Wrong Way Crashes
According to local media reports, a 39-year-old man was killed in a wrong way crash along State Road 44 a little after midnight on Sunday, September 13, 2020. The driver of the other vehicle was also seriously injured. The deceased was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wrong way crashes occur when a motorist enters one-way traffic going the opposite direction and collides with another vehicle. Many of these accidents are head-on collisions at high speeds which can be deadly. If you or a loved one was injured in a wrong way collision, our Delray Beach car accident lawyer can help.
What Causes Wrong Way Collisions?
These accidents should rarely happen. After all, one-way streets typically have signage instructing motorists not to enter. No one should enter a highway using the off-ramp, either. However, wrong way accidents are fairly common, as anyone scanning the papers can tell you.
Some of the more common reasons for a wrong-way crash include:
- Impaired drivers. When a motorist is drunk or high, they are not thinking or seeing clearly. They could easily go the wrong way and not realize it until they are on top of a vehicle.
- Drowsy drivers. A tired driver also might not be paying attention to signage and could enter a one-way street.
- Reckless drivers. Some motorists like to take risks, unfortunately. A reckless driver might even enter a one-way lane to escape the police or when racing another vehicle.
Whatever the reason, motorists traveling the wrong way endanger everyone around them, including their passengers. Accidents are often fatal.
When involved in a wrong-way collision, many victims can suffer some of the most serious traumatic injuries that we see. For example, they might suffer spinal fractures, including fractures in the neck, that can lead to debilitating pain and sometimes paralysis.
Other victims can suffer brain injuries, including bleeding in the brain. If an airbag does not deploy, a motorist could strike their head on the dash or steering wheel. The whiplash motion can also shake the brain, leading to impairment.
When a motorist is not wearing a seatbelt, then they could be tossed from the vehicle. They can suffer fractures, paralysis, back injuries, and friction burns. Many innocent victims succumb to the injuries sustained in a head-on collision.
Our clients sometimes qualify for punitive damages in wrong way crashes. Under Fla. Stat. § 768.72, punitive damages are available only when the defendant committed intentional misconduct or gross negligence. Driving the wrong way, if done recklessly or intentionally, would qualify for punitive damages, which our clients can receive in addition to their compensatory damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish defendants for horrifying conduct, so it is hard to say ahead of time how much they might be worth.
Give Us a Call
After a devastating car accident, injured victims should secure experienced legal representation as soon as possible. Please contact Earnhart Law today by calling 561-265-2220. Our Delray Beach car accident attorneys can quickly review your case and decide on the best course of action during a free consultation.