There are lots of different types of car accidents, of course, but none of them are more dangerous than a collision caused by a driver driving the wrong way. The results can be devastating, even if the other motorist is available to avoid the wrong-way driver. They could easily lose control, and their vehicle could roll over. Any accident involving a wrong-way motorist could result in catastrophic injuries – or even worse.
The attorneys with Sand Law will be here for you if you’ve suffered a severe injury in an accident caused by a driver going the wrong way. We have a deep understanding of car accident cases, and we also obtain positive results for our clients on a regular basis. Our team will work to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages and other financial losses.
Minnesota’s Deadliest Car Accident was Caused by a Wrong Way Driver
One of Minnesota’s worst tragedies involving a vehicle occurred in August 2019. A vehicle going the wrong way slammed into another vehicle on Interstate 90. Three people were in each car, and all of them died. At least three of the people who lost their lives weren’t wearing seatbelts. It was sadly the deadliest accident in Minnesota since 2010.
Wrong Way Drivers Cause Head-On and Sideswipe Collisions
Whenever a car is going the wrong way, that can oftentimes lead to disaster, as the above example illustrates.
Head-on collisions are among the deadliest types of car wrecks. And they’re typically caused by one of the drivers going the wrong way. They might cross the centerline of the road on a two-lane highway. Or they might go the wrong direction on a highway exit ramp.
Why is this kind of accident so dangerous? The force of impact is typically much greater. Also, the engine block of each vehicle can be pushed back into the driver and any passenger who might be present, causing potentially fatal injuries.
A sideswipe accident can be just as terrible, however. The motorist trying to avoid a head-on collision may still be struck on the side of their vehicle, causing them to suddenly lose control. They could run into a ditch, hit a road sign, or slam into other vehicles.
Wrong Way Drivers Can Cause Drivers to Veer Off the Road
Even if a motorist is able to completely avoid a wrong-way driver, they might be forced to leave the road surface completely. This brings a wide range of potential dangers into play. Similar to a sideswipe accident, the vehicle could run into a ditch, or hit a tree by the side of the road. The impact can result in an injury so severe that it could lead to a lifetime of debilitation.
Is a Wrong Way Driver Automatically At Fault?
In the vast majority of instances, the answer is, “Yes.” As you’ll learn in the next section, there are a lot of reasons why this kind of accident occurs – and just about all of them relate to the wrong-way driver committing some sort of negligence.
There could be some extenuating circumstances, however. The wrong-way driver may have been trying to avoid an animal that suddenly appeared in the middle of the road, or may have been surprised by a huge pothole. Most of the time, though, they will be found to blame for any accident that results.
Causes of Wrong Way Driving
There are a lot of ways a driver can suddenly find themselves going the wrong way. Here are just a few.
- Intoxication. Whenever someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they lose their sense of judgment – and even direction. They can’t see as well, and their reflexes aren’t as sharp. Put all of this together and the results can be disastrous for everyone involved.
- Road conditions. Sometimes a driver will not be able to see due to a lack of proper road lighting. They might be surprised by a construction site, and not be sure which lane they’re supposed to be in. They could quickly barrel toward oncoming traffic as a result. Confusing signage could also play a role.
- Distracted driving. Just a momentary lack of focus when behind the wheel, such as talking or texting on a smartphone, can cause a driver to drift into the wrong lane and cause a head-on collision.
Steps to Take After a Wrong Way Driver Hits You
You may be 100% certain that the wrong-way driver was at fault. But that won’t matter unless you have solid evidence. The more proof you have, the stronger your case will be – and the better your chances of obtaining compensation for not only your physical injury, but also your property damage.
Obviously, you should only try to gather this evidence if it’s completely safe to do so. Call 9-1-1 to get whatever medical attention you and anyone else involved in the accident may need. If possible, move your car as far off of the road as you can. Take pictures and videos with your phone, detailing all of the damage that occurred. Also, get the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen what happened.
You’ll also want to get in touch with an attorney as fast as you can. The earlier you do this, the earlier your attorney can get to work investigating the accident, and uncovering the proof you’ll need to have the best chance of winning your case.
Contact Sand Law ASAP After Your Accident
The seasoned car accident attorneys at Sand Law are standing by to help you get the justice you deserve if you’ve suffered an injury due to a wrong-way driver’s negligence. You can schedule a free evaluation of your case by calling (651) 291-7263 or using our online contact form.