Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident When Backing Up?

Determining who is at fault in a car accident is not always straightforward. When the accident involves one vehicle backing into another, those involved may have questions about who is liable for the resulting injuries and losses.

If a car backs into you and you suffer injuries, you might question who is responsible for your medical bills, car repairs, and other losses. A knowledgeable Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help determine who is financially responsible for a backing-up accident.

Is the Driver Backing Up Always at Fault?

In most circumstances, the driver backing up is the one the police will cite as the at-fault driver when an accident occurs. A driver has a legal responsibility to ensure it’s safe to proceed before moving in forward or reverse. If a driver fails to ensure it is clear to proceed, that driver will typically be found at fault when a crash occurs. When two vehicles back out of parking spots simultaneously and collide while in reverse, both parties are generally found at fault. In such a circumstance, each driver’s insurance will cover each policyholder’s losses because both parties are considered liable.

However, there are certain situations where someone other than the backing-up driver will be responsible for injuries and other accident-related losses. A seasoned Nevada personal injury attorney can investigate the circumstances of the backing-up accident to determine who may be liable in your case.

How Do You Determine Who Is at Fault When Backing Up?

Understanding the right-of-way rules can help determine who is at fault in a backing-up accident. The driver who violates traffic safety rules and does not yield the right-of-way when required will generally be found at fault for a resulting crash. Consider the following examples:

  • If a car backs out of a driveway into moving traffic, the backing up driver is liable.
  • If a car backs out of a parking place and strikes another parked vehicle, the driver moving in reverse is responsible for any resulting injuries or losses.

If you have doubts about who was at fault in a backing-up accident, consult an experienced Las Vegas accident attorney.

Nevada Laws About Unsafe Backing

The unsafe backing vehicle code is part of Nevada’s traffic control laws, listed under Chapter 484B of the Nevada Rules of the Road. This chapter encompasses all of the statewide rules that govern traffic control. State law prohibits the unsafe backing of a vehicle, as outlined in Nevada Revised Statutes 484B.113. The law defines unsafe backing as backing a vehicle when another vehicle, a stationary object, or a person obstructs the path. Backing up a vehicle when the path is unclear is a violation of Nevada law.

The statute places the following limitations on backing. Specifically, the driver of a vehicle:

  • May not back up the vehicle unless they can do so with reasonable safety and without interfering with other traffic
  • Shall, in every case, yield the right-of-way to moving traffic and pedestrians
  • May not back up into an intersection, on or over a crosswalk, or around a street corner

In Nevada, unsafe backing is a misdemeanor offense. A driver violating unsafe backing laws will have two demerit points added to their driving record. Because the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles issues these points, the court has no discretion over applying these points. Thus, a driver who breaks the law will invariably have two points added to their driving record.

Preventing Backing Up Accidents

You can reduce your risk of causing a backing-up collision by driving defensively and embracing safety technology.

Driver awareness is crucial. You should always be aware of what is happening around your vehicle when backing up. Proper awareness includes checking your mirrors and blind spots before putting the car in reverse. Doing so can significantly reduce the risk of colliding with another vehicle or a pedestrian.

Safety technology also plays a role in preventing back-up accidents. Most newer vehicles have advanced safety features such as backup sensors, cameras, and other driver assistance systems that can help reduce the risk of accidents. Utilizing these technologies can help drivers detect hazards that might not be visible in mirrors or blind spots.

Pedestrians located in blind spots can be invisible to drivers. Being vigilant for cyclists, pedestrians, and small children is essential, especially when backing up. Always check before backing up and proceed cautiously when pedestrians may be present to ensure their safety.

If you are involved in a backing-up accident, there are steps you can take to protect your legal rights. You should do the following:

  • Exchange contact information with the other driver or anyone involved in the accident
  • Ask for the other driver’s insurance information and their driver’s license number
  • Take photos of any injuries and property damage
  • Report the accident to the police and ask for a copy of the police report
  • Talk to eyewitnesses who saw the accident and get their contact information
  • Seek medical care if you were injured, even if your injuries appear to be minor

Following these guidelines can protect your rights to pursue compensation if another driver injured you in a backing-up accident. Demonstrating that the other party was at fault will require evidence. It’s crucial to gather evidence at the scene before it is lost. A car accident lawyer can collect and preserve evidence for you and help you build a solid case.

Get In Contact With Our Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyers

If you suffered injuries or property damage in a backing-up car accident in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada and need legal advice, contact Sam & Ash Injury Law as soon as possible. Our attorneys have the skill, experience, and knowledge to help you pursue just compensation and accountability. We will investigate the accident, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we believe that you deserve What’s Right. We will do everything we can to fight for full compensation for you. Call us today or contact us online to learn more about how we can help you.