Nothing can be more terrifying when you are driving than seeing a car or truck coming at you head-on in the wrong direction. Driving the wrong way against the flow of traffic happens more often than most people think and usually ends up causing some of the most serious and deadliest accidents.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, an average of 300 to 400 people are killed each year in wrong way driving crashes.
Because these crashes tend to involve head-on collisions that take place on high-speed divided highways and access ramps, the resulting injuries are generally more severe than in other types of vehicle accidents.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt or killed in a wrong-way collision in Boca Raton or a nearby area, Hollander Law Firm can help. Our firm is committed to helping to protect the rights of people who have been wrongfully injured by the reckless and negligent actions of others.
When you work with an experienced vehicle accident lawyer at our firm, you can trust that we will do everything we can to hold the responsible driver accountable for your injuries and losses.
Why Do People Drive in the Wrong Direction?
When you hear about a crash on the news caused by a wrong-way driver, the first question that pops into most people’s minds is: Why was the motorist driving in the wrong direction?
While there are many different factors that can contribute to a wrong way collision, there are several characteristics or conditions that are commonly associated with these types of accidents.
- The vast majority of wrong way accidents occur while driving at night
- Most wrong way crashes take place on the weekend
- Many wrong way crashes involve motorists entering an exit ramp in the wrong direction
- A large number of wrong way accidents involve drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Poor road signs and construction zones can confuse drivers and cause them to travel in the wrong direction
The sad reality is that wrong way crashes and collisions are among the worst kinds of car accidents possible. In many situations, loved ones are lost and survivors must deal with very painful and debilitating injuries. When a motorist is negligent and travels in the wrong direction, victims deserve to be fairly compensated for their injuries and damages.
Under Florida law, victims of wrong way accidents and other high-impact crashes may be entitled to pursue a civil cause of action against the negligent driver and other parties who may be to blame for the crash.
At Hollander Law Firm, our legal team will work to determine the cause of the accident and help you recover damages from all responsible parties.
Who is Liable in the Event of a Wrong Way Driving Accident?
When it comes to determining who is liable for a wrong way driving accident, you might think the answer would be obvious – and in most cases you would be right. In the vast majority of cases, the wrong way driver will be to blame.
But, there are other possibilities as well; and, in order to make sure you recover just compensation for your losses, you will need to hire experienced Boca Raton motor vehicle accident lawyers to pursue claims against all appropriate parties.
Parties that can be liable for a vehicle traveling the wrong way on the road include:
The Wrong Way Driver
Obviously, the wrong way driver will be to blame much of the time. All drivers in Florida owe a duty of care when driving on the public roads, and this encompasses a duty to drive in the right direction.
Driving the wrong way on a public road is almost always going to be considered negligent, and this means that wrong way drivers will almost always be liable for victims’ losses.
The Wrong Way Driver’s Employer
If a wrong way driver is working at the time he or she causes a collision, then the driver’s employer could be liable as well. Employers can be held liable on two different grounds.
The first is vicarious liability: Under Florida law, employers are liable for the negligent acts of their employees undertaken within the scope of their employment.
The second is direct liability: If an employer hires an inexperienced or untrained driver, forces a driver to spend too many hours behind the wheel, or is otherwise negligent in putting a dangerous driver on the road, then the employer can be held directly liable for victims’ injuries.
An Establishment That Served the Driver
If the driver who hit you or your loved one was drunk at the time of the accident, then the establishment that served the driver could be liable under Florida’s “dram shop” law (Florida Statute 768.125).
Under the dram shop law, bars, restaurants and other establishments that, “willfully and unlawfully sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to a person who is not of lawful drinking age or who knowingly serves a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages,” can be held fully liable when that person causes a crash.
The Government Authority or Contractor Responsible for the Road’s Design
If poor road design or a poorly-marked construction zone is to blame for a driver traveling in the wrong direction, then the government authority or contractor that is responsible for the road could also be liable for victims’ injuries.
Seeking Additional Compensation After a Wrong Way Accident for a Vehicle Defect
In addition to pursuing financial compensation for the driver traveling in the wrong direction, in some cases victims and their families will also be able to recover compensation based on the existence of a vehicle defect.
If you were unable to avoid the crash because your lights or brakes failed, or if your loved one suffered fatal injuries because his or her airbag failed to deploy, these are both examples of situations in which the vehicle’s manufacturer may be liable for additional compensation.
Discuss Your Options With Our Boca Raton Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers
The aftermath of a wrong way crash or other serious car accident can be devastating to your physical, emotional and financial well-being. Even if the cause of the accident is clear, insurance companies can make it very difficult to collect the compensation you need to heal and move forward with your life.
At Hollander Law Firm, we know just how challenging it can be to deal with insurance carriers. Our Boca Raton motor vehicle accident lawyers offer free consultations where you can meet with a lawyer who is skilled in handling vehicle accident cases.