Even one such accident can be catastrophic. A child is playing in a driveway behind a vehicle. The parent or another person leaving the home doesn’t know the child is outside, backs up and runs over the child. These are called backover accidents and determining liability when they occur can be difficult.
Injuries in backover accidents can be severe and even fatal. These accidents also take a tremendous toll on a family. In more than 70 percent of cases, it is a parent or close relative that is driving the vehicle when the accident occurs.
How These Accidents Happen
It’s very easy to point a finger when an accident like this is in the news. The parents were negligent. They weren’t paying attention. The truth of the matter is that people get into a type of auto-pilot when starting their cars and backing out of their driveways. In many cases, they don’t know their children are outside or believe they are playing elsewhere. People rarely check around their cars before starting them and leaving home.
It can be difficult to see a little one crouched down or sitting behind a vehicle. Even if a driver looks in their rearview mirror or turns their head to check out the back window, they may not see a child behind the vehicle. They check, believe that the coast is clear and back up.
When Is a Driver Liable?
Unless a child darts behind a vehicle if it is moving, the driver is usually held liable in this type of accident. The child’s caretaker may also be held liable if they weren’t aware of the location of the child. If a vehicle is equipped with a backup camera or sensor and it fails, the manufacturer of the vehicle may be held liable as well.
When it’s the parent that runs the child over, the child may sue their parent. This may seem like something that no one wants to happen, but it may be required because of the way that insurance companies conduct business.
The Homeowner May Be Liable
When two children are playing outside and one gets into the vehicle, causing it somehow to back over the other child, the homeowner may be held liable for the accident and subsequent injuries. When the cause of the injury is another child, auto insurance may not cover the accident but homeowner’s insurance might.
When a backover accident occurs, criminal charges are rarely filed. If the accident causes serious injury or is fatal, involuntary manslaughter or vehicular assault charges could be filed. In these situations, a criminal defense attorney can offer the best insights into the at-fault party’s legal options.
If your child was injured in an auto accident in Charlotte, you have rights. Reach out to the team at Auger & Auger for a free case evaluation and discover more about your options. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.