they do. In 2021 alone, 449 auto accidents resulted in injuries in Florida.
A car accident often comes out of the blue. You may encounter a reckless driver, someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or a driver who may simply make a mistake. Driving the wrong way can be very serious, particularly if both vehicles are driving at speed.
If you have been the victim of this type of accident, seeking legal representation from Orlando car accident attorneys is essential. The Law Place has an experienced team of lawyers who are ready to take on your accident case on a no-win, no-fee basis. Start the process with a free consultation, where we will gather your case’s facts and advise you on your next steps.
Call The Law Place today at (941)-444-4444 to book your appointment with an Orlando car accident lawyer.
Causes of Wrong-Way Car Accidents
Many things can cause a wrong-way accident. Most are due to driver errors. Some, however, are due to in-car technologies or inadequate signage, which could send drivers the wrong way. The main causes include:
Being Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious and potentially deadly mistake. It impairs judgment, reaction time, and other cognitive functions essential for an automobile’s safe operation.
The risk of being involved in a wrong-way car accident increases dramatically when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Operating a motor vehicle in this situation puts both the driver and others on the road at great risk.
Drivers may become distracted by texting, phone talking, or GPS navigation. All these things can take their attention away from road signs, causing them to drive in the wrong direction unintentionally. This can lead to serious consequences for other nearby drivers and pedestrians.
Drivers unfamiliar with roads, highways, and intersections in a particular area may unknowingly drive the wrong way down a one-way street or take a wrong turn at an intersection. This can create dangerous situations when they end up going against oncoming traffic.
Poorly Marked Exits
Exits and entrances to roads, highways, and intersections may not be clearly marked or illuminated, leading drivers to turn in the wrong direction. Some roads may have outdated or confusing signs, leading to confusion and potential danger. This is particularly true at night when visibility is reduced. Liability in this instance, could rest with a government entity.
Unsuitable Warning Signs
Warning signs that are difficult to see or notice due to inadequate lighting, placement in areas where they are not easily visible, or signs which are obscured by overgrowth of vegetation or other obstacles can present a problem for those in motor vehicles.
Drivers may unintentionally drive in the wrong direction and put highway safety, themselves, and other motorists at risk. Road authorities can reduce the likelihood of being liable for a wrong-way accident by ensuring that warning signs are placed in clear view and properly illuminated.
Poorly Designed Vehicle Ramps
Vehicle ramps that are too steep have a sharp curve, or have inadequate lighting can be dangerous for drivers and increase the risk of them driving in the wrong direction. Such ramps should be designed with safety in mind and tested for proper visibility, lighting, and ease of navigation.
Additionally, road authorities should ensure that these types of approaches are properly marked with warning signs to avoid potential wrong-way accidents. If there is an issue with the vehicle ramp and it is found that this contributed either partly or fully to an accident, the government entity responsible could be found liable.
Lack of sleep, long hours behind the wheel, and other related factors can cause drivers to become disoriented and confused. Fatigue can cause a driver to enter a highway or expressway in the wrong direction mistakenly.
Road authorities should also place extra signage and lighting at these areas to avoid potential wrong-way accidents due to driver fatigue. Being tired can lead to a loss of concentration and a lack of focus on the road. It only takes a second for things to go wrong and the consequences can be serious.
The Consequences of a Wrong-Way Car Accident
Depending on the speed, type of vehicle, and nature of the accident, the impact of a wrong-way collision can affect those involved to varying degrees.
An automobile accident often involves intense and violent impacts, leading to catastrophic injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, brain damage, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even death.
If you have been the victim of a car accident, you will know the extent to which physical injuries can affect your day-to-day life. You may have suffered extreme pain, multiple doctor visits, rehabilitation, and time off work.
Your accident lawyer from The Law Place understands this and will fight to ensure that your claim reflects the cost and distress of the physical injury and the emotional distress you have experienced.
An auto accident can also cause significant property damage. Cars and other objects that are hit by wrong-way drivers can be severely damaged or totaled, depending on the speed of the vehicles involved. Skid marks, debris from collisions, and the destruction of landscaping might all be visible in the aftermath of a wrong-way car crash.
Any external factors, such as wet roads or obstacles like trees or guard rails, can contribute to increased destruction during an accident involving a wrong-way driver.
The impact of such incidents could include shattered windshields, damaged homes, or destroyed personal property such as bicycles or computers. Your legal representative will consider all of this when they work on your claim.
In Florida, measures have been put in place to stop drivers from driving the wrong way. Preventative steps include the use of electronic sensors. When a motorist drives the wrong way, this will distribute information to the police, and cameras can capture images of the vehicle.
The at-fault driver may be required to pay restitution to you and others affected by the accident. Additionally, a driver involved in a wrong-way crash might face criminal charges, including but not limited to negligent homicide or vehicular manslaughter.
Depending on the nature of the accident, the case could involve civil and criminal proceedings. While a civil claim could see you compensated for your damages, a criminal case could involve charges against the at-fault party. The claims are separate and your damages are not relient on the outcome of a criminal case.
