Houston Wrong-Way Driving Accident Lawyer
Wrong-way driving accidents can result in severe injuries and fatalities, especially when they occur at high speeds. These harrowing incidents can lead to devastating consequences, leaving injured parties and their families grappling with physical, emotional, and financial turmoil. In 2022, Texas saw at least 1,215 car crashes that resulted from drivers going the wrong way down a one-way street.
This led to 92 fatal crashes and hundreds of injuries of varying degrees. While these accidents are somewhat less common than other types, they often lead to serious injuries and fatalities because of the force of two vehicles colliding head-on.
With the potential for life-altering consequences in these cases, those injured must seek legal representation to help navigate the complex process of injury claims. For help, contact The Callahan Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with a wrong-way driving accident lawyer in Houston.
Common Causes of Wrong-Way Driving Accidents
Injuries sustained in wrong-way accidents tend to be severe due to the often high-speed, head-on nature of the collisions. Such accidents can result in life-altering injuries, extensive property damage, and even death.
With these consequences in mind, examining the contributing factors involved in wrong-way accidents becomes all the more critical. The following are some common causes of wrong-way driving accidents in Houston:
- Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly reduces reaction time and impairs judgment, making it more likely for drivers to enter roadways traveling in the wrong direction.
- Distracted driving: Inattention to the road can easily lead to wrong-way driving accidents. Drivers focused on their phones or GPS devices may mistakenly enter roads meant for oncoming traffic.
- Driver confusion: In certain circumstances, those unfamiliar with local roads may become confused about the proper direction to travel. This confusion can result in unintentionally driving against the flow of traffic. This is incredibly dangerous when it occurs on highways.
In the quest for safer roads and reduced accidents, understanding these common causes can help in implementing preventive strategies. However, despite best efforts, wrong-way driving accidents can still occur, resulting in significant losses.
When is Driving The Wrong Way Permitted?
The general rule is that drivers must always follow the movement of traffic and adhere to the correct traffic lanes. However, there are specific situations when driving the wrong way is allowed, including:
- Emergency vehicles responding to calls: When responding to emergencies, emergency vehicles, like ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars, have the authority to drive against the flow of traffic.
- Construction/road work vehicles: These vehicles may need to drive the wrong way on the road temporarily for setting up and monitoring roadwork or carrying out construction tasks.
- Police conducting traffic stops or investigations: In order to manage traffic effectively during an investigation or traffic stop, police officers may be required to drive against the traffic flow.
These exceptions emphasize that wrong-way driving should be reserved for situations that demand it, ensuring public safety is not compromised. Unfortunately, accidents still happen. If you’re involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s helpful to understand what damages you may be able to recover.
What Damages Are Recoverable From a Wrong-Way Driving Accident?
Those injured in wrong-way driving accidents can seek compensation for the various damages and losses they’ve suffered. Some common types of damages that can be claimed include:
- Medical bills and lost wages: This includes past, present, and future medical expenses incurred due to the accident, as well as the loss of income due to the injury.
- Pain and suffering: Injured parties can also claim compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress endured as a result of the accident.
- Property damage: If the accident resulted in damage to their vehicle, the injured party can seek compensation for the repair or replacement costs.
Getting the damages you’re entitled to often requires the assistance of a skilled attorney, as calculating non-economic damages like pain and suffering is not as straightforward as determining medical costs and lost wages. Additionally, knowing what steps to take after an accident is essential to ensuring you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
Steps to Take After a Wrong-Way Driving Accident
Being involved in a wrong-way driving accident can be extremely overwhelming. Knowing the proper steps to take immediately following the incident can significantly impact the outcome of your injury claim. Here’s an outline of the essential steps to take following an accident that wasn’t your fault:
- Immediate actions to prioritize safety: Assess the situation and move away from danger. Ensure you and others involved are not exposed to further harm, like oncoming traffic or hazardous materials.
- Report the accident and gather evidence: Call 911 to report the accident and allow law enforcement to create an official accident report. This documentation will be crucial when filing a claim. Collect as much evidence as possible, including photographs, dashcam footage, and witness contact information.
- Seek medical attention and document injuries: Visit a healthcare professional to assess and document the injuries sustained in the accident. Having well-documented medical records will strengthen your claim.
By taking immediate action and managing the aftermath of your accident, you set the foundation for a strong legal case. This is essential because the lasting consequences of a wrong-way car accident can be severe.
The Impact of a Wrong-Way Car Accident
Wrong-way driving accidents can have severe physical, emotional, and financial repercussions on you and your loved ones. Understanding these consequences is crucial to grasp these accidents’ weight fully and why they warrant legal representation.
Wrong-way driving accidents often result in severe injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries. These can lead to long-term consequences, including the possibility of permanent disabilities or chronic pain.
