Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident When Backing Up?

When a driver backs into a vehicle parked in a lot or on the street, they are at fault. However, not all collisions are that simple. When two drivers back up into each other, fault will depend on the circumstances—specifically, which driver had the right of way.

At Douglas and London, our New York City car accident lawyers can protect your rights, investigate the accident, and determine liability.

Parking Lot Accidents

Many of these accidents occur in parking lots. Further, most of these collisions do not result in serious physical injury– although there are exceptions– but damage to the vehicles may prove significant.

When both vehicles are moving and back into each other, both drivers may share liability. However, much depends on the context. If one driver backs their car out of a parking spot and hits a moving vehicle, that driver is at fault. Under New York traffic laws, a parked vehicle does not have the right of way when backing up into a street or a parking lot lane.

Right of Way

When two vehicles are moving, one has the right of way. However, even if a vehicle has the right of way, the driver must follow the rules of the road. When it comes to parking lots, design factors into the right of way. In general, the driver heading into the through lane will have the right of way. A driver in a parking lane who is heading toward the through lane must yield.

Backing Up Injuries

Most collisions in parking lots occur at low speeds. Of course, if a car is backing up onto a roadway and is hit by a vehicle moving at a higher speed, severe injuries may result. Even at a low speed, however, the passengers of the stricken car may suffer whiplash. Most people recover from this within a month or so. However, for some, the effects last much longer and can affect their ability to work or go about normal activities.

There is a much worst-case scenario, and that occurs if a driver backs into a pedestrian. Although the pedestrian may have been distracted, the driver is usually at fault. A personal injury lawyer can help you make this determination.

What to Do After a Back-Up Collision

Always notify the police– even if the damage to both vehicles appears minor. Get the contact information of the other driver, as well as their license number and insurance information. Take photos of the cars. If there were any witnesses, obtain their contact information.

Failure to report the collision means you cannot make a claim with your insurance company. It’s also important to seek medical treatment. Whiplash symptoms may not appear for a day or two, and by not going to the doctor, the insurance company may allege another incident caused it.

Contact us at Douglas and London today

If you were injured in an accident involving backing up, you need the services of the experienced New York City personal injury lawyers at Douglas and London. Submit our online contact form or call or text us 24/7 to arrange a free consultation.

After reviewing your case, we will advise you of your options. Our dedicated attorneys have won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.