Many Americans enjoy taking a walk or riding a bike through their neighborhoods. Sidewalks are often a safe way of getting around easily. They are off the street, so you think you are free from the threat of being hit by a car. Then, suddenly, a car backs into you out of nowhere, leaving you injured and desperate for fast answers.
The bad news is that backover accidents are common in the US. They accounted for 34 percent of all non-occupant traffic deaths in 2015. If you or a family member has been injured in a backover accident, contact Gould Injury Law today.
The good news is that we know how quickly life can change after a backing accident. Our team of experienced attorneys will help you get the fast compensation you deserve. Reach out to us today at (888) WIN-FAST for a free consultation on your case.
What is a Backover Accident?
Many car accident fatalities occur while the vehicle is moving forward. Backover accidents happen when a car or truck moves in reverse. Some drivers, for one reason or another, are unable to determine whether a person is behind them in their blind spot.
The majority of backover accidents involve children. The organization Kids and Cars reports that the predominant age of backover victims is one year old. Young children understand little of danger and may be unaware of their surroundings while playing in the driveway or riding bicycles.
The situation of parents unknowingly backing a vehicle over their children is called “Bye-Bye” Syndrome, because it often happens when younger kids do not want to be left behind by their parents. They may sneak out by following the parents out the door, perhaps to say goodbye.
There are two main ways backover accidents happen:
- They can strike a person and the vehicle stops moving at the point of contact.
- When the driver strikes a person but continues to move backward. The individual is then underneath the vehicle.
The second type of backover accident often leads to more serious injuries and death. These types of accidents can happen fast and without warning. The driver has no way of knowing a backover is occurring until it is too late.
Backover Accident Statistics
In 2015, the NHTSA reported that 12,000 individuals were injured in backing accidents. That is 40 percent of all non-occupant accident injuries in that year.
These incidents are so common that in 2008, Congress passed a bill requiring all cars built after 2011 must have rear view cameras. The bill was named the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. It was named after the son of Dr. Greg Gulbransen, who was killed after the doctor accidentally backed over his son in 2002.
While the rear view camera law was passed in 2008, it wasn’t officially enacted until 2018. The organization Kids and Cars helped push the stagnant legislation through.
According to the Kids and Cars website:
- At least 50 kids are backed over every week
- The average age of kids who are involved in backover accidents between 12 and 23 months
- 60 percent of backover accidents involved larger vehicles, like SUVs and trucks
- In 70 percent of incidents involving kids, the driver was a parent or relative
Driveways are not the only place where backover accidents occur. According to the National Safety Council, tens of thousands of accidents happen every year in garages and parking lots. This results in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. 9 percent of pedestrian deaths in parking lots are the result of backovers.
Backover accidents often have devastating consequences. If you need to be compensated for your injuries fast, call Gould Injury Law right away.
Common Causes of Backover Accidents
Backover accidents often happen in blind spots behind the vehicle. If children are playing back there, it will be virtually impossible to see them. Other pedestrians might be easier to see, but they may be missed for several reasons.
Distracted driving is the main cause of most accidents. They do not just happen when we are moving forward. They can also happen when we go in reverse. Distracted drivers are not fully paying attention to what is going on around them. Distractions can happen while putting on a seatbelt or talking on the phone.
Petal confusion can happen when drivers are distracted or find themselves in a hurry. They might also spot someone moving behind them and end up reversing faster instead of stepping on the brake.
There are several blind spots around your vehicle. Larger trucks and SUVs have even more. A blind spot is any around you where your vision is blocked. That might include the entire driveway behind you. If anyone is standing in your blind spot, you may not see that person at all.
Relying on technology
Technology in our vehicles has advanced rapidly over the past few years. Features like backup sensors and rear view cameras make backing up safer. The problem is that over-relying on technology can cause problems of its own. Drivers may think they are safe to back up their vehicles if they don’t hear the warning. It is possible that the sensors malfunction. Even cameras can be covered in dirt and debris or with moisture, rendering them useless.
How to Prevent Backover Accidents
While backover accidents are common, they are among the most preventable types of accidents. Preventing a backover might require a little extra effort on the driver’s part, but it can save a life.
Tips that can help include:
- Looking behind your car before you get in
- Noticing when children are playing around your vehicle before getting in
- Giving backing up your full attention
- Relying on more than just your mirrors
- Making sure your kids and pets are in full view before reversing
- Moving backward very slowly
- Teaching your kids not to ever play behind a vehicle
- Knowing where your vehicle’s blind spots are
- Keeping the area around your driveway free of anything that obstructs your view
- Asking your passenger to be a spotter while you back up
- Honking your horn once before reversing
- Getting out and taking a second look
What to Do After a Backover Accident
After being involved in a backover accident, you may be injured and in need of fast help. If you are able, there are several steps you should take that can help your case later on.
