Determining Fault for a Backing-Up Crash

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on August 30, 2022 in Car Accidents
Updated on April 24, 2024

driver backing-up crashBacking-up crashes can cause severe or catastrophic damages, especially if the victim is a pedestrian. A lot of the time, the driver backing up may be the liable party, but is that always the case? Who else may be liable and how is fault determined for a backing-up crash?

If you have been injured by a driver’s careless behavior in a backing-up crash or other traffic incident, PKSD is here to help. Our legal team is experienced and deeply committed to seeking justice for the injured in Wisconsin. We offer a free, no-risk opportunity to learn more about your situation and discuss potential legal options. Call today to learn more. We welcome your questions and are prepared to help.

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How Do Backing-Up Crashes Happen?

Backing-up crashes are pretty common, and they often occur in places like driveways or parking lots because of drivers who may:

Fail to Check for Traffic or People Before Moving

Backing-up crashes often happen when drivers fail to properly check for traffic, pedestrians or a non-moving object. According to Kids and Car Safety, this problem is so common that approximately 50 children get backed over every week.

Begin Backing Up While Distracted

Drivers who try to reverse their vehicle while on their phones or doing something else could cause a backing-up crash. This type of negligence is quite serious and may cause pedestrians to get run over in the process.

Rely Too Much on Technology

It is easy to get in the habit of relying heavily on technology, such as a back-up camera. While technology is useful, it may also make drivers nonchalant about taking other safety measures.

For example, drivers may not take time to check around the area for pedestrians or vehicles prior to getting into their vehicles. However, it is important to remember that technology is not foolproof. Accordingly, car safety systems are not intended to fulfill a driver’s duty of care.

Press the Wrong Pedal

While this sounds difficult to do, pedal confusion is more common than you may think. One way this happens is if a driver’s shoes get wet. This situation can make it very easy for a driver’s foot to slip onto the accelerator instead of the brake. Sometimes drivers just hit the wrong pedal because they are in a hurry or not paying attention. Unfortunately, if the driver was thinking he or she was pressing harder for the brake but hit the accelerator instead, it can be disastrous.

What Factors May Help Determine Fault?

When determining who may be liable for a backing-up crash, there are certain elements that investigators will consider, including:

Did the Reversing Driver Have the Right of Way?

The driver with the right of way is typically not liable when another driver, such as someone backing up, fails to yield and causes a crash. However, there are exceptions to that rule when a driver with the right of way may share fault.

For instance, if the oncoming driver was going too fast, causing the reversing driver to misjudge time and distance for backing out. In this situation, both parties could be assessed with some fault for the crash.

Location of Damage to Each Vehicle?

The location of vehicle damage may provide a lot of insight to crash scene investigators about what happened. One way crash damage may reveal more about how a crash happened is if the vehicle backing up sustained full rear-end damage.

Right away, crash scene investigators might question whether the backing up driver caused the crash. If someone was still pulling out, the location of damage on the vehicle would be more to the side or back corner. However, damage to the full rear of the reversing vehicle could show that driver had already completed backing up. In this situation, the rear-ending driver could be assessed with at least partial liability.

Was There a Parked or Non-Moving Vehicle Involved?

Typically, the driver of the moving vehicle is liable for a backing-up crash. However, if two vehicles were moving, that liability may be shared. That said, each collision is different, so investigators will determine fault based on the unique contributing factors of each crash.

Having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can benefit your case significantly. If the insurance company tries to wrongly shift blame from their policyholder, a qualified attorney can dispute those arguments on your behalf.

Is the Driver Backing Up Always at Fault?

Most of the time, the driver backing up will be liable if he or she backs into another vehicle, object or person. However, there may be rare situations where another party may be at fault. For instance, if another driver causes a crash while purposely trying to pass a vehicle that is already backing up.

How You Can Avoid Being Involved in a Backing-Up Crash

There are several steps that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists can all take to avoid causing or being injured in a backing-up crash, such as:

  • Check the area around your vehicle on approach, especially for any small children, cyclists or other pedestrians nearby
  • Take your time backing up, check your back-up camera, mirrors and around you through your windows
  • When children are about, have another adult supervise them to keep them out of harm’s way and stay alert as you back up
  • Be aware that your vehicle has blind spots and where they are
  • If you have children, teach them about the dangers of walking behind any vehicle

Injured in a Backing-Up Crash? Call Our Trusted Law Firm Today

At PKSD, we have a reputation for working hard to hold at-fault drivers accountable for their actions. If you were injured because another driver was negligent in some way, we are prepared to help you seek compensation for your losses.

Check out our client reviews to learn more about how we have helped others. Our auto accident lawyers in Milwaukee have a history of proven results, and we are ready to help you seek maximum compensation. We charge no upfront fees to get started or while we manage your case. In fact, we collect no payment at all for our fees unless we win compensation for you first.

We work hard to get the results you need.  414-333-3333

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