Wrong Lane Car Accident Lawyers

If you’ve ever been confronted with a vehicle coming head-on toward you in your lane, you know how frightening it can be. Wrong-lane car accidents are less common than other kinds of accidents, but they still occur more often than they should.

Each year in New Jersey, there are approximately seven deaths resulting from wrong-way driving. Since driving in the wrong lane leads to head-on collisions, it’s also common to suffer serious injuries if you’re involved in one.

If you’ve suffered injuries, property damage, and other losses because of a wrong-lane accident that someone else caused, turn to wrong-lane car accident lawyers like us at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq for experienced help. 

What Are Wrong Lane Car Accidents?

Wrong-lane car accidents refer to collisions that occur when someone steers their car into a lane where vehicles are traveling in the opposite direction, leading to a crash.

This type of accident is likely to happen when a vehicle enters a freeway using an exit ramp. However, it can also occur on regular roads if someone enters a one-way street in the opposite direction or if they change lanes in an unsafe manner.

Although there are usually clear markings alerting drivers throughout one-way streets, including “One Way” and “Do Not Enter” signs, a significant number of these types of accidents occur at night when visibility is a concern. That, in addition to negligent actions by the driver, could lead to a serious crash.

No Fee Unless

GGL Wins

What Causes a Wrong-Lane Driver Crash?

As with other kinds of car accidents, wrong-lane collisions have many potential causes.

Intoxicated driving involves getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or using drugs — even certain prescription drugs can be a concern. Alcohol and drugs affect the central nervous system, with many of them slowing down reflexes and coordination.

Despite the national blood alcohol concentration limit being 0.08%, a driver who’s had just one drink can already be a danger on the road.

A study that looked at wrong-way accidents in divided highways throughout the country found that 60.1% of all wrong-lane drivers had a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

Distracted driving is another serious behavior affecting everyone throughout New Jersey and the country. A driver who’s not paying attention to the road because they’re fiddling with the GPS, radio, or phone will not see hazards as they drive. They might even miss signs warning them that they’re in the wrong lane.

New Jersey has initiatives and laws in place to prevent people from using phones while driving, but distracted driving is still a problem.

Driving while battling exhaustion is another cause of wrong-lane crashes. People who are fatigued behind the wheel are distracted and may even have a hard time keeping their eyes open. They could be changing the radio station or doing other things to keep themselves awake, all of which take away from the act of driving.

Someone who’s tired and sleepy may miss signs warning of one-way streets, and they could fall asleep at the wheel and swerve into the wrong lane without realizing it.

In some cases, the driver is not to blame for the accident but a road design issue. If there are visibility problems, like missing lights, drivers may not see signs at night. Badly marked ramps and foliage that cover signs can also be issues. In those instances, the municipality in charge of the roads could be to blame.

Road designs can also be faulty. For example, highway interchanges with ramps parallel to each other can easily confuse drivers. Highway entrances and exits at intersections can also cause drivers to turn too slowly into oncoming traffic.

Liability in Wrong-Lane Accidents

Establishing liability is important in wrong-lane accidents. Many people assume that since New Jersey is a no-fault state for traffic accidents, it doesn’t matter who caused the collision. This is not the case.

New Jersey follows modified comparative negligence statutes. These statutes allow you to get compensation from your insurance company if you contributed to the accident as long as you were not the person with the highest percentage of fault.

For example, in a two-vehicle accident, you need to hold less than 50% of the fault.

That requires establishing liability. Most of the time, driver error is what leads to wrong-lane accidents. Drivers who are intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted breached their duty of care toward everyone else sharing the road with them.

In cases when road conditions lead drivers to enter the wrong lane, the municipality or whoever is in charge of that stretch of road can be liable.

In rare instances, car malfunctions can cause drivers to swerve or lose control of their vehicles, resulting in accidents. If there is a vehicle design or manufacturing problem, then the company that made the vehicle is likely liable.

Sometimes, the fault lies with both drivers involved. For example, if you were driving down a one-way road while texting, you may miss a car wrongly entering the road from the opposite direction, leading to a collision. You’re both to blame in this case, even though the majority of fault would likely fall on the wrong-way driver.

Injuries Caused by Wrong-Lane Driver Accidents

Wrong-lane accidents are mostly head-on collisions, which can lead to devastating injuries.