Get the license plate number
In some instances, the person backing up may not see you. The potential is there for the driver to take off without noticing someone has been hit. If you are able, try to remember his or her license plate number as well as the make and model of the vehicle.
You may be injured after you have been backed into. Even if you feel okay, it is important to call for medical attention as fast as you can.
Create a police report
Law enforcement will show up on the scene. When they do, share the details of what happened with them. These details will matter later if you decide to sue the other party for compensation. You can also report the license plate number at this time if you memorized or took note of it.
Gather witness information
If there are other witnesses to the backover accident, they can be helpful in establishing fault. Get their names and phone numbers so your lawyer can contact them later.
If the other party is still on the scene, exchange information with them. This can include your name, phone number, license plate numbers, and insurance providers.
Take photographs of the scene
If you are able, take as many photos of the accident scene as you can. Be sure to get where the other driver came from, where you were hit, and any injuries. This will help move the investigation along.
Do not admit fault
When speaking to a police officer and giving a report, do not admit fault. Later, the other party’s insurance company will call you. They will want to take your side of the story, but don’t speak to them. No matter how nice the adjuster is to you, he or she is likely looking for a way to mitigate responsibility and lower your payout.
Contact Gould Injury Law right away
If you have been injured in a backover accident, things are about to get tough. You will face lost wages, mounting medical bills, and so much more. You will need a fast-working personal injury attorney who will help you get the money you deserve. You do not have time to waste, so call Gould Injury Law right away.
Injuries Caused by Backover Accidents
Children under five are more at risk of being victims of backover accidents. This is due to their small size and lack of attention to the world around them. They do not understand certain dangers and will play behind a car without worry. Since kids are more likely to be victims, their injuries are often the most severe. Adults, especially the elderly, can also be victims of backovers.
Injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Bone fractures
- Neck damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Hip injuries
If you or your child has been injured in a backover accident, it is important to call for help as fast as you can. Some brain injuries may not reveal symptoms right away.
Proving Responsibility After a Backover Accident
Connecticut is an at-fault state. The person who is considered at fault for the accident is responsible for paying financial compensation to the victim. The problem is that you cannot just assume you are the victim and the check’s in the mail.
If you want fast compensation for your injuries, you need help from a personal injury attorney proving the other party was negligent. You must have evidence to back up your statement. There can be other circumstances that come into play that challenge your side of the story.
After being involved in a backover accident, you might believe the other party is at fault. The problem is that proving who is at fault is rarely fast and easy. It is essentially your word against theirs. Not only that, but that party’s insurance company will fight you every step of the way. They could claim, for example, that you should have been paying attention to where you were going.
If the victim is a child, a concern that might be raised is whether the parent’s inattentiveness led to the accident. Parents have a duty to watch their kids at all times. Failing to monitor your children could be seen as a challenge to who is at fault.
Do not let these details bog down your case. Hire a personal injury attorney with a track record of helping clients get faster results.
Are You Partially At Fault for the Accident?
Proving responsibility in Connecticut is important to the amount of fast compensation you can receive. The state uses what is called “modified comparative negligence.” This means that if you were even partially responsible for causing an accident, you will not get full damages in this state.
Rather, you will only receive the percentage for which you were found to be free from fault. The due amount of shared responsibility will be assigned to each involved party and the final compensation for each adjusted accordingly.
If you were negligent and found to be sharing most of the fault, then you cannot bring a personal injury claim to the defendant. This is called the “51-Percent Rule.”
This is how the rule works: If you were at least 51 percent at fault for the accident, you are prohibited from bringing a case. It is up to the judge or the jury to assign fault after all the evidence has been presented by both sides. The amount of money you can receive will lower with each percentage you are found to be at fault.
This is where having a personal injury attorney comes in handy. Your attorney will have experience handling all different types of injury cases. He or she will know exactly the type of evidence needed to prove that the other driver is responsible. After thoroughly investigating the accident, your attorney will be armed with all the information needed.
What Compensation is Possible After a Backover Accident?
After you have been injured in a backover accident, you are going to want fast and fair compensation. This should be the main priority of your personal injury attorney.
These are the issues you are likely to face:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Ambulance fees
- Permanent disability
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- In-home care
- Mental anguish
- Prescription costs
These problems will hit you faster than you can imagine. Not being able to work combined with mounting medical bills and other financial needs will leave you desperate for help. That is why you should choose a personal injury attorney who works quickly to help get you back on track.
Gould Injury Law Can Help You
Our team of tough and compassionate attorneys has extensive experience helping people like you. You deserve fast and fair justice. Choosing the wrong attorney means your case can take months or years before being resolved.
You need to be compensated as soon as possible. We can take fast action to make that happen. Altogether, we want to lessen that burden on your shoulders while you focus on recovering.
Call Gould Injury Law today at (888) WIN-FAST. You can also speak to one of our live operators on our website. We are available 24/7 to meet your needs.