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Who’s to Blame for an Accident When Backing Up?

Sep 11, 2023 | Uncategorized

Determining fault in a car accident can be complex, especially when the crash involves a vehicle that was backing up. Backing up collisions — also referred to as backover accidents — commonly occur in parking lots, parking garages, and driveways. Although many vehicles are installed with backup cameras, these devices cannot be solely relied upon to prevent accidents. If another driver failed to ensure the way was clear before reversing their vehicle, they may be held liable for any injuries you suffer as a result of their negligence.  

Causes of Backover Accidents

There are many ways backing up accidents can happen. For example, if a driver is backing their vehicle out of a parking space without paying attention to their surroundings, they may collide with an oncoming vehicle or a pedestrian. Backing up accidents can also occur when a vehicle is backing out of a driveway into oncoming traffic or if a vehicle is reversing to load or unload cargo in the workplace.  

Common causes of backing up accidents can include the following:

  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to observe
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Pedal confusion

Liability in a backing up accident will depend on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the collision. But in most cases, fault will simply come down to who had the right of way. If you were moving forward on the road and another driver crashed into your vehicle while backing out of their driveway, they would typically be to blame. However, if both vehicles were in motion at the same time while backing up out of parallel parking spaces, fault might be shared. 

Compensation for Backing Up Accidents

Depending upon the force of impact, being struck by a vehicle that was reversing can result in serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and time lost from work. While no-fault benefits will cover a portion of your lost earnings and medical expenses up to $50,000, regardless of who’s to blame for the crash, this may not be adequate to cover the full extent of your losses. 

If you were injured as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or vehicle occupant due to another driver’s negligence while backing up, you may be entitled to compensation for the full extent of your losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit. In the event you can establish the other driver’s carelessness or recklessness caused the accident, you may be eligible to recover your monetary losses — and compensation for your pain and suffering. Economic damages can compensate you for things like your unreimbursed medical expenses, lost earnings, future lost wages, future medical expenses, and your out-of-pocket costs. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for the physical pain and mental anguish you experienced due to your injuries.  

In a backing up accident case, the other driver may attempt to shift the blame to you. But even if you shared some of the blame for the collision, you may still be entitled to recover a portion of the damages you suffered due to the other driver’s carelessness. Under New York’s comparative negligence rule, you may be eligible to receive compensation as long as you were not 100% at fault for the accident. This means that if you were 99% to blame, you’d still be entitled to monetary recovery in a lawsuit. In such cases, your compensation would be reduced by your percentage of negligence.

Contact an Experienced New York City Personal Injury Attorney

Backing up accidents can be complicated. It’s best to have the representation of a personal injury attorney who can stand up for your rights and obtain the maximum compensation you deserve. Regularly appearing on the top verdicts and settlements lists in New York State, The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP has secured millions in compensation for countless car accident victims due to our acumen, skill, and honest approach.  

The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a New York City personal injury firm with more than eighty years of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims. Located in Manhattan, we have been helping those who have been hurt by the negligence of another obtain the monetary compensation they deserve for their injuries since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.




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