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Liability in a New Hampshire Back-Up Accident

June 17, 2021

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 15,000 backing-out accidents occur every year on United States roadways. These accidents account for approximately 30,000 injuries. While many people categorize these accidents as “fender benders,” these accidents can result in serious injuries and property damage. New Hampshire backing-up accidents can result in whiplash, broken bones, spinal cord damage, and bruising. Backing up accidents involving large vehicles, such as trucks, may even result in traumatic brain injuries and death.

For example, local news reports described a New Hampshire tractor-trailer accident that resulted in serious injuries. State Police reported that the tractor-trailer driver was returning home after making a run. While he was backing into his driveway, the driver stated that he did not see the other truck until moments before the other driver struck his trailer. The impact caused the trailer to split in two and detach from the cab. Emergency responders had to call excavators to clear the vehicles from the road. Both drivers suffered serious injuries and received treatment at the hospital.

After a backing-up accident, many people presume that the driver backing up was at fault. However, that is not always the case, and these cases require plaintiffs to present compelling evidence of fault and liability. There are two preliminary inquiries in these cases: first, which motorist had the right of way, and whether the vehicle was moving.

When both vehicles were moving when the accident took place, the court will look to the right of way laws to determine fault. In most cases, the driver who violated the traffic pattern will be at fault. However, these drivers may present defenses to liability as well. Fact-finders will also look to which of the vehicles were moving at the time of the accident. In some cases, if one vehicle was moving and the other was not, liability would be more straightforward. These situations typically occur in parking lots, driveways, and street parking spots.

While the backing-up driver is usually at fault, some situations may reduce or eliminate the liability of these drivers. These situations occur when the non-backing up driver was driving recklessly, speeding, failing to yield, or otherwise negligent. While accidents are unavoidable, it is crucial that drivers take steps to prevent backing up accidents. Some behaviors include practicing driver awareness, implementing safety technology, such as backup cameras, and watching for pedestrians.

Have You Been Involved in a New Hampshire Car Accident?

If you have suffered serious injuries in a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident, contact the attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. The lawyers at our firm maintain an active and highly reputable practice dedicated to advocating for New Hampshire injury victims. We handle New Hampshire accident lawsuits stemming from car accidents, truck wrecks, premises liability, product liability, nursing home abuse and negligence, and medical malpractice. Our attorneys have recovered significant damages awards on behalf of our many clients. To learn more, contact our office at 800-804-2004 to schedule a free consultation with a New Hampshire injury. Calling is free, and we will never bill you for our services unless we can help you recover for your injuries.