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Dangers of wrong-way accidents

Each year in New Jersey, many people read about or hear in the news about wrong-way accidents that occur on high-speed, divided highways. While these accidents are relatively rare, they are usually quite catastrophic, resulting in serious personal injuries and deaths.

The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, has been studying wrong-way driving accidents since 1968. The agency has expressed a special interest in these accidents as they are significantly more likely to result in fatalities than are other accident types.

This fact has been demonstrated in studies conducted by several states as well, with California finding that wrong-way accidents were 12 times more likely to be fatal and Virginia finding that they were 27 times more likely to be fatal than other types of accidents. Michigan found that fatalities occurred in 22 percent of wrong-way accidents in that state, while other accident types resulted in fatalities in just 0.3 percent of cases.

Among the recommendations the NTSB has made regarding wrong-way accidents, many are focused on reducing drunk driving and collecting and testing toxicology evidence following an accident. In more than half of the wrong-way driving cases, the at-fault driver was found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident.

When people have been injured in a car crash caused by a wrong-way driver, they may be left struggling with high expenses, financial losses and lifelong disabling injuries. They may want to be careful before accepting an offer of settlement from an insurance company to make certain they have correctly valued their claim. A personal injury attorney may help by valuing all potential damages categories on behalf of their client. They may also help by identifying all potential insurance sources . In the event an adequate settlement cannot be reached, an attorney may then file a lawsuit in court and advocate to maximize their client's recovery.

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