Wrong-way car accidents are perhaps the most dangerous type of car crash there is. Chances are that these accidents will lead to a head-on crash, the type of collision with the highest fatality rate. Even if the drivers avoid a head-on crash, they can be involved in a sideswipe collision at a high rate of speed. The driver in the right lane is certainly not expecting a car to come barreling down the road at them at full speed.
Arkansas Wrong-Way Car Crashes Can Be Severe
Even if there is no head-on crash, one driver can be forced off the road or into oncoming traffic if they try to avoid the vehicle coming straight at them. Nationally, hundreds of people each year die in these crashes. In Arkansas, there have been several recent wrong-way car accidents that have caused fatalities, including:
- In July 2022, a driver died in Mississippi County when he was traveling the wrong way down Interstate 55 and struck two cars. The drivers of both of the other vehicles were hospitalized.
- In May 2022, three motorcyclists were killed 115 miles outside of Little Rock when a wrong-way driver struck them on Interstate 40.
- In March 2022, a driver was killed when she was traveling the wrong way down Interstate 30 and collided head-on with a truck. The truck driver was airlifted to the hospital, which was believed to be caused by bad weather conditions.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation is legally required to file an annual report of wrong-way crashes in the state. According to the ARDOT, there were five fatal wrong-way crashes in the state in 2019. Nearly half of the wrong-way crashes resulted in serious injury or death.
The report found that a large majority of wrong-way crashes happen at night when it is more difficult for drivers to see where they are going. Moreover, alcohol and drugs are contributing factors in most of those crashes.
Causes of Wrong-Way Car Crashes
Causes of wrong-way car accidents include:
- Bad weather conditions obscuring visibility
- Road construction that has two-way traffic in the same part of the highway
- Distracted driving causing motorists to veer into the wrong lane
- Drunk driving
- Disoriented driving, when a motorist does not know where they are going
- Reckless driving
A common scenario is when a driver enters a highway on an exit ramp. Even when the road layout is confusing, drivers have a legal obligation to read and follow the traffic sign. It goes without saying that they should not end up in the wrong lane of traffic.
Damages Are a Major Focus in Wrong-Way Car Accident Claims
Unlike other types of car accidents, proving liability will not be as much of an issue in wrong-way car accidents. It should be pretty apparent who caused the accident based on where it happened. Even if there were no median or guardrail, the driver who is out of their lane would be the one who has caused the accident.
Still, you will need an attorney for a wrong-way car accident. These crashes will typically cause severe injuries, including the following:
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head injuries
- Internal injuries
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
Some of these injuries can result in death. If your loved one died in the accident, your family could file a wrongful death claim against the responsible driver. They will need to pay for your family’s losses when your loved one tragically died.
Otherwise, a wrong-way accident claim will, on average, have a higher value than other types of crashes, given the severity of the injuries. Here, you will need to fight with the insurance company to get the amount of money you deserve. Even if the insurance company is not contesting liability, they may make a very low settlement offer that you need to reject.
You have the ability to say no to the insurance company and negotiate a higher settlement. They do not get to dictate anything to you, and they must respect your legal rights.
You Need an Attorney to Fight for You to Get Top Dollar
Given the seriousness of these crashes, you will need to hire an attorney as soon as possible after the crash. Chances are that you are struggling with high medical bills, and you may not have any money coming in from your job. Even though the legal process takes time, it benefits you to begin it as soon as you can by hiring a lawyer.
Your attorney can handle the details of the financial compensation process, allowing you to focus on your health and recovery. You will not need to write a check to an attorney, and you do not pay us unless you win your case.
Contact a Little Rock Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a head-on car crash in Arkansas, you must also focus on being paid for your accident injuries, even when you have other things on your plate. The lawyers at Denton & Zachary fight to obtain the highest possible compensation for your accident injuries, slashing through insurance company excuses and red tape.
To begin the legal process with a free consultation, you can send us a message online, or you can call us at (501) 273-1695.
Car Accident Case FAQs
Can I get punitive damages in a wrong-way car crash case?
It is very difficult to get punitive damages in any car accident lawsuit, but you will theoretically have a better chance in these types of accidents.
What if the driver was convicted of drunk driving?
You can still get a financial settlement or jury award that will pay you, regardless of what happens to the driver in a criminal case.
How much is my wrong-way car crash case worth?
Your car accident damages depend entirely on how you have been affected by the crash and your own individual suffering.