One type of motor vehicle accident that can cause serious injuries is what is called the “back over accident.” A back over accident occurs when a driver hits something or someone while driving in reverse. Although drivers often travel at lower speeds when in reverse, they cannot always see a large portion of the area directly behind them. They may also not realize they have hit something as quickly as if that item had been in front of the car, so many continue to back up even after striking an object. Especially if a pedestrian is hit by a backing up car, they may suffer grave injury or a fatality.
Depending on the situation surrounding the back over accident, the driver could be held liable if they were found negligent. The Houston personal injury lawyers at the Ramsey Law Group has helped numerous clients fight to obtain maximum compensation from drivers and their insurance companies in back over accidents.
Back over accidents are most common in a home driveway or public parking lot. At home, people tend to feel comfortable and are not always fully vigilant until they are out on the road. In public parking lots, there are often numerous distractions and more people coming and going in general that could be hit. Trucks and SUVs that are higher off the ground also tend to be more often involved in back over accidents, as there is a larger blind spot behind these vehicles than in a sedan.
Unfortunately, children and elderly people are often the victims of back over accidents. Children often cannot be seen as easily and elderly people cannot always get out of the way quickly enough. We recommend drivers be extra vigilant about checking their surroundings before they get in the car and then checking all mirrors and using rearview cameras – if available – when in the car.
Pedestrians must be aware of their surroundings and use caution when approaching driveways, alleyways, and parking lots to avoid being hit by a car backing up. Parents should also make sure their children don’t play in areas where cars could be backing up and teach them how to spot when a car is about to back up. If someone is hit by a car in a back over accident that causes serious injury, usually automobile insurance will help cover the costs associated with the accident, but it may not be enough. Depending on the circumstances, the victim may be able to obtain additional compensation for medical bills, lost wages and earning capacity, and pain and suffering, among other things. The Houston car accident lawyers at Ramsey Law Group are here to answer questions and help navigate cases for our clients involved in back-over accidents.
Back over accidents most often occur in a parking lot or when backing out of a driveway. In determining who is at fault in a back over car accident, look to which car is in motion and who had the right of way. The car in motion at the time of the collision is most likely at fault and the driver with the right of way will usually not be at fault. Negligence – such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – creates an exception to the usual rules of the road. Car accidents when backing up may seem minor, but they can also involve dangerous circumstances like vehicles backing up into bicyclists and pedestrians.
The driver of a car in reverse has an obligation to look before backing up. There is no need to rush because the driver has not entered the roadway. So before taking off, drivers should assess the traffic behind them. If a vehicle has a back up camera, make sure to look into it before moving. But don’t let the back up camera be a substitute for actually turning you head and looking. Your peripheral vision has a wider view of potential hazards. Once backing up, drivers should do so slowly, maybe even inching out and stopping several times to look. The important thing is to continue to look towards the direction of traffic to ensure you maintain the right of way.
The driver driving in reverse – or backing up – is often found to be the at fault driver in a back over accident; however, the driver backing up is not always at fault. Under Texas law, insurance companies often end up determining who is at fault when liability is unclear. If a driver backs out of a parking space or garage and hits another vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist, they are typically at fault for the accident since their vehicle was not already in the flow of traffic and therefore did not have the right of way. A variety of factors could relieve the driver backing up of fault, including: