There’s any number of different types of car accidents that happen in Fresno on a given day, but often the most serious in terms of injuries and damage is when a car goes the wrong way down a street or road. This, obviously, gives rise to a lot of issues. Most notably, it leads to head-on collisions with vehicles, but can involve various accidents.
At Maison Law, our Fresno car accident lawyers are well-versed in how these accidents can impact both your personal and public life. Whether it be physical injuries or emotional trauma, a wrong-way car accident could leave you facing medical bills and other challenges. You don’t have to face these challenges alone. Contact us today for a free consultation and let our team go to work for you.
Liability in a Fresno Wrong-Way Accident
The key to establishing liability for your injuries in your Fresno wrong-way car accident lies in identifying the party at fault. Our team can assist you in determining the compensation you may be eligible for. Although each case is unique, there are specific elements you must demonstrate to succeed in your case. Essentially, you need to prove to the judge and jury that the other party’s negligence led to the accident. Generally, negligence consists of four elements that must be established:
- The other driver or party had an obligation to operate their vehicle safely and avoid causing harm to others.
- The other driver or party failed to fulfill this duty.
- Their failure directly resulted in the accident.
- The accident led to your injuries and other associated damages.
In the context of a wrong-way accident, liability is pretty clear: it falls on the person that was driving the wrong way. With that said, it’s helpful to understand the circumstances that can cause these accidents:
- Impaired driving – One of the leading causes of wrong-way accidents is impaired driving, typically involving alcohol or drugs. Drivers under the influence may not realize they are entering a highway or one-way road in the wrong direction.
- Confusing or poorly marked roads – In some cases, poorly marked or confusing roadways can lead drivers to unintentionally enter a road the wrong way. Inadequate signage or road design can contribute to this.
- Distracted driving – Distractions like using a cell phone, adjusting the radio, or eating can cause a driver to miss or ignore road signs and enter a one-way road incorrectly.
- Medical conditions – In rare instances, a driver may have a medical episode, such as a seizure or a heart attack, that causes them to lose control of their vehicle and enter a road the wrong way.
- Elderly drivers – Older drivers, particularly those with cognitive impairments, may accidentally enter a road the wrong way due to confusion or disorientation.
- Inexperienced drivers – Novice drivers may make mistakes when entering or exiting highways or one-way roads, especially if they are not familiar with the area.
- Roadway blockages – Debris, roadwork, or accidents can sometimes force drivers to take unexpected detours onto one-way roads.
- Fatigue – Fatigued drivers can become disoriented and make wrong turns onto one-way roads.
Regardless of the cause, being in a wrong-way accident is likely going to involve extensive injuries and damage to your vehicle. While every car accident is unique, you do have certain legal rights and options when you’ve been injured.
Legal Process in a Fresno Wrong-Way Car Accident
Car accident cases usually follow one of two paths toward compensation: an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. It often begins with an insurance claim, which may escalate into a lawsuit, depending on the specifics of your accident. Here are the primary distinctions between these two processes:
In the event of an accident causing injuries, an insurance company will likely become involved, either through your own insurance or the responsible party’s insurance. After you submit a claim, usually an insurance adjuster will reach out to you and open an investigation into the accident. There’s a lot of advantages to filing an insurance claim, most notably:
- Reduced court costs and additional attorney fees
- Quicker financial recovery
- Less involvement, resulting in fewer hassles
- A better understanding of your case’s value as you work directly with the insurance company
However, negotiating with the insurance company can have disadvantages:
- The insurance company may prolong the process, leaving you in a difficult financial situation
- The offer usually doesn’t cover all your damages
The insurance company has the final say in determining your claim amount. If you choose to proceed further, our team can assist you through the litigation process.
Filing a lawsuit after your car accident involves taking your case to court, which demands more time and resources. Although it may take longer, a lawsuit offers the potential for more substantial financial recovery. You will play a more active role in the litigation phase, while our team manages responsibilities such as:
- Filing a Complaint in civil court
- Handling and submitting legal documents, including motions
- Assisting with evidence requests and responses (discovery)
- Getting you ready for depositions and other court hearings
- Conducting depositions of key witnesses and involved individuals
- Securing expert witness testimony
- Negotiating with the opposing party
- Engaging in mediation and other discussions
- Preparing for trial and presenting your case in front of the jury
It’s important to note that there are no guarantees of a favorable outcome in court. While litigation can be lengthy, extending beyond the initial claim by several months or even years, it remains a critical option to secure the benefits and support you are entitled to under California law.
When you file a car accident claim in Fresno, you are seeking financial support for injuries, which in a wrong-way accident can require medical treatment and cause emotional distress. This support is known as “damages,” and they aim to reimburse you for losses due to the car accident or injury. Typically, these include:
- Medical expenses
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Lost wages or future income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life or companionship
- Wrongful death expenses in the event of a fatal accident
Steps You Should Take After a Fresno Wrong Way Accident
Experiencing any car accident can be an extremely stressful and daunting event, especially if it’s a wrong-way accident and you and your passengers are hurt. In the event of a car accident in Fresno, it’s crucial to take specific actions to protect your well-being and preserve your legal rights. These actions usually include:
- Checking for injuries
- Moving to a secure area
- Exchanging information with all parties involved
- Taking photographs and videos of the accident scene
- Getting in touch with your insurance provider
- Seeking medical care
Following these steps will help ensure your safety, protect your legal rights, and minimize the impact of any car accident you might experience. The last step is especially crucial, as our experienced team of car accident lawyers will keep you informed and provide insight into your legal options.
Contact Maison Law After a Fresno Wrong-Way Accident
Getting hurt in a Fresno wrong-way car accident is certainly not ideal. But when it happens to you, it’s crucial to team up with skilled car accident lawyers who can assist you during this challenging time. At Maison Law, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge in helping people get financial support for their injuries after a car accident.
Don’t hesitate–contact us today to set up your free consultation to get the recovery process started.