Wrong Way Car Accident Lawyers in Chicago | Staver
Car Accidents

Wrong Way Car Accident Lawyers in Chicago

Car crashes are usually unexpected and happen for a variety of reasons. Some of the most dangerous accidents happen when a driver goes against traffic.

Wrong way driver accidents can cause severe injuries or have deadly consequences. If you’ve been injured in a wrong way accident in Chicago, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you recover.

Call the Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., for a free consultation on your case: (312) 236-2900.

Are Wrong Way Crashes Common in Chicago?

Wrong-way crashes are a concern across the nation, in Illinois, and Chicago. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 1,060 fatal crashes were caused by drivers going the wrong way in 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Illinois and Chicago saw an increase in wrong-way crashes from 2020 to 2021. Illinois’ wrong-way crashes jumped from 991 in 2020 to 1,140 in 2021. There were 305 wrong-way crashes reported in Chicago in 2020 and 376 in 2021. There were 19 wrong-way crashes reported on South Cicero Avenue alone.

Why Do Drivers Go Against Traffic?

Most drivers don’t have a problem following the traffic flow, but sometimes misunderstandings can lead to mishaps. Maybe a driver didn’t notice construction signs pointing out a change in traffic patterns, or perhaps they’re not used to driving in that area. These scenarios might not always have devastating consequences, but you should watch for drivers going the wrong way.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety identified some situations where wrong-way drivers could cause serious damage, including:

  • Driving while impaired — when drivers get behind the wheel after drinking, using illicit substances, or driving fatigued, they’ll drive at less than 100% of their attention. Slower reaction times, less attention to their surroundings, and reckless driving can lead to deadly crashes.
  • Inexperienced or older drivers — drivers at both ends of the experience spectrum are likely to end up driving against traffic. Some older drivers cannot see properly and could be too stubborn to admit it. Younger drivers may be nervous or unsure what to do on certain roadways, especially if passengers are creating distractions.
  • Driving without a passenger — according to AAA, nearly 87% of wrong-way crashes happen when drivers are alone in a vehicle. Passengers can be distracting, but they can also monitor the road with the driver and point out hazards outside the car.

What Kind of Injuries Do Wrong Way Crashes Cause?

Wrong-way crashes can have critical consequences. Besides damaging your car, they may result in injuries or death.

Injuries caused by a wrong-way crash include:

What Compensation Can I Get After a Wrong-Way Crash?

Under Illinois law, you can seek compensation for damages, injuries, and losses after a driver’s negligence or reckless behavior injure you. You can pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic losses.

Economic losses are the out-of-pocket expenses you pay after a car crash. You can seek compensation for medical expenses, doctor’s visits, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, or property damage.

Non-economic losses are conceptual and complex to calculate. These include pain and suffering, mental anguish, diminished quality of life, and loss of consortium or comfort.

A Chicago personal injury lawyer can explain what losses you can seek compensation for and how to approach your case.

Who’s Liable for a Wrong Way Crash?

Illinois uses a comparative negligence rule to determine who will pay for injuries and losses after a car crash. In most wrong-way crashes, the driver that drove against traffic is liable. You’ll pursue a claim with their insurance.

However, under the comparative negligence rule, if you share responsibility for the crash, that percentage of responsibility will be deducted from your final reward. For instance, if you’re 20% at fault for the crash and were awarded $100,000 for your injuries, you’ll receive $80,000.

How Do I Prove I was Injured by a Wrong Way Driver?

The proof is essential in personal injury cases. You need to show the other driver was going the wrong way and you were injured because of their actions. There are a few things you can use to prove their liability in the crash, including:

  • Police Report — police must respond to any crash that results in death, bodily injury, or more than $1,500 in property damage. Wrong-way crashes can often be head-on collisions as the driver is going against traffic. Police will record the scene’s aftermath, where vehicles were, describe conditions, and the driver’s status (i.e., if they were impaired).
  • Photos or Videos at the Scene — it’s in your best interest to collect photos or videos of the crash if possible. You can get photos of street signs and the direction of traffic to show the driver was going the wrong way when they caused the crash.
  • Witness Statements — even if eyewitness testimony isn’t 100% reliable, getting someone who can describe what happened in a wrong-way crash will support your insurance claim, mainly because insurers want to avoid paying out settlements.
  • Crash Reconstructionists — professional analysts can look at crash forensic data and recreate what happened. They can show how the driver going the wrong way caused the crash, bolstering your claim.

Avoiding Wrong Way Crashes

It might be out of your control in some situations, but if you see a driver going the wrong way, there are some actions you can take to avoid a crash.

  • Go the speed limit: even if you feel like you can go faster, going the speed limit will give you more time to react if you see a driver going against traffic
  • Focus on the road: when driving, you need to stay alert and keep your eyes on the road. Even short distractions can have deadly consequences
  • Don’t Drive Impaired: Some people feel confident driving after drinking or using illicit substances. However, studies show that’s a deadly combination. Even driving while drowsy can be dangerous. Get another person to drive or use a rideshare service

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

Wrong-way crashes can cause serious damage to your property or even leave you injured. In extreme cases, you could lose a loved one in a wrong-way crash. You deserve compensation when a driver’s reckless actions hurt you or a loved one. Even if you feel the damage is minor, that’s still damage that might not have happened without the at-fault driver.

A personal injury lawyer will explain your legal options to recover compensation for your damages. They can investigate your crash, identify the liable party, gather critical evidence, and negotiate on your behalf. Not all wrong-way crash cases go to trial, but a knowledgeable attorney will know how to handle that situation. You deserve representation you can trust.

Call a Chicago Wrong Way Car Accident Lawyer Now

The Chicago wrong-way crash lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., are ready to hear your case. We know crashes are traumatizing and insurance companies aren’t always cooperative. You should give us a call to help you deal with your legal needs as you physically recover from the crash.

Our car accident lawyers have experience dealing with Illinois’ personal injury laws and are prepared to help you navigate your claim. We can help you if the matter goes to court. We operate on a no-win, no-fee policy: you don’t owe us anything unless we win your settlement. We work for you and with you to resolve your claim.

Call us at (312) 236-2900 or use our online form to schedule your free initial consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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