Every year, cars and other vehicles come with new safety features designed to decrease the occurrence of car accidents. Although these safety features help to make drivers more aware of their surroundings, they can sometimes create a false sense of security.
Even if your car is equipped with a backup camera or similar type of safety feature, you need to exercise the utmost level of caution as a driver to prevent accidents. When you are walking or riding a bicycle, you need to be aware of your surroundings as well.
Children are especially at risk of being injured or killed in “backovers,” as described by KidsandCars.org. If you are a parent, talk to your children about the dangers of walking behind vehicles when drivers do not know they are there. Supervise your children at all times when they are playing outside and when crossing the street or walking through a parking lot.
As you read about the dangers of backovers and the new technology being added to cars to make them safer, backup cameras probably come to mind. These cameras are mounted on the back of the vehicle and provide a live feed to the screen in the dashboard whenever the car is in reverse, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Along with a way to see everything that is behind the vehicle, these cameras often also show a diagram of the car’s path, aiding with parallel parking and backing into parking spaces.
According to ConceptCarz.com, the first backup camera to be used in a car was invented in 1956 and presented as part of the Buick Centurion concept car at the General Motors Motorama. Later, the feature became common in waste management trucks and other large vehicles.
The dangers of poor rear visibility came to national attention in 2002, when two-year-old Cameron Gulbransen was killed when his father accidentally backed over him.
In 2008, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was passed in Congress, creating the current legislation that requires all vehicles under 10,000 pounds built after May 2018 to have rear visibility technology in place, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.
The goal of this legislation is to cut down or even completely eliminate the approximately 15,000 injuries and 210 deaths that happen annually because of poor rear visibility. Of these injuries and deaths, 31 percent of the victims are children.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me After a Backover?
When you or your child suffers an injury caused by a backover, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you to file and pursue a claim to seek monetary compensation for the expenses associated with the injury.
If your child was injured, you would need to file a personal injury claim on his or her behalf. Minors cannot file their own personal injury claims.
Bear in mind, too, that the statute of limitations for minor victims is a bit different from the statute of limitations for adult personal injury victims. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident.
However, if the victim was under the age of 18 when his or her accident occurred, the statute of limitations does not begin until his or her 18th birthday, giving the victim until his or her 20th birthday to file a claim.
What Should You Do After an Accident?
You should take the following steps if you are involved in a backover accident:
Stop your car immediately and put it in park. Get out of your car and check on the other party involved in your backing out accident. If he or she is in need of immediate medical attention, call 911 right then and there to have an ambulance sent to the scene.
Call the police. If nobody is in need of immediate medical attention, call the police to have an officer sent to fill out an official police report. Even if your collision was fairly minor, it is important that you have an official police report filed so you can use it as evidence to support any claim you choose to file later. This can be for either a personal injury claim or an automobile insurance claim for damage suffered by your vehicle.
Take photographs of the accident and surrounding scene. These photos, too, will be useful pieces of evidence to support your claim later. You should also exchange contact information and insurance provider information with all other parties involved in the collision.
Once law enforcement arrives, describe what happened with the officer. Exchange contact information with him or her as well and be sure to take down his or her badge number. You might need to contact the officer again for a testimony later. Do not leave the scene of the accident without a copy of the official police report or a report number.
Seek medical care. Do this even if you do not feel that you have been badly injured. Sometimes, seemingly minor injuries can quickly become serious, demanding much more intensive treatment and a longer recovery time. Your doctor’s diagnosis and your record of having received medical attention for your injury are also both important pieces of evidence for your claim.
After you have received medical care for your injury, contact an experienced Austin personal injury attorney to discuss the next steps in pursuing a personal injury claim or car accident lawsuit.
Work with an Austin Car Accident Lawyer
Despite taking all of the correct safety precautions, you can possibly be involved in a car accident and suffer an injury. If this happens, contact an experienced Austin car accident lawyer to seek compensation for your losses.
An injury can be expensive. Between your high medical bills, lost wages and unanticipated expenses like the need for a mobility aid or psychological counseling after your accident, you can potentially find yourself unable to meet your financial responsibilities.
Pursue the compensation you need for these expenses by working with an experienced personal injury law firm on your car accident claim.
At Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, our personal injury lawyers we are equipped to help you seek the money you deserve. Do not wait to schedule your free legal consultation with a member of our team.