There are two main categories of accidents covered by “driveway accident.” The first type which comes to mind is normally an incident in which a driver reverses their vehicle into an active lane of traffic and crashes into another vehicle, bicycle, or even a pedestrian. It could also be an incident in which a driver unintentionally runs their vehicle over another individual. As experienced car accident attorneys in Boston, a “driveway accident” may also occur when a driver pulls out headfirst into an active traffic lane and causes the same type of accident. 

Both of these types of driveway accidents happen all too frequently. Today, through our blog, we will discover why they happen so frequently, the catastrophic outcomes, and what goes into assessing liability for them in different situations. 

What are Backover Accidents in General? 

Backover accidents are a critical type of collision that may involve a person being run over by a car, bike, or truck as it reverses. Data shared by the NHTSA reveals that the biggest proportion of victims in backover accidents have been between 12 and 23 months old. Safety analysts suspect that backover incidents are one of the main reasons for the high number of child fatalities in automobile accidents.

What are the Main Contributors to Backover Accidents? 

Most backover collisions or accidents are attributable to blind spots. The higher a vehicle sits, the bigger its blind spots. Blind spots h can be both behind and in front of the vehicle and on either side. Backover accidents have been one of the primary reasons safety groups have been actively advocating for installing rear cameras in vehicles for many years. 

While this advocacy resulted in the federal government requiring vehicle manufacturers to equip their vehicles with rear cameras beginning in 2018, many vehicles in the US are still circulating on the road without this potentially life-saving safety measure. So, it is no surprise that backover accidents still occur in large numbers even today. 

What is considered a driveway? 

We all see various driveways in downtown, urban, and suburban areas. According to Massachusetts state law, driveways are not only in residential areas but also in agricultural and commercial areas. Any place where there is a narrow, single patch of land attached to a commercial building, home, or homestead. A driver can be expected to move their vehicle into or out of the active traffic lane can be considered a driveway. Drivers may have one way out of the space, to either pull out head first or back out into a heavily trafficked road lane. 

Liability in Backing Up or Pull Out Incidents

The key to deciding who was to blame for a backup or pull-out accident is understanding who had the right of way. Drivers traveling in an occupied traffic lane typically have the right of way in Boston. The driver exiting their driveway is often held responsible if a collision happens based on this right of way.

Specifying Fault When Driveway Accidents Happen

Whether we are talking about a pull-out, backout, or backover accident, they can seriously injure victims or result in their death. Hefty medical bills, rehabilitation, and caregiving can be expensive when you have been the victim of these types of driveway crashes. Funeral costs and the loss of a loved one’s future income to sustain a family can be financially crippling if they pass away from the accident. 

Liability in Backover Driveway Accidents

You may initially assume that your only option for holding someone accountable for your family member’s injuries or death in a backover accident is to hold the driver liable for what happened by pursuing a homeowners’ or auto insurance claim. This is certainly an option, but it is not the only option you may have.

You may also have a valid reason to pursue a lawsuit against an auto manufacturer or an auto parts company through an experienced personal injury law firm if you can prove that their equipment failed, contributing to the crash. For example, if a backup camera or the vehicle brakes didn’t function as they should have, you may be able to hold equipment manufacturers liable for the incident.

Where To Turn for Help Following a Driveway Accident

Liability is not always clear following a driveway accident, as you may be able to see from the above examples. Prospective clients who reach out to lawyers often ask how their service might add value to their case.

Only experienced Boston car accident attorneys can best help you determine who is at fault for your accident in these situations. While you may have initially assumed you didn’t have any legal options, a lawyer can look at cases through a different lens. They may determine that you have a valid claim against another party, whether the other motorist involved, a property owner, an automobile manufacturer, or someone else.

Contact Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Talk to us and learn how we can help you with your case.

You can call us at (617) 742-1900 or, if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732 to book your free consultation today!


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About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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