Gary P. Heslin
Connect with me
Experienced Pennsylvania Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorney serving Northeast Philadelphia


Wrong-way driver accidents are among the most frightening and devastating incidents on the busy streets of Philadelphia. These types of accidents can result in severe injuries, fatalities, and extensive property damage. If you were involved in a wrong-way driver accident, a skilled car accident lawyer can help protect your legal rights and possible compensation. Philadelphia Wrong Way Driver Accidents

Common Causes of Wrong-Way Driver Accidents

The consequences can be catastrophic when a motorist goes the wrong way and causes a head-on collision with another vehicle.
These crashes happen for various reasons, often involving a combination of factors. Let’s take a closer look. 

Impaired Driving 

A significant factor in wrong-way accidents is impaired driving, typically due to alcohol or drugs. Impaired drivers may become disoriented, misread signs, and enter highways or streets in the opposite direction.

Drowsy Driving 

Fatigue can impair a driver's judgment and reaction times, leading to wrong-way incidents. Sleep-deprived individuals may unknowingly enter one-way roads, exit ramps, or highway entrance lanes.

Inadequate Signage 

Poorly placed or confusing road signs mislead drivers, especially in unfamiliar areas. Missing or obscured signs contribute to the risk of wrong-way accidents.

Medical Conditions 

Certain medical conditions can affect a person's ability to comprehend road signs and navigate safely.


Distractions like texting, talking on the phone, or interacting with passengers divert a motorist's attention, leading them to make wrong turns onto one-way roads.

Poor Road Design

Roads with inadequate markings, poorly designed intersections, or confusing traffic patterns can increase the likelihood of drivers unintentionally going the wrong way.

Who’s at Fault in Wrong-Way Driver Accidents?

Determining fault in these incidents can be challenging and depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Here’s how fault is generally determined.

The Wrong-Way Driver 

If a motorist enters a road or highway in the wrong direction, they’re typically considered at fault. This includes cases of impaired, drowsy, or distracted driving.

Government or Municipality 

In some instances, the government agency responsible for road maintenance and signage may share liability if poorly designed roads or inadequate signage contributed to the accident.

Other Motorists

In multi-vehicle accidents involving a wrong-way driver, the fault may be shared among multiple parties. It’s crucial for your legal team to examine the actions of all drivers involved to determine their respective liabilities.

What to Do After a Wrong-Way Driver Accident

If you’re involved in a wrong-way driver accident, prioritize your safety. Move your vehicle to a safe location if possible, and check for injuries to yourself and others involved. Call 911 immediately to report the accident. Additionally, you’ll want to take the following essential steps.

Get Prompt Medical Attention 

Even if you feel fine, seeking medical attention after an accident is vital. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but could become more serious over time.

Exchange Information 

Exchange contact and insurance information with other parties involved. Be sure to gather contact details from witnesses as well.

Document the Accident Scene 

If you’re able, take photos or videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, and any visible injuries. This evidence can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

It’s critical to contact a Philadelphia car accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you understand your legal rights and protect them.

Possible Compensation in Wrong-Way Driver Accidents

If you were injured in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation. Damages you could recover include:

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

If a loved one dies in a wrong-way driver accident, surviving family members may be eligible for wrongful death benefits, including funeral expenses and compensation for their loss.

Why You Need a Lawyer

Navigating the aftermath of a wrong-way driver accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with insurance companies and legal matters. Here’s why hiring an experienced Philadelphia legal team like Heslin Law Firm is crucial.

Reliable Legal Expertise 

Wrong-way driver accident cases can be legally complex. Our professionals have a proven track record of successful personal injury cases. We’ll assess your case, determine liability, and help you pursue the appropriate legal action.

Negotiating Know-How With Insurers 

Insurance companies always intend to minimize their payouts. A car accident lawyer negotiates on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Evidence Preservation 

Lawyers have the resources and knowledge to collect essential evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, and medical records, to support your case.

Skilled Court Representation 

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, you’ll need a legal team with the expertise to prepare your case for trial and represent you in court.  

Stress Relief 

Dealing with a wrong-way driver accident can be emotionally draining. A trusted attorney handles all legal aspects, allowing you to focus on your recovery.