Experience and Results When You Need us Most

Backover Car Accidents

Maine personal injury attorneys in Briggs &Wholey has nearly 30 years of combined experience aggressively litigating personal injury claims on behalf of those injured or killed in automobile accidents. They are familiar with the financial difficulties one must address while recovering from these traumatic events. Doctors’ bills, car replacements, and lost wages may all cause economic strain on an injured party’s household. The attorneys at Briggs & Wholey will give your unique case the attention it deserves while tirelessly pursuing all avenues of legal relief.

Backover Car Accidents Put Young Children at Risk

Backover car accidents happen when a person is hit by a driver who does not see them while driving a car in reverse. In 2009, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Special Crash Investigation focused on how children have been affected in backover car accidents. Of the 56 backover cases studied, 34 involved children between the ages of 1 and 3, and over half were killed as a result of the accident. Nearly 80% of the children injured or killed had approached the vehicle from the left or right side.

Another NHTSA study revealed that most backover car accident fatalities result from passenger vehicles instead of large commercial vehicles, especially for children under the age of five. Statistics show that in the United States, children between the ages of 1 and 3 range in height from 2 1/2 feet to 3 1/2 feet. The low height of the child and limited visibility of the driver create the hazardous and potentially tragic circumstances that lead to backover car accidents.

Technologies Designed to Prevent Backover Car Accidents May Be Inadequate

Vehicles are frequently advertised to possess technology that either detects or visually displays the surroundings behind the car. In 2006, the NHTSA studied various rear-detection systems that were either sensor-based or visual-only systems. The sensor-based systems tested poorly, failing to detect pedestrians located behind the vehicle. The systems studied were especially poor at detecting children. In sum, the sensor-based systems were inadequate with respect to preventing collisions with people or other objects.

Visual-only systems fared better at making the driver aware of objects or people behind the vehicle, but did not clearly demonstrate how effective they would be in preventing a collision. While visibility behind the car tested best with a video system, that system relied on the driver looking at the video, seeing the obstacle, and responding accordingly. Similarly, auxiliary mirror systems had limited visibility, which left questions as to their effectiveness.

Holding the Responsible Parties Liable

In Maine, personal injury lawsuits are generally governed by the legal concept of negligence. All drivers have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care in operating their vehicles. If a driver breaches this duty through unreasonable or reckless conduct, and injures or kills another person as a result of a backover or other accident, the victim or the victim’s family may pursue financial compensation from the driver. This kind of payment, called damages, can compensate victims or their loved ones for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other amounts.

Manufacturers of automobiles or products designed to prevent backover collisions may also be held liable to an injured party or deceased’s family if it can be shown that the manufacturer was unreasonable in their design of the product and that the design flaw caused the injury or fatality to the victim. It is also possible to hold a manufacturer liable if it can be shown that the manufacturer could have used a safer design that would have substantially reduced the risk of harm without substantially impairing the usefulness of the product. An experienced products liability attorney can evaluate your case to determine whether you should bring a claim against a manufacturer.

The Maine backover car accident attorneys at Briggs & Wholey will pursue damages from the negligent driver or automobile manufacturer that caused your injury or the death of your family member. They have successfully handled a number of cases related to backover accidents, and will seek recovery of every penny of compensation you are entitled to. If you need experienced personal injury representation, call our Maine office today at (888) 596-1099 or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation.

Donald Briggs C. Donald Briggs, III Feb. 7, 1954 - Sept. 7, 2014 Your dedication and hard work continue...