Who is at fault if a driver hits someone when backing up?

As is the case after every accident, determining who is at fault is only possible after all of the evidence is considered. However, if you or your child have been hurt in this type of accident—known as a backover crash—then it is important to know how these accidents occur, who may be at fault, and how to protect your recovery.

Common Causes of Backover Crashes

Backover crashes typically happen in driveways and parking lots. As the term suggests, they occur when drivers are backing up or in reverse and they hit a pedestrian or bicyclist. The majority of backover accident victims are young children.

While young children cannot appreciate the risk of being behind a motor vehicle, drivers can prevent backover crashes by:

  • Anticipating that someone may be behind the vehicle. Drivers should look carefully before putting the car in reverse and should proceed slowly so that they can stop before tragedy occurs. This requires a driver’s full attention and should not happen when a driver is distracted.
  • Taking care to check blind spots. Every vehicle—even a sedan—has blind spots that drivers just can’t see when they are in reverse. It is a driver’s responsibility to account for these blind spots.

Some vehicles have technology installed to make backover crashes less likely. For example, rearview cameras and sensor based systems that detect people behind the vehicle may prevent some accidents. However, these technologies cannot prevent every backover accident.

Who May Be Liable for Backover Injuries and Fatalities?

Generally, there are two choices. The driver may be liable for the crash or the pedestrian or bicyclist who was hit may be responsible for the crash.

While some crashes are just accidents that the pedestrian caused but did not intend, other crashes are caused by the driver’s negligence. If the driver failed to act like a reasonable driver would when backing up and that failure caused an accident and resulting injury or death, then the driver is liable.

How to Protect Your Fair Recovery

It is important to anticipate that the driver’s insurance company is going to argue that the accident was your fault or your child’s fault. You deserve to know the truth and to get the fair and just recovery that you deserve if the driver’s negligence caused the accident. Attorney Ben Crittenden will make sure that a thorough investigation is done and that your rights are protected. He will fight for your recovery of past, current and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages. To learn more, please read a free copy of A Guide to Car Accidents in Alaska and contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.