Serious auto accidents can occur virtually anywhere, from crowded city streets and busy freeways at rush hour to two-lane rural highways and winding backroads. Unfortunately, many catastrophic auto accidents also take place where we feel most comfortable, in the residential areas where we live, relax, and grow our families. Most people tend to look at their neighborhoods as safe havens; however, according to a 2002 survey conducted by Progressive Insurance, 52 percent of all auto accidents occur within five miles of a person’s home, while 77 percent occur within 15 miles.
One of the most common causes of auto accidents in residential areas is people backing out of their driveways into traffic without first looking and yielding right of way. It is the responsibility of drivers who are backing out of their driveways to look out for cars, trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, pedestrians, and bicycles that are using the streets and sidewalks behind them as they attempt to back out. If they fail to exercise proper vigilance while backing out and an accident occurs, they can be held liable for any injuries that result.
If you or a member of your family has been injured in an accident caused by another driver negligently backing out of his or her driveway, or if you have lost a family member in such an accident, the legal team of Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. can help. When it comes to litigating claims involving auto accidents and backing out of driveways, our Melbourne, FL personal injury attorneys have the skills, experience, and resources to handle even the most complex claims successfully. We would welcome the opportunity to represent you in your time of need.
Backing Out of Driveways and the “Duty of Care”
As a driver, you owe every person with whom you share the road a “duty of care.” In other words, you must exercise care of a reasonable standard while operating your vehicle to ensure their safety. You must follow the rules of the road, be vigilant and aware of others around you, and react to potentially hazardous situations that arise as another reasonable person would be expected to react under the same circumstances. Likewise, other drivers owe you the same exact duty of care. If another driver breaches that duty of care and causes an accident in which you are injured, that driver can be said to have acted with negligence. If evidence of that negligence can be presented in a court of law, you may be able to obtain compensation for losses and expenses related to your injury.
In some scenarios, one driver has a greater burden of care than other drivers on the road. This is often the case for drivers who are backing out of driveways. This does not mean that the drivers of cars, trucks, and other vehicles already on the road do not owe the driver who is backing out of his or her driveway a duty of care; of course they do. However, the driver who is backing out of the driveway has a responsibility to ensure that it is safe to maneuver his or her car onto the road before attempting to do so. If he or she does not fulfill this responsibility, then in most cases most or all of the fault for any accident that occurs will be attributed to him or her.
Arrange for an Evaluation of Your Auto Accident Case
To arrange for an evaluation of your auto accident case, please contact Charpentier Law Firm today.