Sometimes it may be difficult to determine who is at fault when a collision occurs while backing up. The liability in any type of crash depends on the specific facts of the case and who had the right-of-way.
The fault may fall on you or another driver, or it may be shared between the drivers involved. You may want to have an attorney review your case to help you better understand what happened and your legal rights.
Many Parking Lot Accidents Involve Only One Moving Vehicle
Many accidents that involve backing up occur in parking lots, parallel parking areas, and other similar situations. These collisions often involve only one car in motion. The other vehicle may not even have occupants at the time of the crash.
When this occurs, the driver of the vehicle in motion is almost always liable for the accident and any injuries or damages that result.
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One Driver Likely Had the Right-of-Way
Even when more than one vehicle is in motion, there is generally one vehicle with the right-of-way. For example, when a driver backs out of a driveway onto a road, the cars traveling straight down the road have the right-of-way.
In general, the regular traffic patterns or the “main street” has the right-of-way, and anyone backing into that traffic must wait for a clear opportunity to do so.
This is also true in parking lots. The driver backing up must yield to traffic driving down the lane before they can back out of a space. If a collision occurs, the backing driver is likely to be liable.
Sometimes Backing Accidents Result in Shared Fault
There are some incidents when no one individual caused the crash. This often occurs in backing collisions when two drivers try to leave a parking lot at the same time.
If a driver behind you backs up their vehicle at the same time you do, and neither of you sees the other, shared responsibility is likely. This may or may not result in compensation depending on factors that include:
- State laws for contributory negligence
- The proportion of fault assigned to each party
Some Victims Suffer Significant Injuries in Backup Accidents
Generally, people consider backup collisions minor and think serious injuries rarely occur. However, not all of these crashes are minor, low-speed collisions. Injuries can vary widely.
While bruises and lacerations are probably the most common injuries, others can occur. This includes:
- Whiplash and other neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
The value of your insurance claim in your case will depend on numerous factors, which include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The lasting effects of your injuries
- Your economic expenses and losses
- The assignment of fault or shared fault in your crash
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An Attorney May Be Able to Help with Your Backup Accident Case
If you were hurt in a backing up accident, you may be able to identify the liable driver and hold them responsible. You may want to work with a personal injury attorney to make this process easier. Most law firms provide complimentary consultations so that you can explore your case and whether you need an attorney.
You may be able to get financial compensation based on the expenses and losses you suffered in your crash. If you can prove another driver is liable, you can pursue damages that include:
- Medical treatment costs, current and future
- Lost wages and other income
- Reduced earning capacity if you cannot go back to work
- Property damages and car repairs
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
There are deadlines for filing a traffic accident lawsuit, so you should get started right away. Generally, deadlines include:
- Alabama: Two years under Ala. Code § 6-2-38
- Arkansas: Three years under Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105
- Louisiana: One year under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492
- Mississippi: Three years under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49
There are also exceptions to these statutes of limitations that could reduce how long you have to negotiate an out-of-court settlement before you need to get started with the civil suit process. An attorney will be able to help you better understand the timeline in your case.
Speak to the Morris Bart, LLC Team Serving an Office Near You
At the Morris Bart law firm, we have more than 16 locations to serve accident victims throughout Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. All offices provide free case reviews. For more than 40 years, our contingency fee firm has fought for injured people like you.
Call (800) 537-8185 to discuss your collision with our team at no cost to you. We can explain your rights and legal options and how we may be able to help.
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