Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Toddler seriously injured in driveway accident

Backup accidents are perhaps the scariest (and arguably most preventable) accidents that can occur between cars and pedestrians. Drivers back out of driveways and parking spaces thousands of times during the year. Most drivers look behind them or check their rearview mirrors as a reflex, but there are limited instances when this step is skipped and a person is injured. 

Checking a car's rear (and blind spot) is critical when small children are around, because they can potentially race behind a car without the driver seeing them. As an added safety measure, some cars, especially SUVs come equipped with rearview cameras that allow drivers to see the entire area behind the vehicle. 

Unfortunately, a majority of vehicles do not have such technology. The driver of a Volkswagen Beetle in Rittenhouse likely wished she did after a toddler was struck as she backed out of her driveway. According to a Houston Police Department report, the accident occurred around 11:00 p.m. The driver reportedly did not see the two-year-old as she put the car in reverse. 

The report also indicated that the child's father was nearby.

As a matter of law, drivers have a duty to use reasonable when operating their vehicles, this duty includes the obligation to check and see if areas are clear before backing out of a driveway. 

The child was taken to Texas Childrens' Hospital with a head laceration and a cracked skull. It is unknown at this time whether civil or criminal penalties are being sought. Should a civil case be brought, the driver could be held liable for the child's injuries, medical expenses and other costs stemming from the accident.

Source: Chron.com, 2-year-old critical after getting hit by car, April 26, 2013

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