The experience of a car accident can have significant psychological impacts. You may have found the recovery process very difficult on an emotional level. You may experience depression, anxiety, PTSD, and/or flashbacks due to the traumatic nature of the incident.
You and your family may struggle with anger or rage toward those responsible for the wrong-way accident. These psychological effects can last long after an accident takes place. A car accident lawyer can’t magically make things better, but they can help you recover a settlement that is reflective of your experiences.
Claiming Compensation After a Wrong Way Accident
If you decide to pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance company in relation to the car accident in Orlando, there are two phases to a lawsuit that you should be familiar with.
Personal Injury Claim
The primary source of compensation is typically through filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Through these claims, you may be able to recover damages related to your economic and noneconomic losses such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and compensation for your pain and suffering.
It’s important that you don’t attempt to talk to the insurer about a claim yourself because they may try to use underhanded tactics to try and devalue your claim. Insurance companies are driven by profit which means paying out victims as little as possible. Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf and will ensure that they can’t unjustly devalue your claim.
Civil Lawsuit for Orlando Car Accidents
If insurance negotiations are not successful or if the damages are greater than any available coverage, you may consider filing a civil lawsuit to seek additional compensation from the at-fault party.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and will take your case to court if this is necessary.
Wrongful Death Claim for a Car Crash
If someone died in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, then the family members may be able to claim compensation in a wrongful death claim. This can include compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages due to the deceased’s job loss, and pain and suffering for surviving family members.
Sometimes an accident is caused by a negligent driver, but other parties also contributed to the accident. Where this applies, you may be able to bring a claim against multiple people. Your Orlando car accident lawyer will be able to identify who is at fault for the accident and bring a claim against the negligent parties to maximize the amount you could receive in compensation.
The most common source of liability in a wrong-way crash is the at-fault driver. This could be the case if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving recklessly, or simply not paying attention to their surroundings.
Government entities may also be liable for an accident if it can be demonstrated that poor road maintenance or inadequate signage contributed to the incident.
In some cases, design defects in car components such as brakes or tires can lead to wrong-way accidents, and thus manufacturers could be liable for any damages resulting from such mechanical issues.
Employer Liability in a Car Accident in Orlando
When employees are operating company motor vehicles for business purposes, employers may assume liability if an accident due to reckless driving occurs while their employee is on duty.
What an Injury Lawyer Can Do for You
An experienced car crash lawyer is invaluable if you are looking to seek compensation after a wrong-way car accident. The injury lawyers at The Law Place specialize in representing individuals who have been injured due to another person’s negligence and can assist with matters of personal injury protection, such as filing insurance claims, negotiating settlements, or filing lawsuits when necessary.
The lawyers at The Law Place have an in-depth understanding of personal injury law and will work closely with you to gather evidence and evaluate the potential damages you may be entitled to.
Our Orlando car accident attorneys will determine what a good settlement would be in your case and will fight tirelessly to achieve it. Although each case is unique, they usually follow a similar structure:
Your car accident lawyer will conduct an investigation into the incident to identify potential at-fault parties, gather evidence, and assess the damages suffered. This can include examining police reports, witness statements, photos taken at the scene, medical bills and records, and interviewing the involved parties if necessary.
In order to secure financial compensation, most cases will involve negotiations with insurance companies. This process can take a substantial amount of time, but fortunately, when you have the help of an attorney, they will take over all negotiations on your behalf so that you can focus on your recovery.
Filing and Litigation
Injury lawyers have experience filing lawsuits against negligent parties. Not all cases will lead to court, but your lawyer will be ready if your case fails to reach a settlement with insurance company representatives.
Car Accident Victims Support
Injury lawyers provide unyielding support throughout the entire process and will take the stress away during this often overwhelming experience.
Contact The Law Place Today for a Free Consultation
If you have been the victim of an ar accident, we encourage you to get in touch with The Law Place. The process will begin with a free consultation, during which we will ask some questions to understand the background of your case. If we decide, based on the information you give us, that there are sufficient grounds to make a claim, we will offer our services on a no-win, no-fee basis.
If you would like us to represent you, we will start the process of investigation. This is a detailed phase where we gather as much information as we can about the accident to strengthen your case. Initially, our communications will take place with the insurance company to try to get a fair settlement for your claim.
Insurance company representatives are known for using all kinds of tricks and tactics to get out of paying in auto accident cases, but we know how to communicate in the right way. We will negotiate with the insurer to achieve fair compensation. Sometimes this proves successful; other times, the insurer will either deny the claim or try to shift liability.
Where negotiations with the negligent party’s insurance company fail, or if they provide an unacceptable settlement offer, we will take your case to the next step and start preparing it for trial.
We want to make the process of making a claim as easy and stress-free as possible.
To get started with your claim or to receive some honest advice about a car accident, call The Law Place today at (941)-444-4444 to talk to an Orlando car accident lawyer.