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Who’s at Fault in a Backing Out Accident?

Injured driver after backing out accident

No one wants to be involved in a car accident. It causes a major headache dealing with several different factors such as communicating with insurance, a mechanic, and the other party involved. To make matters worse, backing out of a parking lot is considered to be a very complicated accident as each party swears they are not at fault. If you have found yourself in this type of unfortunate situation, our personal injury experienced attorneys are here to help. It is crucial to get an experienced attorney to handle these types of cases due to its complications. 

According to the National Safety Council, backing out accidents make up about 500 deaths and around 15,000 injuries every year. Partially, this is to blame for poor backing out methods used by the driver. Backing out of a parking spot makes up of around 25% of car accidents each year.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the main reason why the backing out accident occurred was because the driver was either not aware of the obstacle behind them or they used an improper and unsafe method to back out.

Further, children who are less than 5 years old and older adults above 70 are more likely to be hit by a vehicle backing out. Those on a bicycle are more likely to be hit by a car backing out than a person who was walking. The most common places where backing up accidents occur are in parking garages, parking lots, and driveways. Those operating taller vehicles are more likely to not see oncoming traffic when backing out.

Who is at Fault in a Backing Up Accident?

There are different scenarios that have different liabilities in regards to who would be at fault in a backing up accident. It depends on:

  • Whether the driver backing up had that right of way. For example, if the driver backing up violated any type of red lights or yield signs, they are likely the ones at fault.
  • Whether the other car was parked. For example, in accidents where there was one car who was still and there was another moving car, the moving car is likely at fault.

There are different scenarios where backing up accidents most likely occur:

  • Backing out of a parking lot
  • Backing out of a parking spot
  • Backing out into the road with oncoming traffic
  • Two cars who back up into each other: this is the most common type of accident that ends up in contradicting testimony and conflicting views between parties. However, the rule most likely applied is that if both cars were moving, both the drivers are equally at fault and no driver would be able to collect damages from the other driver.

Different ways in which a person backing up is most likely at fault:

  • When the driver was backing out at an alarmingly increased speed
  • When the driver backed out into a street that had a “yield” sign
  • When the driver was drunk while backing out
  • When the driver was under the influence of drugs when backing out
  • When the driver was distracted with their phone when backing out
  • When the driver failed to stop at a traffic stop sign when backing out
  • When the driver hit another car in the parking lot, and drove off. This type of situation usually has stricter consequences

 How to Prevent Backing Out Accidents

Fortunately, backing out accidents can be prevented, unlike other car accidents. Below are some examples on how drivers can practice safely backing out and preventing a complicated lawsuit.

  • A driver should always learn their vehicle’s blind-spot. Every vehicle has a blind spot, and those who drive a car for the first time should be made aware of those prior to driving
  • Choose a parking spot that is closer to the exit
  • Choose a parking spot that is away from other parked cars
  • Prevent parking in one way street such as alleys
  • After parking, do a quick walk around the car to determine the safest way to back out of the area
  • If possible, ask for assistance from the passenger to look for any oncoming cars
  • If possible, install a rearview camera system to have better vision
  • Never assume that no one is in back of you

What to do After a Backing Out Accident in Los Angeles

It is very important to remain calm after an accident and document all types of evidence. Any evidence documented could potentially save you in a future lawsuit.

  • Get the other parties’ contact information, including name, address, contact meth od, insurance company, license plate of the car, and driver’s license number. Note, if the other party is not insured, there may be other requirements to fulfill. For more information, check out our latest blog on “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Policy Limits in California vs Nevada.”
  • Take photos of your car and the other driver’s car. Make sure to get all sides to prevent any miscommunication and false accusations in potential lawsuits
  • Record the names of all witnesses and police officers
  • After the accident, try to document everything you remember in a journal. The details of the accident could be easily forgotten.
  • If a police report has been filed, check to see the report. For more information on how to get a copy of a traffic collision report, contact one of our attorneys.
  • Visit a doctor to determine if you have sustained any injuries. Even if you do not feel pain, it is essential to get a medical diagnosis to be sure and prevent any future unexpected problems.

In summary, we advise everyone to maintain safe backing out techniques to avoid any costly lawsuits and prevent any injuries. If you have found yourself in such a situation, it is important to keep calm and document all types of evidence.  Since each accident is personal and different, we advise drivers and passengers to seek the advice from an attorney immediately. There is a different guideline for each type of accident that occurs.

Our Los Angeles trial attorneys are experienced in different types of car accident lawsuits. For more information, please contact one of our attorneys. If you or someone you know has been involved in a  car accident, whether you are the driver at fault or the driver injured, contact our experienced Los Angeles attorneys today for a free consultation.

There are different car accident laws that determine fault and damages awarded depending on whether you are located in California or Nevada. Even if you were a passenger in the car accident, you may still have a claim for personal injury. Please contact our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free consultation today. We are always readily available for our clients with accessible offices in Los Angeles, Fresno, Sacramento, Irvine and Las Vegas. Heidari Law Group will be there to assist you.

***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.

Sam Heidari

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