Understanding Back-Over Car Crashes

Child Playing With a Toy in the DrivewayFew people think of driveways as potential sources of danger. However, every year, our Washington car accident attorney explains, thousands of Americans are injured in so-called back-over accidents. While individuals of any age could be stricken by an inattentive motorist trying to reverse their vehicle, children are especially and uniquely vulnerable.

How Back-Over Accidents Happen

A back-over accident is a type of car crash that can happen when a driver who is moving their vehicle in reverse collides with another automobile, pedestrian, or cyclist. These crashes most often occur in:

  • Driveways
  • Parking lots
  • Residential streets

Back-over crashes have a variety of potential causes. However, they are most often the result of:

While back-over collisions usually result in little damage to the vehicle, they can inflict serious injuries upon victims.

Potential Injuries in Driveway Car Crashes

The injuries sustained in a back-over car accident vary depending on:

  • The speed of the vehicle
  • The size of the vehicle
  • The age and health of the victim

However, common injuries resulting from driveway car crashes include but are not limited to:

Liability in Back-Over Accidents

In most cases, the inattentive driver responsible for the accident will be liable for any resulting injuries and damages. However, you could also file a claim against:

  • The owner of the driveway or parking lot
  • The driver’s employer, if they were working when the accident occurred
  • A city or municipal corporation, if you or your loved one were injured by a local government vehicle
  • An automobile manufacturer or parts manufacturer, if a vehicular defect caused or contributed to the accident

Potential Damages in a Seattle-Area Back-Over Claim

Washington state law affords accident victims the right to recover damages from any persons, parties, or entities whose negligence caused or contributed to their accident-related injuries. Max Meyers Law could help you claim damages for:

  • Past, present, and anticipated medical care
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Prescription medication co-pays
  • The income you lost from work while recovering from your injuries
  • The income you lost from work while taking care of your injured child
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Wrongful death

Washington does not currently cap the damages available for back-over car crash claimants. You could receive as much compensation as you need to clear your hospital debt, seek higher-quality health care, and begin reclaiming your independence.

However, you have to act fast. While Washington does not cap damages, the Evergreen State does have a strict statute of limitations. If you wait too long to take action, your case could be automatically dismissed by the court. 

What to Do After a Serious Washington Driveway Accident

If you, or your child, have been injured in a serious Washington back-over accident that was not your fault, you could protect your right to a legal recovery by:

  • Calling the police. While many people are hesitant to involve the police after an automobile accident, a law enforcement officer’s written report could help you establish fault in an eventual insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
  • Seeking immediate medical attention. You should always seek immediate medical attention after a back-over accident, even if you do not believe that your child’s injuries are severe. Since children cannot always accurately identify or describe pain-related symptoms, a doctor could help identify, diagnose, and treat injuries you did not realize that your child suffered.
  • Collecting evidence. If your child does not require urgent medical intervention, you could collect evidence from the accident site. You could take photographs of the reversed vehicle, the victim’s visible injuries, and any nearby traffic control signals or road features that may have played a role in the collision.
  • Speaking to eyewitnesses. If you believe that somebody else may have witnessed the accident, ask them for their full name, phone number, and other contact information—their testimony could prove critical in court.
  • Contacting an attorney. Studies have shown, time and time again, that car crash victims with experienced legal counsel are more likely to succeed in their personal injury claims than victims who try to represent themselves in court or insurance negotiations.
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.