Whiplash is a common injury that many people suffer after being in a car accident of any kind. In head-on collisions caused by a wrong-way driver, whiplash can be a serious concern.

This injury occurs when a force causes your head to rapidly move backward and forward, affecting neck muscles and ligaments. In the most severe cases, the injury can cause swelling, which blocks signals to and from the brain, leading to long-term neurological issues if the injury doesn’t heal correctly.

The force of the collision can cause bone fractures, especially in the arms or lower body, since these areas are less protected even if the vehicle’s airbags deploy. The most serious types of broken bones are compound fractures, which occur when a bone cuts through the skin, becoming visible.

Internal damage can be very dangerous. One of the reasons why that’s the case is because it’s not always obvious that you’ve been injured right after the accident. Often, internal damage begins with a bruise and some discomfort, which might not raise significant red flags.

In some instances, it can take a day or two before the full symptoms alert you that something is wrong.

Internal damage can include organ damage, with the spleen, liver, and kidneys being the most commonly injured. You can also experience abdominal bleeding and cracked or bruised ribs. Because you can’t see most of these injuries the moment they occur, you need to be assessed by a medical professional right after the crash.

Head-on collisions, especially those that occur at high speeds, can result in severe spinal cord injuries. The force of the crash can work like a blow to the spine, jostling vertebrae out of place or even cracking them. In the worst cases, the collision can sever your spinal cord, resulting in either partial or complete paralysis.

Another type of serious injury that can occur from a wrong-lane accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These refer to anything that causes damage to your brain.

The mildest type of traumatic brain injury is a concussion, which occurs when your brain twists or hits against the skull, leading to damaged blood vessels, bruising, and even chemical changes. Most concussions heal with time.

Diffuse axonal injuries are particularly severe TBIs that occur when the nerves in the brain are stretched beyond what they can stand. These injuries can damage many parts of the brain at the same time, causing sweeping effects that could lead to permanent brain damage, coma, and even death.

Damages Available After a Wrong-Lane Car Accident

If you’ve been in this kind of accident, you can claim a number of damages, though the exact ones depend on your insurance plan and other factors.

After suffering an injury from a wrong-lane car accident, you’ll likely need medical assistance. This could mean spending time in the hospital, getting rehabilitation therapy, and more, which could be a serious financial burden.

Economic damages can cover medical expenses, including any changes you need to make to your home or vehicle to accommodate disabilities caused by the accident. If you need ongoing care, then you can receive coverage for future medical expenses, too.

Another type of economic damage you can claim is lost wages. As you get medical care, you may not be able to return to work, which means you’re missing out on wages, bonuses, commissions, and more. Seeking damages for lost wages can help compensate you for the income you missed. 

If your injuries are severe and won’t allow you to return to work in the same capacity or at all, then you can also claim lost earning potential.

Depending on the kinds of injuries you’ve sustained and the insurance policy you have, you can also claim non-economic damages.

Pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages. When you suffer an injury, you experience pain and psychological trauma, and you should be able to get compensation for that. The more serious the injury, the more compensation you can usually expect.

If a loved one dies or is severely injured, it’s possible to claim loss of companionship since you’ll have lost support and affection.

Loss of enjoyment of life is another type of non-economic damage, and it strives to compensate you if you’re not able to live your life as you used to.

Contact Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq After a Wrong-Lane Car Accident

After suffering injuries and other losses because of someone else’s actions on the road, you need to turn to experienced car accident lawyers for help. At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, we’re dedicated to helping clients throughout New Jersey get the compensation they deserve.

Reach out to our team of compassionate and tenacious attorneys by calling Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq right now at 800-923-3456.

Related Practice Areas

No Fee Unless

GGL Wins

We've got you covered.


Recent GGL Wins

Auto Accident

31-year-old man who was cut off by another car causing his car to flip over. He sustained head injuries, facial injuries, and half of his pinky finger was amputated.

$3 Million


Auto Accident

Mediation award Plaintiff was injured in an intersection motor vehicle collision resulting in neck and low back fusion surgeries. Read more…

$2 Million


Auto Accident

Female passenger in vehicle rear-ended on Parkway. She sustained herniations resulting in multiple injections; a percutaneous discectomy; invasive surgery; and ultimately a percutaneous pain stimulator trial which did not result in a final implantation. There was no wage loss. Case settled for $1.6 Million. The primary carrier (NJM) paid $1Million and the insured’s excess carrier paid $600K

$2.75 Million