Who Is Considered at Fault for Backover Accidents?

by Staff | June 20th, 2022

Parking lot and driveway accidents often involve cars backing over pedestrians or cyclists. These accidents can cause devastating injuries and require costly medical procedures and lengthy recovery times for victims.

Learn who is considered at fault for backover accidents and how Berg Injury Lawyers can help you seek fair compensation for injuries you sustained in a backover incident.

Understanding Backover Accidents

Walking and biking on city streets and parking lots puts you at risk of being hit by a car backing out of a driveway or parking spot. All cars, trucks, and SUVs have blind spots that drivers sometimes forget to check, and larger vehicles have even bigger blind spots.

Not all vehicles have backup cameras or sensors to warn the driver of someone behind their vehicle, and sometimes these safety devices malfunction.

Passenger vehicles cause 95% of backover injuries and 78% of backover fatalities. Large passenger vehicles like pickups, vans, and utility vehicles caused approximately 44% of backover fatalities between 2002 and 2006, while cars caused about 54% of injuries.

Larger passenger vehicles weigh more and are more likely to cause death than cars and smaller vehicles striking at the same force.

Children under the age of 5 and adults over 70 are at the highest risk of injury or death caused by a backover crash. Young children are harder to see and don’t understand boundaries, and older people can’t move quickly and are more prone to injury.

Is the Driver Backing Up Always at Fault?

Drivers can prevent most backover injuries and deaths. Intoxication, distraction, and drowsiness prevent drivers from focusing on their surroundings as they back out of parking spots and driveways. Sometimes drivers forget to change gears or confuse the pedals, especially new drivers.

In some cases, multiple people may be liable for your accident. For example, poorly designed parking garages that make visibility difficult or parking lots or driveways with overgrown trees and shrubs limiting the sidewalks’ visibility can place liability on the driver and the property owner or maintenance company.

California uses pure comparative fault for civil cases. Comparative fault means that the court assigns a percentage of fault based on the actions of both parties in the accident. If your actions contributed to your injuries, the court will decide your percentage of fault and reduce your damages by that amount. For example, if you were wearing dark clothes to jog or riding your bike without lights at night, the jury may assign you 15% fault and the negligent party 85% fault. If your total damages are $50,000, you’ll only receive $42,500.

Injuries Common in Backing Up Car Accidents

Backing-up accidents can cause severe injuries and death. Some common injuries include:

Broken bones

Doctors can repair simple fractures in a few weeks with the application of a cast, but more complicated breaks may require surgery. Complications from surgery can lead to systemic infection or amputation.

Soft tissue injury

Damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons takes a long time to heal and affects mobility. Some injuries require surgery.

Organ damage

Bruises, lacerations, and blood clots cause organs to lose functionality. Some organs can be repaired or safely removed,  but others require a transplant or medical care for the rest of your life.


Major cuts result in blood loss and require glue or stitches to close. You may be left with a nasty scar or limited movement due to scarring.

Head or spinal injury

Your head striking the vehicle or the ground can cause traumatic brain injury and cervical spine injuries. Your spine may be damaged if the car runs over your body, causing permanent paralysis and disability.

These injuries involve hefty medical bills, intense pain, and a long recovery process. You may need ongoing treatment like rehab, successive surgeries, or physical therapy. Some of these injuries are permanent and require a significant lifestyle change. Some require modifications to your home or vehicle.

Hiring a personal injury attorney to prove the at-fault driver’s negligence before you speak to the driver’s insurance company ensures you have the best chance of receiving fair compensation.

An experienced lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can help you seek damages for all current and future medical treatment, pain and suffering, income loss, and enjoyment of life. In some cases, your lawyer can also pursue punitive damages to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions.

Get a Free Case Review

If you have been injured or lost a loved one to a backover accident, contact the California car accident lawyers with Berg Injury Lawyers to get a free case review. Our team will review the details of your accident to determine what occurred and who is at fault. We can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and take them to court if necessary to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

After a backover accident, you need a skilled, reputable accident lawyer who can fight for your rights and help you win your case. We have years of experience handling backover accident claims, and we use that experience to get you the compensation you deserve.

Call Berg Injury Lawyers today for a free case review to get started on your case and begin rebuilding your life.