We never think of our driveways as danger zones. But driveways can be very dangerous – particularly for small children. Every year, thousands of children are seriously injured because the driver backing up didn’t see them. Back-over tragedies change the lives of parents, families, neighbors, and communities forever.
As an attorney, every day I am personally involved in fighting for those who are injured as a result of the recklessness and negligence of others. Injuries sustained on the driveway are heartbreaking and life changing.
How They Happen.
Driveway accidents happen for a variety of reasons – but mainly due to a lack of attention. The driver is momentarily distracted or oblivious to their surroundings. It might be a mobile phone, waving to a neighbor, a hanging tree limb, or a romping family pet. That fleeting moment may cause the driver to lose track of a child or a caregiver has allowed a child to slip into a blind spot. Young children can quickly dart into the path of the vehicle and be momentarily out-of-sight as they reach for a toy, stumble, or run for a hug. Occasionally a child may just be quietly playing behind or under a car – unnoticed.
Who’s To Blame?
The driver may or may not be the only person to blame in a driveway accident. Generally speaking, the driver is held liable for back-over accidents.
In some cases, the car owner, manufacturer, or the homeowner may also be held liable. If the vehicle had a form of backup technology that did not operate properly, the manufacturer could face a product liability lawsuit. The car owner may be liable for damages depending on the insurance coverage on the vehicle. And, if a homeowner fails to deal with a dangerous situation or obstructed view on their property, they could face a premises liability lawsuit.
Liability in these situations can be complicated and an experienced personal injury attorney should be consulted.
What You Can Do.
Here are a few ‘common sense’ safety steps to avoid driveway accidents:
- The Stop & Check Habit. Walk around your car before you get in – not only to check behind and underneath your vehicle, but also to spot children who may be nearby. If kids are around, keep a visual track on them.
- Don’t Rush. Back out slowly. Nothing is so important to put a child at risk.
- Double Check. Children can dart seemingly out of nowhere. They can be reaching for a toy, stumbling, or looking for a goodbye hug. Always look twice.
- Teach Your Children. When your kids are old enough to walk and talk, explain to them that they should never run after mommy or daddy when they are leaving or returning home. And, teach them not to play behind a car. Further, help them to look after younger brothers and sisters when near the driveway.
These simple safety steps reduce the likelihood that a great day turns into a tragic one. These precautions can avoid a tragedy and save a life.
We Help Victims.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law are knowledgeable and expert in representing those who are victims of the negligence or carelessness of others. Claims for victims of driveway accidents are complex and frequently multi-dimensional.
Insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate and fight driveway car accident claims. In order to deal with these professionals, you need a skilled attorney to protect your rights. We know your rights and the applicable laws. We are your advocates.
We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. Fifty years of experience counts.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law make the legal process as stress free as possible. We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured or a victim of the negligence of others, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.