- Section 1
- Common Causes of Backover Accidents
- Section 2
- Back-Over Accident Injuries
- Section 3
- Children and the Elderly Are at Risk
- Section 4
- The Circumstances of a Typical Back-up Accident
- Section 5
- Tips to Prevent a Back-Up Accident
- Section 6
- Liability After A Back-Up Injury
- Section 7
- Seeking Damages
There is one predominant cause of backover accidents: a lack of caution on behalf of the driver. No one should put their vehicle in reverse without looking behind them.
Drivers should always exercise added caution when driving in reverse for obvious reasons. Even if the driver’s car is equipped with a rear-view camera, relying on technology without actually turning to look behind them is considered careless. A driver fully aware of his or her surroundings has no excuse for backing into a person while driving just a few miles per hour.
Backover Accident Injuries
Even at slow speeds, being hit by a car or truck can do serious damage and inflict serious car accident injuries. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that back-up crashes kill about 267 people each year and injure roughly 15,000 others. The danger is far from minor.
Injuries from back-up crashes can include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI
- Neck/back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Severe bruises
The cost of treating these injuries can be astronomical, placing families in terrible financial hardship during an already tough time. If this has happened to your family, you shouldn’t have to bear this burden. Our accident attorneys have successfully won countless auto accident case results, our team is here to help you and your family.
Children and the Elderly Are at Risk
We’ve all heard tragic stories of people backing over a crawling infant in a driveway. These accidents leave families devastated.
U.S. data indicates that, of the estimated 267 back-up accident deaths each year, 84 victims were children under five, and 70 of them were people ages 70 and above.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety cites numerous studies from around the world that demonstrate the risks children face. A Canadian study of back-up accident victims 13 and younger found that more than half of them were 4 or younger. Other studies have found that young boys are more likely than young girls to die in these accidents.
Even when the accident isn’t fatal, young children often suffer the most severe injuries because of their height and lack of awareness. Adults know the dangers cars can pose; small children don’t.
The Circumstances of a Typical Back-up Accident
Back-up accidents typically occur in parking lots and driveways at low speeds.
The vehicles most commonly involved in back-up accidents are larger passenger vehicles, like pick-up trucks and vans. These larger vehicles have bigger blind spots than typical passenger cars.
Larger trucks such as tractor-trailers, while dangerous, routinely beep when placed in reverse. Additionally, people who drive trucks for a living receive safety training and are more likely to be aware of their surroundings than other drivers.
Tips to Prevent an Accident While Backing Up
- Always look behind you when you back up. Mirrors are useful, but they aren’t good enough. Every time you are about to back up, look behind you before you start moving. Keep in mind that you may not be able to see anything that is directly behind the vehicle.
- Buy a car with safety devices. Many cars now feature back-up cameras or sensors that detect when there is something behind the vehicle. These are useful, but make sure you don’t over-rely on them. Be sure to use your own eyes, too.
- Be a cautious pedestrian. Pedestrians have the right of way walking down the sidewalk, but that doesn’t mean a driver backing out of his or her driveway will see you. To play it safe, always assume that a vehicle backing up cannot see you.
- Watch your children. Teach children that cars and trucks can be dangerous, and that they should not play near them. It’s best not to let your child become accustomed to playing in the driveway. Set up your play area away from them.
Liability After A Back-Up Injury
Liability is the key component of any personal injury claim. Your attorney must be able to show that another party was negligent, failed to act appropriately, and you suffered as a result. Because backover accidents typically occur on private property like driveways and parking lots, liability might fall on several parties, including the property owner in some circumstances.
A driver has a legal duty to exercise appropriate care. Backing up a vehicle without looking behind may constitute a failure to exercise this duty, and thus be considered negligence under Alabama law.
An experienced car accident attorney knows how to investigate an accident and obtain the information necessary to make an argument for negligence.
To seek compensation for your suffering, you want an experienced accident attorney on your side. The attorneys at Pittman, Dutton & Hellums can seek compensation for:
- Hospital stays, ambulance rides, medical procedures
- Follow-up care
- Physical rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
If a backup accident has turned fatal and cost your child or another loved one his or her life, there is additional compensation that an attorney can seek.
To best understand your options going forward, speak with an Alabama car accident attorney at Pittman, Dutton & Hellums today. We have a proven record handling car accident cases across Alabama.
There is no cost and no obligation for a consultation with an experienced lawyer. We’ll tell you what we can do to help. Call us at (866) 515-8880 or contact us online.