29 Sep 2022

By Boris Tadchiev

In Personal Injury

Vehicles often hit pedestrians or bicyclists, while the driver is backing out of a driveway, alley, or parking lot in Queens, N.Y. Backover accidents usually occur at low speeds. But they can still cause serious injuries or fatal injuries.

The cause of a backover accident is usually the driver’s failure to look behind the vehicle sufficiently while moving in reverse. When a backover accident leads to a serious injury, the injured person may hold the careless driver responsible for injuries the accident victim has suffered.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a backover accident that was someone else’s fault and you’ve exhausted your no-fault insurance benefits, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance. A Queens car accident lawyer at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C. can review the circumstances of a backover accident and explain your legal rights.

Our Queens personal injury firm is dedicated to helping people pursue just compensation when they have been harmed by the negligence of others. We take pride in the personal attention and aggressive advocacy we provide each client.

If you are dealing with serious injuries from a backover collision that was not your fault, let our firm guide you through this challenging time. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced backover accident lawyer in Queens. We only charge a legal fee if we recover compensation for you.

What Is a Backover Accident?

A backover crash occurs when a vehicle backs into a person, such as a pedestrian or a bicyclist, typically while exiting a driveway or a parking spot. Young children and older people are most likely to be killed in a backover accident, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says.

Studies show that taller vehicles – pickup trucks, minivans, or SUVs – are more likely than smaller cars to be involved in backup accidents. They sit higher off the ground, making it more difficult for drivers to see small children and smaller objects near the rear of the vehicle.

Studies say a 5-foot-8-inch-tall driver in a midsize SUV cannot see an area extending 18 feet behind the vehicle, compared with 13 feet for an average midsize sedan. Rearview cameras, which have been required on new vehicles under 10,000 pounds since May 2018, improve visibility behind a vehicle. An IIHS study found they reduce the zone in which a toddler can’t be spotted by an average of about 90 percent.

Still, a driver must look at their rearview camera – as well as at rearview mirrors and over their shoulder – for such safety devices to be effective. A driver who is distracted, intoxicated, or simply negligent can still back into someone. Sometimes a backover accident is blamed on the driver mixing up the accelerator and brake pedals and accelerating in reverse instead of slowly inching backward from a parking spot or driveway.

Backover Accident Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says backover crashes cause approximately 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries each year. According to Kids and Car Safety, at least 50 children are backed over in the U.S. every week – 48 are treated in hospital emergency rooms and two suffer fatal injuries.

Thousands of children are seriously injured or killed every year because a driver backing up did not see them behind the vehicle. Many elderly people are backed into or over by vehicles, sometimes because they have mobility issues that prevent them from avoiding the accident once a car begins to back up.

Who Is At Fault in a Backover Accident?

The driver is usually liable for a backover accident involving an adult pedestrian or bicyclist. But determining liability after a driveway or parking lot backover accident can be complicated.

Other parties may be legally responsible for a backover accident, including:

  • A babysitter/caretaker who did not properly supervise a child who ran into the path of a reversing vehicle
  • A babysitter/caretaker or homeowner who allowed a child to play behind a parked vehicle
  • Car manufacturers if faulty brakes or acceleration systems prevented the driver from stopping in time to prevent the collision. A car manufacturer may be liable for poor vehicle design that made blind spots unreasonably dangerous to those surrounding the vehicle or for a rearview camera that failed to work properly.
  • The property owner responsible for a poorly designed parking lot with issues such as obstructed views, narrow or crowded parking spaces, or walkways running side-by-side with traffic lanes.
  • Local government or their maintenance contractors if the driver was unable to see the victim because their view was obstructed by overgrown bushes or lack of proper lighting.

To establish negligence as an accident victim, you must prove that:

  • The other party had a legal duty to take reasonable safety precautions around the accident victim to avoid backover accidents
  • The driver or other party neglected their duty and acted in a manner that put the plaintiff at risk
  • The other party’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injuries
  • The plaintiff suffered compensable losses

When one party’s negligence leads to serious injuries as defined by New York law, those injured may seek compensation for their losses, such as for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Property damage, such as to a bicycle or a vehicle
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium

Contact Our Experienced Backover Accident Attorneys in Queens

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a backover accident in Queens, NY, The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C. is ready to help you seek financial compensation for your losses. We’ll investigate the circumstances of the accident, calculate your losses and pursue claims against all parties responsible for what you have needlessly been put through.

The initial consultation about your car accident claim is free. If we can help you pursue a claim, we do not charge legal fees unless we recover money on your behalf. Contact us today to discuss your options with a Queens parking lot backover accident lawyer at no cost to you.