Is the Person Backing Up Always at Fault?
Car accidents can happen anywhere at any time—all that needs to be present is a car and negligence. Parking lots are especially dangerous because they’re typically tightly spaced and have cars moving and stopping while being surrounded by other vehicles, pedestrians, and moving objects, like shopping carts.
It’s important to be extra cautious when driving through parking lots, and anywhere else where cars are parked and others are moving because you never know when someone might reverse. But if you’re driving through a parking lot and someone reverses into you, you might be wondering who is at fault? Let’s take a look and find out if the person backing up is always at fault.
Who Is at Fault When Reversing?
In general, yes, the person backing up is at fault. But of course, it’s not always that simple. In any type of car accident there are many factors at play. So while the person backing up could be the main party at fault, other vehicles involved in the accident could have contributed to the fault and also caused the accident. Since Pennsylvania follows comparative negligence laws, more than one party could be responsible.
For example, the person backing up could be the main party at fault because they are disturbing the natural flow of traffic through a parking lot, and they are supposed to yield to other vehicles and pedestrians. However, if you were speeding through the lane, or distracted by your phone and that’s why you didn’t see them reversing, then you could share the fault for the accident.
So yes, the person backing up could be totally at fault, but that also depends on how you were driving at the time of the accident. If you were being cautious, paying attention, and driving slowly, then you likely weren’t at fault for what happened and the person backing up is solely responsible for your accident. However, if you were being negligent in any way, you could share the blame.
Proving negligence will be a key part of your claim. Through proving negligence, you’ll show that you weren’t responsible for what happened and that the vehicle backing up was fully at fault. Let’s look at how a car accident lawyer might work to prove the other party was at fault for your backup accident.
Evidence to Prove Fault in a Car Accident Claim
When you didn’t contribute to the fault, you’ll rely on your attorney to prove the other party who was backing up was completely responsible. Even if you were partially to blame for what happened, you’ll still need your lawyer to prove the fault of the other party was greater than the fault you contributed. This way, you can still recover damages.
The main way your attorney will prove the reversing driver was at fault was through evidence. Here are the different forms of evidence you and your car accident lawyer will work to collect so they can get a full look at what actually happened and show you weren’t being negligent:
- Police report
- Security or parking lot cameras
- Dash cams
- Witness statements
- Insurance claims
- Photos of the scene and damages
- Any indicators on the pavement, like brake marks
- Medical records if you were hurt
- Accident reconstruction
All of this can be used to determine who was at fault for the accident. Mostly, it’ll depend on what you were doing at the time of the crash. You’ll want to be honest. Even if you were distracted or speeding at the time of the accident, you’ll want to be honest with your lawyer so they know how to represent you.
When you were being completely careful while driving through a parking lot, or another lane where you were expected to have the right of way, and another car reversed into you, all the evidence listed above will show you were following the rules of the road and the other party was disrupting this from their negligence.
Hiring a car accident attorney can help ensure you have a strong case, and you are represented every step of the way. At Shrager & Sachs, we’re dedicated to helping victims of Philadelphia car accidents.
How to Prevent Backup Accidents
When an accident from someone reversing into you has already happened, or you reversed into someone else, there’s not much that can be done in terms of prevention. The collision has happened and now both parties must deal with the consequences.
However, if the crash hasn’t happened, there are some tips you could follow to prevent this situation from happening to you. Here are some of the actions you can take to avoid an accident from someone backing up:
- Stay aware and cautious at all times when behind the wheel, including in parking lots
- Eliminate distractions, like your phone or the radio
- Follow the speed limit
- Drive slowly through lots and other densely packed areas
- Pay attention to reversing lights of parked cars
- Practice defensive driving
- Watch for pedestrians
- Watch for moving carts, or other moving and stationary objects
- When backing up, use your mirrors, backup camera, and turn around to get a full scope
- Don’t reverse unless you know the lane is clear
- Reverse slowly when the path is clear
When you follow these tips, you might be able to avoid a car accident altogether. When it wasn’t possible, you could use the help of a car accident attorney.
Shrager & Sachs Is Here for You
After an accident where someone reversed into you, you deserve justice. At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia car accident lawyer is here to help you prove the other party was at fault so you can be compensated for the damages you’ve suffered. Reach out to our office today so we can schedule a free consultation and get started working on your claim.
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