Who is at Fault in a Car Accident When Backing up?

by Sudarsan Chakraborty

Determining the party at fault in an accident can be complicated. Since there are a lot of things to consider, defendants and plaintiffs may be confused as to who is the one who should be responsible for causing the incident.

In the case of a car accident that occurs when one vehicle is backing up, who should be at fault? Is it always the individual who is backing up, or the other vehicle behind them? How can the location of the incident decide the liable party?

How is The Liable Party Determined?

Each car accident can be unique. At times, the reason may be poor road conditions, reckless driving, or may even be the fault of the other motorist. In a situation where one vehicle is backing up, who is actually at fault?

Is The Driver Who’s Backing up Always The Liable Party?

In most backing-up accidents, it is easy to assume that the driver who is backing up is always the liable party.

This is the case when they were:

a)      Driving in a Reckless Manner

Is the driver speeding or distracted? Are their actions on the road affecting other motorists and even pedestrians? Are they disregarding traffic rules? If it is clear that the driver who’s backing up is acting in an irresponsible manner with blatant disregard for the safety of others, then they may be the one who is at fault.

Traffic rules, driving signals, and traffic signs exist for a reason. If the driver disregards the law that ends up compromising the lives and property of others, it may be easier to prove their recklessness in court.

b)     Driving Under The Influence

Aside from acting recklessly, a driver may be negligent in his responsibility to uphold their duty of care on the road. For example, they may drive while being under the influence which is highly frowned upon by the law.

Drugs and alcohol highly inhibit a person’s capability to drive in a responsible manner. It also affects their vision, judgment, and bodily functions. If the authorities find the driver to be under the influence while being behind the wheel, you can use the police report when filing your claim.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. In some instances, the driver who is backing up may not be the one at fault. In what situations will this be the case?

Things That Can Determine The Party at Fault

There are four things that are being considered to determine liability. These are the following:

1.     Who Has The Right of Way?

One of the most important factors in determining who the liable party lies on the driver who has the right of way. For example, if the driver who is backing up has the right of way, then the other party may be liable for the crash. As long as the backing-up driver is not speeding or distracted, the other driver may be found to be the one who is not paying attention.

2.     Was The Vehicle Moving?

In the instance where only one vehicle is moving, it is more common for it to be the one at fault.

Are both of the cars moving? In this case, both drivers should have been aware of their location and should be making sure that the area was clear. If it is found that they both were acting recklessly, then the fault may be shared.

3.     Where Did The Accident Take Place?

The location that the accident took place in is extremely important when determining liability. In most cases, if the accident took place in a parking space, the driver should be aware of the other vehicles and wait until the area is clear before backing up.

In the case where they hit another vehicle because of a blind spot, a thorough investigation should be conducted to determine the liable party.

4.     Were There Any Witnesses?

In instances where both vehicles are backing up at the same time or if both drivers are adamant that the other is at fault, witness statements are extremely helpful in determining liability. This is exactly the reason why hiring a personal injury lawyer will help, as they can help you gather statements from witnesses and collect important pieces of evidence.

Get Assistance From The Expert Car Accident Lawyers at BC Law

Did you get in an accident that caused you injury? If you or someone you care about has been involved in a car accident, contact us immediately. We will help you determine whether you may be eligible to receive compensation and assist in gathering pieces of evidence to strengthen your claim.

At BC Law, our attorneys specialize in multiple practice areas such as car accidents, truck accidents, and wrongful death. With our passion and commitment to representing victims, our legal experts will make sure to get you the compensation you deserve.

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