In addition to physical pain, these accidents can leave those involved with lasting emotional trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. Such emotional tolls may significantly affect quality of life and interfere with personal relationships.
Disruption to Daily Life and Work Responsibilities
The aftermath of a wrong-way driving accident can be overwhelming as the injured parties juggle medical appointments, rehabilitation, and the inability to work. As a result, individuals may face a significant loss of income and struggle to meet basic financial needs.
Navigating these consequences can be overwhelming, but with the right guidance, you can secure the compensation needed to help rebuild your life. This is where the knowledge and experience of an attorney come into play.
Proving Fault in a Wrong-Way Collision
Proving fault in car accident cases is a critical yet intricate process that involves extensive evidence demonstrating that the other driver acted negligently. In wrong-way collisions, this may hinge on the concept of negligence per se.
When a driver travels against the flow of traffic and causes an accident, they are not only breaking traffic laws but are also creating a hazardous situation that directly leads to injury or damage. This act of driving on the wrong side establishes their breach of duty and may be sufficient to prove wrongdoing
How an Attorney Can Help With Your Wrong-Way Accident Claim
Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced attorney can greatly improve your chances of receiving fair compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. The following are some ways an attorney can help you with your claim:
Conduct a Thorough Investigation into the Accident
An attorney will work to gather all the available evidence to establish liability in the case. This may include police reports, witness statements, and any video footage from traffic cameras or local businesses that may have captured the accident.
To win your case, your attorney must prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. This may involve obtaining expert testimony and an in-depth analysis of the wrong-way collision’s circumstances.
Deal with Insurance Companies on Your Behalf
Dealing with insurance companies can be stressful and time-consuming. Your attorney will handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf to help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Determine the Total Value of Your Claim
An attorney will work diligently to calculate the full extent of your damages, which may include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Represent You in Court if a Settlement Cannot be Reached
If a settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, your attorney will be prepared to represent you in court in front of a judge and jury, advocating for your best interests and fighting for the compensation you need.
Time Limits For Filing a Lawsuit in Texas
In Texas, personal injury claims, including those stemming from wrong-way driving accidents, are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means that you have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Missing this deadline can result in the dismissal of your case and the forfeiture of your right to compensation.
With the clock ticking, it’s crucial to contact a Houston wrong-way driving lawyer as soon as possible. Prompt action ensures that key evidence, such as video footage and witness statements, is preserved and available for your attorney to review.
Securing legal representation early also allows your attorney to begin negotiating with insurance companies and building your case, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Contact a Houston Wrong-Way Driving Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a wrong-way driving accident in Houston, understanding your rights and the complexities of your situation is crucial. Wrong-way collisions are often severe and can result in significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens.
Fortunately, you never have to handle this situation alone; a Houston wrong-way driving accident lawyer can provide the experience and support you need. Contact The Callahan Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.
Do I need a lawyer if I was hit by a wrong-way driver in Houston?
It’s essential to consult with an experienced Houston wrong-way driving accident lawyer. These cases can be complex, as proving who was at fault and establishing liability may require expert testimony and extensive investigation.
Additionally, insurance companies often attempt to deny liability and minimize their payouts. A skilled attorney will fight on your behalf, ensuring you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries and damages.
What damages can I recover after a wrong-way driving accident?
If you’re injured in a wrong-way driving accident, you could be eligible for different types of compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
The specific damages and amounts vary based on the circumstances of each case.
What happens if the wrong-way driver is uninsured or underinsured?
If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may still be able to recover compensation. Most Texas insurance policies include uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage that can provide financial support in such cases. You may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.
However, these situations are more complicated, so consulting a knowledgeable attorney will be invaluable in navigating these complex claims and ensuring you receive the full compensation you deserve.
How much does it cost to hire a wrong-way driving accident lawyer in Houston?
The majority of wrong-way driving accident lawyers in Houston work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay any upfront costs and only pay a percentage of your recovery if the case is successful – usually between 33% and 40%. Contingency fees eliminate the financial burden and risk for the injured party, allowing you to focus on their recovery.
What evidence do I need to gather after a wrong-way driving accident?
Collecting evidence can greatly strengthen your case and is crucial to obtaining fair compensation. Some critical evidence to gather includes:
- Photos of the accident scene, including damage to vehicles, skid marks, and road conditions
- Contact information of the other driver and any witnesses
- A copy of the police report
- Your medical records, including the nature of your injuries, treatment, and expenses
- Documentation of lost wages or other financial impacts resulting from the accident
How long does it take to resolve a wrong-way driving accident case?
The time it takes to resolve a wrong-way driving accident case can vary widely depending on factors such as the case’s complexity, the extent of injuries, the willingness of parties to settle out of court, and the court’s schedule. Generally, it could take anywhere from a few months to a few years to fully resolve. Understanding the timeline of a personal injury case can be helpful so you know what to expect.