Backover Accident in San Antonio a Tragic Reminder of Holiday Risks

The Express-News is reporting the tragic death of a toddler killed by his grandfather in a backover car accident in San Antonio.

Our personal injury attorneys most often see these accidents in parking lots or private driveways. There is a particularly high risk as we head into the holiday shopping season, when malls are busy and large family gatherings pack driveways across South Texas.

About 50 injuries and two child deaths a week are reported as a result of backover accidents — relatives are most often to blame. Emotions run high in such cases, and suing a family member can feel like assessing blame. Speaking to a wrongful death attorney can help protect your rights. In most cases, a claim should be filed in as amicable a manner as possible against the driver’s insurance policy.

In this case, the 3-year-old boy was killed on the North Side after his grandfather backed over him in an SUV, according to authorities. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police are treating the case as an accident and criminal charges are not anticipated, according to the Express-News. It’s at least the second fatal backover accident in San Antonio in the last year — a man ran over and killed his 1-year-old nephew last October. Other local cases were reported in November 2007 and May 2008. Both of those cases involved a parent striking their child.

KidsandCars.org reports children ages 1-2 are most at risk in these types of accidents.

-Walk around your vehicle before moving it.

-Know where children are and keep them in full view.

-Teach children never to play around parked vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was so concerned about this issue that it mandated all new vehicles come equipped with backup cameras by 2014. Unfortunately, the agency has since caved to pressure by auto manufacturers and has delayed implementation of the proposed rule. The government estimates 292 deaths and 18,000 injuries occur each year as a result of backover accidents.

The New York Times reports backup cameras are already standard on 45 percent of new vehicles. The problem has been exacerbated in recent years by the large number of vehicles built on truck and SUV frames. These larger vehicles have larger blind spots — particularly to the rear of the vehicle.

“(D)rivers must remember that no technology can, or should, replace full attention and vigilance when backing up.” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland in announcing the new rule in 2010. ” Always know where your children are before you start your car and make sure you check that there is no one behind you before you back up.”

Nearly half of these incidents involve children under the age of 5, while one-third involve senior citizens over the age of 70.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact the The Herrera Law Firm, Inc at 800-455-1054 for a confidential consultation.

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