Can I Sue If I Was Injured By A Car Backing Up?

Most motorists are keenly aware that when another driver causes an accident, there are valid grounds for pursuing compensation through a personal injury claim or even a lawsuit. Motor vehicle accidents come in many forms, though, so it might not be immediately obvious what your options are when you experience an unusual type of collision.

If you received an injury because a car backed up into your vehicle, for example, you need to know if you have the right to sue the other party for your damages. At Cellino Law, we represent injured individuals who experience a wide range of motor vehicle accidents and can help you understand the next steps to take if you sustain an injury from a car backing up.


Determining Fault When a Car Backing Up Causes an Accident

Any claim or lawsuit starts with determining who is at fault for the accident. Your car accident lawyer can play a key role in proving that the other party is at fault by demonstrating that they violated your right of way or by gathering statements from witnesses or law enforcement officers who were present at the scene. Photographs or repair invoices that document the location and nature of the damage to your vehicle can also help in establishing fault.

It is also important to keep in mind the principle of comparative negligence as outlined by New York law. Comparative negligence refers to your right to receive compensation for damages sustained in a car accident even if you are partially at fault. In the event that a judge rules that you share some responsibility for an accident in which another car backed into you, such as if the two cars backed into one another, you can still receive a proportionate amount of compensation.

Common Scenarios When a Car Backing Up Causes an Accident

When you and your legal team are cooperating to determine who is at fault for your car accident, it is important to be able to describe the nature of the accident accurately. To that end, there are a number of common accident scenarios stemming from a car backing up which you can refer to:

  • A car backed out of a parking space into your parked car
  • A car backed out of a parking space into your moving car
  • A car backed out of a driveway
  • Both cars backed up at the same time

It is also possible to experience an accident when a car backs up on a roadway. This is relatively uncommon and illegal behavior, but it can happen if the car backs out of a parked position on the roadway shoulder, for example.

What To Do After a Car Accident

Accidents caused by a car backing up might be relatively minor, assuming that the at-fault driver was reversing slowly. Even so, even the most minor of car accidents can cause major damage and serious injury. It is important to follow the proper steps after any collision to ensure your well-being and to give yourself the best chance at securing full compensation.

After any type of car accident, you should immediately:

  • Call 911 and wait at the scene for police responders
  • Seek medical attention even if you do not notice symptoms of injury
  • Exchange information with the other driver and any available witnesses
  • Avoid admitting fault or accepting responsibility
  • Contact your auto insurance provider

You should begin the claims process with the at-fault party’s insurance company, especially if you sustain an injury. You have the right to file a claim for compensation for any recoverable damages and medical expenses you incur due to another driver’s negligence. If you want to pursue additional legal action by suing the other party and filing a lawsuit against them, though, there are other factors of which you should be aware.

New York’s Serious Injury Threshold

In addition to filing a claim for compensation, you might also wonder if you can sue the other driver for causing your injury by backing up their car. However, the state of New York enforces a “serious injury threshold” that bars individuals from taking litigative action after a car accident unless the resulting injury is suitably severe. According to the law, an affected individual must have incurred a “basic economic loss” of more than $50,000, or has suffered a legally recognized “serious injury”, to have a viable personal injury lawsuit arising out of a car accident.

Consulting with a licensed physician soon after your accident and maintaining thorough records of your medical visits is one way to understand and present the severity of your economic loss. Your personal injury lawyer can help you understand if you meet the serious injury threshold.

Choosing To Sue or Settle

While suing is not always an option due to New York’s serious injury threshold, it also might not be the right choice even for those legally able to do so. There are a number of factors and circumstances to keep in mind when deciding if you should accept the insurance company’s settlement offer.

Situations in which you might decide to sue rather than settle include:

  • If your medical bills or injury severity meet lawsuit thresholds
  • If the insurance company makes a lowball settlement offer
  • If the insurance company denies your claim outright
  • If you and your legal team agree that litigation can help you secure a more favorable settlement

On the other hand, courtroom litigation can be costly and time-consuming, which may cancel out the additional amount of compensation you might receive as opposed to settling. There is also never a guarantee that a judge will rule in favor of your case. It is important to carefully consider if the possible outcome is worth the effort and risk based on your own preferences.

The team at Cellino Law can advocate for the best possible outcome for your personal injury claim whether you decide to negotiate with the insurance company outside of court or if you choose to sue and take the matter to trial.

What a Personal Injury Attorney Can Do for You

There are unique circumstances to consider in an accident involving a car backing up. Navigating even the most straightforward collision cases can be complex and overwhelming for everyday drivers. The insurance company will also always have more experience than you, giving them an advantage both in and out of court. That is why having an experienced personal injury attorney can make all the difference when it comes to securing the compensation you deserve, especially if you decide to take your case to trial.

The personal injury attorneys at Cellino Law can help you by:

  • Carefully investigating the circumstances of your accident
  • Compiling and presenting evidence to strengthen your case
  • Negotiating with insurance providers on your behalf
  • Advocating for you in court if you decide to sue

The right personal injury attorney is ultimately someone who is a constant source of support, guidance and advocacy at every stage of the process both in and out of the courtroom. Our team can carry the burden for you so you can focus your effort on the important matter of recovery.

Contact Cellino Law Today for a Free Consultation

You have every right to sue another driver for backing into you if their negligence causes injury to you or damage to your property. Our personal injury attorneys at Cellino Law are eager to secure the best possible outcome for you in your personal injury claim and can help you understand what results you might expect from courtroom litigation. Get a free consultation today by calling (888) 888-8888 or contact Cellino Law online so we can assist you right away.



Free Case Review



  • Cellino Law is an amazing firm with a great team. I worked with Greg Pajak and his assistant, Tracey Falconer. I cannot express enough how dedicated they are. The personal attention I received was excellent; they were always available to help with questions and concerns and put me at ease in the unknown territory I found myself in. I highly recommend them to anyone needing representation. A huge thank you to them for all they accomplished for me!


  • This letter is to thank Ms. Diane D’Andrea, assistant to Mr. George Gridelli, Attny for all the hard work, dedication, and attentiveness she showed during the representation of my case. She was always cheerful and ready to help in whatever way she could. All messages left for Mr. Gridelli were always relayed and Mr. Gridelli always promptly returned our calls. She was a very competent assistant. Cellino Law has proven to be a model of what legal representation should be. Throughout the 6 ½ years of this case, I have heard many horror stories from people with “bad lawyer stories.” We consider ourselves to be very lucky to have chosen Cellino Law and will always recommend you to those looking for good, honest representation with a personal touch.


  • I am so grateful for your expertise, patience, and perseverance which resulted with such a successful settlement regarding my car accident. I also want to let you know how impressed I was with you and your firm and I won't hesitate to recommend you to anyone who needs assistance from an accident. I truly appreciated your care and professionalism. Thank you again for your kindness and support


  • I just want to let you know that I did receive my settlement check. More importantly, I want to thank you again for all you did for both me and my family. I could not be more pleased with my experience at Cellino Law. From the moment I first spoke with you I felt comfortable - you took a sincere interest in my case, clearly explained the process and effected a quick settlement. From this day forward, when someone asks if I can recommend a good lawyer I will, without hesitation, say "Cellino Law". Thanks again.


  • Thank you for all your help. It has been a long journey. At last, the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, thank Tom for the help and work he put in.


  • My wife and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a fantastic job as our attorney. We could not have been more pleased with the work you and your team has done on this case. This past four years or so has been such a roller coaster for our family. We are very pleased and grateful with the result. We have made a good choice by choosing you. Thank you.