Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident When Backing Up?
Determining fault for an accident involving a vehicle that is backing up can be tricky. There is no hard-and-fast rule regarding liability in these types of accidents. Instead, all of the particular details of the case must be examined. The evidence will help determine which driver is to blame or if liability is shared between two or more parties.
In some cases, a lack of physical evidence in an accident involving a car that is backing up can result in the whole matter being one party’s word against the other. The best way to help you prove liability after a crash is by hiring an experienced attorney to help you build your case.
Is the Driver Backing Up Always to Blame?
When an accident involves a vehicle that is backing up, either driver could be at fault. Even if the car that is backed into is not in motion at the time of contact, they could still hold a level of liability for the crash. Proving fault is essential if you plan to pursue compensation after a crash. The following elements must be considered when attempting to establish fault:
- Right of way
- Whether the other vehicle was in motion
- Where the damage occurred
- Witness testimony
- Video footage of the accident
Right of Way
Right of way is an essential element of fault. If no other factors come into play, the driver that did not have the right of way will be liable for the accident. However, if the driver with the right of way was distracted or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner, they will likely at least share a level of responsibility for the crash.
Whether the Other Vehicle Was in Motion
Another important consideration is whether the vehicle that was backed into was in motion or not. If the car that was backed into was not in motion, proving fault against them will be very difficult. However, if they were in motion but stopped shortly before the moment of impact, they could still hold a level of liability.
Where the Damage Occurred
Where the damage occurs on the vehicles can also play a role in determining fault. The location of the damage may point to whether or not one of the drivers may have been able to prevent the accident.
Witness testimony is often used when attempting to establish fault for a car accident. Although this testimony is often found to be unreliable, it can still go a long way toward persuading a jury.
Video Footage of the Accident
If there is video evidence of the crash, it can go a long way toward proving fault. The greater the area captured in the video, the more clear the actions of the involved parties will be.
Fault in a Rear-End Collision
One thing you must understand when attempting to prove fault in an accident involving a vehicle that is backing up is that if the crash is in line with a rear-end collision, where the front of one vehicle impacts the back of another, fault will be presumed to lie with the car who’s front impacted the other vehicle’s back unless proven otherwise.
The fault is always presumed to be with the following vehicle in these types of crashes.
Collecting Compensation After a Car Accident Involving a Vehicle Backing Up
After proving the other driver is at fault in an accident involving a car that was backing up, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. It is critical that you establish all the damages that apply to your case in order to collect compensation from the liable party. An experienced car accident attorney can help you identify which damages you qualify to claim.
All compensatory damages you can pursue after a crash are divided between economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are any losses you suffered that hurt you financially. Meanwhile, non-economic damages cover the rest of your losses which are typically of a far more personal nature.
In extreme cases, you may also be able to pursue punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the liable party and discourage similar behavior in the future.
File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit on Time
When filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident, it is critical that you pay attention to the statute of limitations for the state where the accident occurred. In Florida, accident victims typically have four years to file a lawsuit against the liable party. If you don’t get your paperwork submitted within this time frame, you will likely lose your right to pursue compensation.
You should note that even if the statute of limitations has already passed, you may still have options for filing a lawsuit. Many exceptions to the standard deadline could allow you to take legal action far later than usual. The particular circumstances of your accident will dictate whether or not an exception applies.
You must also realize that an exception to the statute of limitations can have the opposite effect. You could find that rather than having four years to file a lawsuit, the specifics of your case limit you to taking action in a matter of months. The best way to defend your right to pursue compensation is by hiring an experienced Florida car accident lawyer.
Get Help Proving Fault from an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
When attempting to prove fault after an accident involving a vehicle that was backing up, the best thing you can do to help your case is to hire an experienced car accident attorney. At Fasig | Brooks, our team of personal injury lawyers in Florida can help you prove fault so that you can begin the process of recovering compensation.
Contact us today by phone or through our online contact form to get a free consultation and learn more about your options.