Backing Out of a Driveway Accident: Who Is at Fault?

Backing Out of Driveway Accident

Parking lots and busy streets are hotspots for car accidents. When a driver backs out of a driveway or parking spot, it’s crucial to exercise care and follow traffic laws. In California, the traffic rule states a person should not back a vehicle on a highway or street until such movement can be executed in a safe and reasonable manner.


Who Has the Right of Way When Backing Out of a Driveway?

If you were driving down the street and you were hit by somebody backing out of their driveway, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.

According to California Vehicle Code 22106, a motorist should not back a vehicle onto a road until it is safe and clear to do so. This means that pedestrians and oncoming traffic have the right-of-way. The person backing out of the driveway or parking space is responsible for waiting until it is safe to back out.

Generally, the driver backing out of the driveway would be considered primarily at fault in the event of an accident. However, in certain situations, the other driver involved may be held liable for a share of the fault. For example, if the driver in the occupying lane of traffic was excessively speeding or distracted driving at the time of the collision, they can be held partially liable.

What is Pure Comparative Negligence?

California follows a pure comparative negligence system that allows injured victims to seek compensation from all the parties involved who are found at fault. Therefore, each party involved may be responsible for a percentage of the fault. For example, if the driver reversing was distracted, and an oncoming vehicle did not comply with the California stop sign law and collided with his/her car, both parties may share liability in the accident.


Is Backing Out of Your Driveway Illegal?

It is not illegal to reverse out of your driveway, but you must do it in a safe and prudent manner. When entering a road from a driveway you must give the right-of-way to any pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles already traveling on the road.

These rules apply to all types of driveways, including service stations, private driveways, or commercial driveways.


How to Avoid Driveway Accidents

car driving in traffic lane

The best way to avoid a car accident is to drive safely and follow the rules of the road.

Unfortunately, being a cautious driver isn’t always enough to keep you out of harm’s way. Auto accidents can occur anywhere, even in your own driveway.

Here are some actions you can take to reduce the odds of having a driveway accident:

  • Walk around your vehicle and ensure there isn’t a person, animal, or object in the way. Check for small children especially, as they may be difficult to see.
  • Check all your mirrors and scan your surroundings.
  • Avoid texting, emailing, and other distracting behaviors.
  • Give your full attention to backing out safely.
  • Position yourself so that you can turn your body and look out the rear window while you reverse your car.
  • Check traffic in all directions.
  • Use your car backup camera if you have one.
  • Roll down windows so you can clearly hear your surroundings.

When drivers engage in activities that divert their attention away from the road it significantly increases the risk of a car accident. Distracted driving can include using cell phones, multitasking, and taking care of children. Driveway accidents happen more often than people think and many accidents like these are preventable.


Proving Liability for a Driveway Accident

speed limit in a residential neighborhood

When an accident occurs while a driver is backing out of a driveway, serious injuries can happen. There are certain elements that must be established to prove negligence in a car accident case.

  1. The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
  2. The defendant breached the duty of care.
  3. The defendant’s negligent actions caused the accident.
  4. The plaintiff suffered damages because of the collision.

Determining fault in a car accident can be complicated without the support of an experienced attorney. At The Law Offices of Daniel Kim, we will protect your legal rights and help you recover maximum compensation.


I Was Hit by a Driver Who Was Backing Out of a Driveway

The vehicle backing up has a duty to yield to oncoming traffic. If you were injured by a driver who was backing out of a driveway, it’s important to take the following actions:

Call 911

Persons involved in car accidents that result in injury or death must contact the police to report the accident. Wait for the authorities to arrive at the accident scene and ensure you get a police report.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you believe you sustained minor injuries, it’s best to seek medical care. The extent of your personal injuries may not be apparent until you get a medical evaluation from a professional. Keep your medical records safe and follow your prescribed treatment plan.

Collect Evidence

At the accident scene, take photos and videos of the property damage, skid marks, broken glass, and visible injuries.

Get the Other Party’s Information

Ensure you get the contact and insurance information from the parties involved in the accident. If any witnesses are present, get their contact information and ask if they are willing to provide a statement.

Don’t Talk to the Driver’s Insurance Company

The insurer may take your words out of context to assign you a share of the blame. Insurance adjusters are well-trained to find reasons to minimize your settlement or deny your claim entirely.

Consult With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

Car accident attorneys will collect evidence on your behalf and work with investigators to help build a compelling case. At The Law Offices of Daniel Kim, our award-winning auto accident attorney will fight tirelessly to help you file a personal injury lawsuit and hold the liable parties accountable. We will facilitate all communication and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.


Common Injuries from Driveway Accidents

Some of the most common injuries caused by backing-out accidents include:


Contact an Experienced California Car Accident Attorney Today

If you sustained injuries in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, it’s best to consult with experienced personal injury lawyers. Even minor accidents can cause serious injuries, which is why it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly and consult with an experienced car accident lawyer. At The Law Offices of Daniel Kim, our Orange County car accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your personal injuries.

We exclusively specialize in motor vehicle accidents in California and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.