Am I Always at Fault if Rear-Ended When Reversing?

Many factors go into determining fault, and it is no different in the case of backing-up accidents. While assigning blame to the reversing driver is easy, the issue may not be straightforward. Car accidents are often complex and multi-faceted, bringing out the importance of engaging the services of skilled San Antonio personal injury lawyers to investigate the case.

The lawyers can involve accident reconstruction experts to determine the driver at fault. They will also evaluate several other factors to help them reach a decision that proves liability beyond a reasonable doubt.

How Do Lawyers Determine Who is at Fault?

Your San Antonio auto accident attorneys can use four fundamental things to determine fault in a backing-up accident:

Which Driver Had the Right of Way?

Under the law, only one car has the right of way at any time. Therefore, the vehicle without the right of way will be at fault for the collision. However, there are exceptions to the rule. The exception occurs when the driver with the right of way is inattentive to their driving environment or is speeding. In that case, they may be assigned some degree of fault for the accident.

Was the Car Stopped or Moving?

If a car was reversing but stopped just before the crash, the other driver could be blamed. Upon establishing that the vehicle stopped in plenty of time to avoid a collision but was still rear-ended by the other driver, it may be hard to assign any fault to the reversing driver.

Where Did the Damage Happen?

The location of the damage can sometimes be a crucial factor in establishing who was at fault. Through thorough investigations, your car accident attorneys in San Antonio can verify if either driver could have avoided the collision.

For example, if you had backed out of a parking space entirely and were about to drive forward when the crash happened, the damage would be to the back of your car and the front of the other vehicle. That suggests enough time for the car with the right of way to see you reversing and stop. It would indicate that the driver with the right of way was not paying attention.

Witness Statements

Drivers will often have different accounts of the events leading to the accident, each trying to blame the other. That’s when engaging experienced car accident attorneys in San Antonio becomes essential. They can collect expert witness statements to help determine fault. Witness statements are usually believed over your and the other driver’s words.

Who is to Blame for a Backing-Up Crash?

Determining liability could depend on how the backing-up accident happened. Here are a few scenarios where either you or the other driver could be considered negligent:

Backing Out of a Parking Space into a Parked Car

If you backed into a parked car, you’ll likely be blamed for the crash. The expectation is that you should have been able to see the parked car and avoid crashing into it. The exception is if the vehicle is parked illegally or in a location that makes it difficult to see it parked there.

Backing Out of a Parking Space into a Moving Car

When leaving a parking space, you’re supposed to look for oncoming cars before reversing. You will likely be at fault since you were reversing when the crash happened. At the same time, the moving vehicle has the right of way, and the driver won’t be at fault unless evidence shows they were not paying attention or were speeding.

Two Vehicles Backing Up at the Same Time

Establishing who was at fault when you and another driver were backing up simultaneously can be difficult. None of you had the right of way, but you both had an obligation to check out for other cars before reversing.

The fact that you were both moving at the time of the crash makes you two liable. That would affect your liability claim or eliminate your chance of getting any settlement from the other driver.

Backing Out of a Driveway

You must look before getting onto the road if you’re backing out of a driveway. If you crash into another car, you could be responsible for not paying enough attention to see the other vehicle.

However, the driver with the right of way could also be to blame if they were speeding, driving while distracted, or could have evaded the accident but did not.

You are in control of your car when backing up, and there’s no need to rush when you haven’t entered the roadway yet. Take your time to assess the situation and use your backup camera to spot any danger. However, don’t substitute the camera for turning your head and monitoring the driving or reversing environment.

If you’re the driver with the right of way, you can’t just drive mindlessly. Always be on the lookout for other cars and take precautions to avoid colliding with them.

A Skilled Auto Accident Lawyer Helping You Determine Liability in a Car Crash

You’re not always at fault if an accident happens when you’re backing up. Determining liability can be complex, and that’s where skilled personal injury attorneys in San Antonio can help. Through their experience and skills, they can investigate the case and put together crucial facts that can prove liability.

The Law Office of Matthew S. Norris is a personal injury law firm with skilled auto accident lawyers in San Antonio. We can evaluate the circumstances of your case and help you establish if the other driver is to blame. We can file a claim to recover compensation for the damages upon determining liability. Call us at (210) 361-3393 for a FREE case assessment.