Backover accidents are collisions that occur when a vehicle is in reverse, typically in a driveway or parking lot. They are less common than accidents occurring on roadways, but the consequences are just as devastating.
Victims of Backover Accidents
Backover accidents are tragic because the victims are most often young children who may be playing catch, drawing on the sidewalk, walking, or riding bikes in the area. The majority of people injured in backover accidents are children under the age of 14.
When a backover accident involves someone over the age of 18, the victim is most often disabled or a senior citizen. Adults who have physical or mental impairments may not be able to move out of the way in time to avoid being struck, or they may lack awareness of the danger a vehicle poses. Elderly adults are vulnerable to this type of accident because they tend to have slower reaction times.
Causes of Backover Accidents
Some potential causes of backover accidents include:
- Failure to check blind spots, especially when the driver is operating a larger vehicle such as a pickup truck or van
- Vision obstructed by bushes, trees, and landscaping in the area
- Distracted driving such as when the driver is adjusting the stereo, eating, or talking to a passenger while backing up
- Pedal confusion, which happens when a driver confuses the gas and brake to reverse quickly instead of slowly backing out of a parking spot
- Children playing in vehicles, which typically happens when a driver leaves the vehicle unattended with the keys inside
Limitations of Backup Cameras
The federal government has required backup cameras on new vehicles since the 2019 model year, and they can be found on more than half of the vehicles sold within the last decade. While this technology does help to reduce the risk of backover accidents, it’s not without serious limitations. For example:
- Some cameras have a low resolution that makes it hard to see obstacles.
- A dirty lens can interfere with image quality.
- Wireless systems can sometimes have trouble pairing the camera with the monitor.
It’s also important to note that backup cameras were never intended as a substitute for checking blind spots. Drivers who use them as a replacement for their own check of the area before backing up put everyone at risk.
Backover accidents are low-speed collisions, but they still tend to involve serious injuries because the person being struck does not have any protection from the force of the impact. Injuries may include:
- Disfiguring lacerations
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Crushed limbs and amputations
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal injury
Injuries suffered in a backover accident may lead to lifelong disabilities or tragic fatalities.
Liability for Backover Accidents
Drivers have a duty of care to check their blind spots and pay close attention to their surroundings when backing up. Therefore, drivers are almost always found liable for backover accidents. Exceptions may include:
- If the victim is a child, the child’s caretaker may be liable if they were not providing appropriate supervision.
- If a child puts an unattended vehicle in reverse and backs over another child, the owner of the vehicle or the owner of the property where the vehicle was parked might be liable.
- A pedestrian who deliberately darts into the path of a vehicle can be found liable for their injuries.
- If the backup camera failed to work correctly, the manufacturer could be liable for damages.
Your Right to Compensation
If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a backover accident, a personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including emergency care, surgery, physical therapy, and medications
- Anticipated future medical needs
- Loss of wages
- Anticipated loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering, including both physical pain and emotional trauma
- Funeral and burial expenses for a victim who passed away
- Your loss of a relationship with your loved one who passed away
Have You Been Injured Due To The Negligence Of Others?
If you've been injured you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria, Louisiana office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.