Who Is At Fault In a Car Accident When Backing Up?

November 30, 2022

Drivers need to be cautious when reversing their vehicles. Backing out of a parking space or a driveway might seem simple, but the truth is that it accounts for most accidents in California. Typically, the driver backing up is held liable for the accident. However, the liability could lie with the other driver. In some cases, all the parties involved may share liability.

Determining the At-fault Party

Several elements can help determine the party at fault in a backing accident.

  • Right of way: Typically the driver with the vehicle that does not have the right of way is considered at fault. For example, if a driver backs out of their driveway and hits another car, they are at fault. The only exception to this rule is when the driver with the right of way is speeding or fails to pay attention. In that case, they might be held accountable for the damages.
  • Witnesses: Most of the time, drivers have different accounts of what occurred. Each driver offers a narrative that deflects fault. This is where the help of a witness statement comes in. The witness can help fill gaps in someone's story, or answer conflicted questions of facts. Their account can also supplement law enforcement reports and photographic evidence.
  • Damage Location: Damage location can help determine if one is responsible for the accident. For example, a car might hit you if you reverse into the street from your driveway and stop before backing into the street. The car that hits the back of your car will sustain damage to the front of their car. 

That would signify enough time for the oncoming vehicle to see your vehicle backing up and stopping. It would also suggest that the car with the right of way needed to pay more attention.

Avoiding the Car Accident

You should be in control of your car when reversing. However, you don't need to be in a rush, particularly if you have yet to enter the roadway.

Ensure you check the traffic behind you before you start moving. While reversing, your focus should be on driving. Refrain from using your phone or adjusting the radio while the vehicle is in motion. 

If your vehicle has a backup camera, ensure you use it while reversing. The backup camera can alert you of obstacles on the road or if you're too close to hitting anything. However, don't rely solely on your backup camera; always make sure you're scanning the area as well. 

Contact Experienced San Diego Auto Accident Attorney

If you or your loved one has suffered an injury in a backing accident in California, the auto accident attorneys at Laureti & Associates can help you pursue compensation.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discover more about your rights.

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