In an Accident, Who’s at Fault When Both Cars are Reversing?

When finding parking in one-way streets, cramped parking lots and garages, unusual traffic patterns, and hundreds of pedestrians, you’ll eventually need to leave the space you found. Backing out of a parking space can be hazardous any time of the year if you are not aware of the cars around you!

The Accident Recovery Team at County Line Chiropractic in South Florida wants you to be safe, so we’ve put together this helpful guide so you can learn who is at fault when both cars are reversing.

Who is at Fault When both Cars are Reversing in a Parking Lot and Crash?

Who is at fault of an accident if both are reversing?

If you have an accident when you and another driver are backing out of your parking space, who is at fault? In parking lot accidents, the problem often arises in determining which driver had the right-of-way; after all, most parking lots don’t have stoplights or speed limits. Traffic flow, speed, and failure to yield can also play a role in determining fault.

In some cases, both drivers may be at fault for the accident. The most common types of parking lot accidents include:

  • A vehicle backing into a lane of traffic
  • A car pulling forward into traffic
  • Two cars in reverse backing into one another
  • Two vehicles collide while rushing to claim a parking place

There are several ways of determining who is at fault when an accident occurs as a result of cars reversing out of their respective parking spaces.

In the first case, if one of the vehicles was moving and the other was not, in nearly every instance, the moving vehicle is the one at fault. Like all rules, this one has exceptions, such as, if the stationary vehicle is illegally parked.

Another common circumstance to determine fault in a parking lot reversing accident is which driver had the right of way given traffic patterns clearly marked in the parking lot. Drivers failing to yield the right-of-way, driving recklessly, or too fast are often those at fault. Of course, as already mentioned, there are exceptions to every rule in determining which driver is at fault.

Is the Driver Backing Up Always At Fault?

The driver backing up is typically, but not always, the one at fault. The primary exception would be if the stationary vehicle was parked illegally.

Who Is at Fault When Backing Out of a Driveway?

The driver of the car backing out of the driveway is required to look and make sure it’s clear before backing up. Since the vehicle backing up was moving, it’s assumed the driver wasn’t paying enough attention to notice the other vehicle and they will typically be found to be at fault.

However, the driver of the car coming down the road may also be partly at fault. Although they had the right of way, they may be at fault if they were speeding, not paying attention, or could have taken evasive action to avoid the accident.

Common Injuries in an Accident in which Two Vehicles are Reversing

Common injuries after a car accident

Though vehicle accidents in which both cars are reversing frequently cause less serious injuries, injuries are still common. It is important to see your doctor following an accident even if you don’t feel as if you are injured.

Many common injuries manifest in the days following an accident, and you will need proof that you sought medical attention if you pursue compensation for your injuries. Common injuries in parking lot-related accidents include:

These injuries can cause pain, weakness, and other discomforts following an accident. Your doctor will do a thorough examination – including any needed tests to diagnose your injuries – and prepare a treatment plan to alleviate any pain and enhance your recovery.

How to Avoid an Accident When Reversing in a Parking Lot?

How to avoid car accidents when reversing

Just like on the road, there are several ways to avoid a collision in a parking lot. Some of these you’ve heard multiple times:

  • Pay attention: no loud music, no phone usage, keep your eyes on the road.
  • Know the right-of-way rules: always watch out for pedestrians, stop signs, and crosswalks and use your turn signals.
  • Use your backup camera and mirrors: always double-check your surroundings by glancing at the backup camera, side mirrors, and rearview mirror. To be completely safe, you may want to also look over your shoulder before proceeding to make sure you cover your blind spots.

Some aren’t so obvious, like:

  • Time your visit for low-traffic times: during lunch or right after work hours are the times that tend to be the busiest; try to avoid them.
  • Back into your spot so you don’t have to reverse while exiting: this may take a bit more time and skill, but it will ensure that your view is not obstructed and you can leave the parking lot quicker.
  • Do not sandwich between two larger vehicles: it will be that much harder to get out and get into your vehicle on top of having your view blocked.
  • Do not fill up your trunk or your back seat to the point at which your rearview window is blocked.

What To Do if You Get in a Car Accident While Reversing 

Regardless of how careful you may have been, an accident can still happen, and there are a couple of things you should and should not do.

1. Do Not Apologize for What Happened

This may be interpreted as an admittance of fault, which would make you responsible for the accident. Even if you think you may have been responsible, there may be factors that reduce or eliminate your level of fault. You may want to have an experienced car accident injury attorney review your case.

2. Do Not Leave the Scene Early

If you fail to do the following things before leaving the scene, it may, in some cases, mean jail time. Instead, make sure to:

  • Wait for the other driver to return to his or her vehicle and let them know what happened.
  • If you can’t remain, leave a note with your information like your driver’s license number as well as your contact and insurance information so the other driver can follow up.
  • Take photos of the damage to both cars and make sure they are of good quality.

How Do You Determine Who Is at Fault When Backing Up?

How Who Is at Fault When Backing Up in Florida?

There are a few different ways of figuring out which driver was at fault in a backing-up incident.

Which Driver Had the Right of Way?

If both vehicles were moving when the accident occurred, then figuring out who had the right of way determines which driver is at fault. The driver who violated regular traffic patterns and failed to yield the right of way is usually the driver who is found at fault for the accident.

Was the Car Moving?

If only one vehicle was moving at the time of the accident, the driver of the moving vehicle is nearly always at fault. There are very few exceptions to this rule.

Do You Have Witness Statements?

Since drivers will often point the finger at each other, witness statements can have a big impact on determining who was at fault. If anybody saw your accident, be sure to get their name and contact information. You may want to give that information to the police and/or a lawyer.

Where Are the Vehicles Damaged?

The cars themselves can be witnesses that show which driver is responsible for the damage. Which car has worse damage? Is the damage located on the front, rear, or side of each vehicle?

Schedule an Appointment With a Florida Car Accident Chiropractor

If you have been involved in a parking lot accident, the professionals at County Line Chiropractic Medical and Rehab Centers are ready to help relieve your aches and pains so that you can function at your optimal level. Each car accident chiropractor on our Accident Recovery Team is specially trained to help with auto accident injuries, and we offer transportation services to patients who were injured in car accidents.

County Line Chiropractic has 6 locations across South Florida: Miami Gardens, North Miami Beach, Plantation, Pembroke Pines, Lauderhill, and East Fort Lauderdale. We do recommend scheduling an appointment, but we also accept walk-ins.

Start your healing journey today by contacting County Line Chiropractic.

Load more posts

Want to learn more? Stop by one of our
offices for a consultation!

With five convenient South Florida locations to best serve you, there is nothing stopping you from making an appointment! Call today and start feeling better.

  • ‘86

    Helping patients for over 30 years

  • 5

    Full-service rehab centers

  • X

    Non-Invasive alternative to surgery


We treat our patients like our own family.

We are committed to providing each and every patient with the highest quality, customized care they deserve. You can count on our chiropractors to help you live a happy, healthy, and pain-free life without any surgical procedures or harmful medications.

We hope to hear from you soon!

If you’re ready to find the relief you’ve been longing for, you owe it to yourself to schedule an appointment at County Line Chiropractic today. We can’t wait to meet you and enlighten you on the power of chiropractic care and natural healing.