Wrong-way accidents happen if a car travels into a lane of oncoming traffic or drives the wrong way down a one-way street. Often, a head-on or front-end collision is the result. Head-on collisions can be deadly. When two cars strike each other head-on, it is an extremely forceful crash. Airbags and seat belts may help a little but may not mitigate the damage significantly if high speeds are involved. At Sharifi Firm, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys can help you explore your legal options if you are injured or a loved one is killed in a wrong-way crash.Pursuing Damages for a Wrong-Way Accident
Often, wrong-way accidents are the result of negligence. Sometimes a driver may be lost, or a driver may be fatigued or drunk. To prove negligence, you need to establish the duty of the other driver to use reasonable care and show that his or her failure to satisfy this duty caused your injuries. If a loved one died as a result of another person driving the wrong way down a road, you may be able to bring a wrongful death action based on negligence. Only certain people are entitled by statute to bring a wrongful death claim and recover damages for their associated losses.
Wrong-way accidents may also happen because warning signs are missing or ineffective. In that case, whoever owns the road may be responsible. The owner may be a private party, or it may be the city or state or federal entity that owns the road. In California, governmental entities have sovereign immunity except in certain cases.
The California Torts Claims Act specifies that there is a limited waiver of sovereign immunity, but it requires a personal injury plaintiff to present a written claim for damages to the public entity alleged to be responsible within six months of the accident. There are only a few valid reasons to serve a claim after this period ends, such as if there was some mistake or surprise, the claimant was a minor during the whole six-month period, some mental or physical incapacity existed, or the claimant died. Your lawsuit moves forward only if the governmental entity rejects your claim.
If you establish negligence by another driver, property owner, or governmental entity, you may be able to recover compensatory damages, both economic and noneconomic. Economic damages may be substantial and may include medical bills, lost income, household services, and other tangible damages. Noneconomic damages may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment.
Punitive damages are rarely available in car accident cases. However, in drunk driving cases, they may be requested. These are damages that are meant to deter similar misconduct and punish a defendant. Accordingly, if an intoxicated driver ignored warning signs or crossed over into oncoming traffic and caused serious injuries, it may be possible to obtain punitive damages.Consult a Dedicated Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
At Sharifi Firm, our experienced Los Angeles lawyers can help you seek the full extent of damages if you are hurt in a wrong-way accident. We can put our experience, legal knowledge, and strong reputation to work for you. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. We also represent people in Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Riverside, and other Southern California cities.