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Who is At Fault in a Car Accident When Backing Up?

Posted By Anapol Weiss on this July 11, 2019 at 4:53 pm

Parking lot accidents might seem like they only account for small dings and nicks on cars that can be easily taken care of. However, there are far more dangerous things that can come from parking lot accidents when involving pedestrians. Over 50,000 parking lot accidents occur every year resulting in more than 60,000 injuries and 500 deaths. How can this be? The most common parking lot accident is when a driver is backing up into a parking spot or pulling into one.

Different Types of Back- Up Accidents

When we think of parking lot accidents, we typically think of one car backing up into another. There are so many different scenarios of how this could take place and each situation has contributing factors that make the accident more or less serious. What if one car is backing up and crashes into a stationary vehicle? Well, it is clearly the fault of the person driving the car. In this case, you need to leave a note with your contact information to give the other driver a chance to assess the damages and contact you if need be. Failure to leave a note with your contact information would be considered a hit and run crime.

Another clear-cut example would be if a driver fails to break in time to stop at a stop sign and crashed into the car in front of it. Clearly, since only one car is moving, it would be their fault. It is the responsibility of the moving car to ensure they brake in time to leave a safe amount of space between their car and the one in front of them. This can happen if the driver is distracted like texting on a cell phone, applying make-up, changing the radio station, misjudging the amount of space between the cars or simply not paying attention.

What if you are backing up at the same time another car is backing up and you two accidentally crash into each other? This type of back-up accident would result in equally shares responsibility in the accident because neither car had the right-of-way. Both drivers are responsible for checking their surroundings to make sure it is safe to back up – it would be both of the driver’s fault if they backed into one another.

If a car either backs up into a lane of traffic or pulls forward into traffic, both drivers could have partial blame in this scenario because both vehicles are moving. The driver who is already driving in traffic has the right-of-way and the person backing out of their parking spot must ensure it’s safe to pull out before doing so. The blame here would typically fall onto the driver backing out of their parking spot. This is of course unless the driver in traffic is driving in an unsafe manner.

Exceptions to the Rule

If any driver is driving recklessly like speeding, making illegal turns or driving aggressively, they are typically found at fault due to their negligent driving. If you believe you were hit by a reckless driver, contact an experienced car accident attorney to help sort through your case. These accidents can be hard to prove and fight, but with a knowledgeable lawyer on your side to explain the accident claims process to you, you have a far better chance of winning your case!

What to do After a Parking Lot Accident

If the damage is minor, it likely will not require a police report so do everything you can to collect evidence of the scene. Take photos of the damage to your car as well as any injuries if you have any (as a pedestrian or driver). Exchange insurance and contact information from the other driver. If you believe the damage was more severe and you need car repairs, contact an attorney to help walk you through the insurance claims process.

Topics Car Accident