A multi-vehicle crash blocked the M6 in both directions between junctions 15 (Hanchurch) and 16 (Barthomley) shortly before 11.10am today (January 20).
National Highways said the crash involved a car, a lorry and a HGV crane, resulting in a significant spillage of diesel and hydraulic fluid.
Two out of three lanes were reopened on the southbound carriageway around 20 minutes later, but the northbound side remained shut.
The carriageway was expected to remain closed throughout the afternoon, with delays of an hour reported in both directions.
Pictures released by National Highways showed one of the lorries suffered extensive damage after it careered through the central reservation.
Rady Salim, from National Highways, said: "We're working closely with police colleagues while they carry out work on scene and we'd encourage motorists to leave additional time for their journeys."
An ambulance and paramedic officer attended the scene and assessed the driver of each vehicle involved.
The driver of the car sustained "non-life threatening injuries" and received treatment at the scene before being taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital.
The lorry drivers were uninjured, West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed.
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