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Who’s at Fault when A Car Backs Into Your Car?

Scott McCullough Jan. 1, 2021

It seems that car accidents are inevitable in Florida. Often, we hear about rear-end collisions, head-on accidents, and rollovers. But there are also accidents that occur when someone backs into you. These accidents are common in parking lots, but drivers are usually uncertain who’s at fault.

There are many reasons why determining fault after someone backs into you can be difficult, so it’s best to consult with a South Florida car accident attorney. The car may have had limited visibility, or they may not have anticipated another vehicle when they were backing up. Unless there are eyewitnesses or surveillance cameras, it can be tricky to prove liability.

How to Determine Fault After a Driver Backed Into You

When you’re determining fault, there are three things you have to consider. Ultimately, they will help you pinpoint liability so you can collect financial compensation for your damages.

Who Had the Right of Way?

You’re usually able to prove who caused the accident by determining which driver had the right of way. In most situations, the car that did not have the right of way is at fault. However, as with everything, there are exceptions. For instance, if a vehicle is backing up, but the driver with the right of way is speeding or not paying attention, a court or insurance company may find them partially liable.

Where Is the Damage?

In some collisions, it’s obvious who’s at fault based on where the damage is. If a driver was backed out of a spot fully and about to start driving forward, the damage would be at the rear of the vehicle backing up and at the front of the other car. This scenario suggests that the right of way driver is the one backing up, and the other vehicle should have had enough time to stop and let the car back up.

Eyewitness Statements

In parking lot accidents, it’s relatively easy to find witnesses who can help determine who’s responsible for the accident. As with most car accidents, the drivers will blame each other, but a credible witness is often believed over drivers.

Reverse Car Accidents in Florida

The most common place for an accident when reversing is in a parking lot. However, they can also occur backing out of a driveway or when backing up to parallel park. Some examples include:

  • Backing into a parked car

  • Backing out of a space into a moving vehicle

  • Reversing out of a driveway

In most cases, if your car is parked, the other driver is at fault. However, keep in mind that Florida uses comparative negligence. A court or insurance company may deem you partially liable for the accident. For example, if your car was blocking someone else’s driveway or if you parked over the lines, you may be semi-liable.

Comparative negligence means that your claim is reduced by the percentage of which you caused the accident. So if a court or insurer finds you 10% liable, a $5,000 claim reduces to $4,500.

Ways to Avoid Reverse Car Accidents

There are ways all drivers can avoid causing a reverse car accident or being in one. Take your time backing up and ensure there are no other vehicles around. Newer cars even have back-up cameras you can utilize. Follow these tips when backing out of your driveway, as well.

Most parking lots have speed limits of 5–10 miles per hour. Speeding through the parking lot can cause drivers who are already reversing to not see you, resulting in a collision.

Contact Skilled Car Accident Attorneys in South Florida

If another driver crashed into your car while they were backing up, reach out to the attorneys at McCullough & Leboff, P.A. We will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident to help determine who’s at fault. Even if you are partially liable, you can be confident that Attorneys Beth Leboff and Scott McCullough will fight for you to obtain maximum compensation.

Call us or complete a contact form to schedule a free consultation