Am I at fault if when I'm pulling into a parking space the car next to me opens it's door and I hit it? 26 Answers as of June 28, 2013

It hit the side of my car ,not the front. Can't get anyone on phone from either insurance and now the other company is saying I'm at fault and wants me to pay $1500 or suspend my license. What should I do?

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Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
Under California law, if a vehicle driver or passenger opens a door and causes a collision with another vehicle, the one who opens the door is deemed to be at fault.

Factually, if the door hit the side (as opposed to the front) of your vehicle, the facts imply the person who opened the door SHOULD HAVE seen your vehicle in time to avoid the accident.

Thus, you should not have to pay damages to the other driver. If you have insurance, you must report this incident to your insurer immediately so they can investigate the accident and deal with the other driver and his insurer (assuming he has insurance). You should also consult an attorney about this matter.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/15/2012
Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
Michigan is a no-fault insurance state so damages to the other car would be paid by that car's insurance company.

There is a mini-tort provision where a person can recover up to $500 from the person at fault. In your case, there was no way of knowing that the other person would open their door.

Since it hit the side of your car, they should have noticed your car and waited before opening the door. It does not sound like you are totally at fault.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/15/2012
John Russo | John Russo
Something does not sound right, contact your insurance carrier all insurance cards have an 800 number that they always answer tell them the facts, and they will subjugate the claim.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/15/2012
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
Or suspend your license?! That doesn't make any sense to me unless they already have a judgment against you. You are not necessarily at fault at all.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/15/2012
Law Office of Marc June
Law Office of Marc June | Marc June
You should follow up with your auto insurance company.
Answer Applies to: Alaska
Replied: 8/15/2012
    Larry Klein Inc | Larry Klein
    Since you have insurance on your car, you should let your insurance company handle this matter. That is what you have insurance for. If you can not contact your insurance company directly, I would recommend you contact your insurance agent who sold you your insurance and describe the accident to them, and let them deal with getting in touch with your insurance company. This is a matter that should be worked out between the two insurance companies. If you have any further questions you can always contact an attorney to discuss this matter. Although I have not heard the other person's description of this accident. from your description of it, it sounds to me like the other driver is at fault or mostly at fault but again I only have one side of the story.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    Notify your insurance company. They will hire an attorney to defend you if they file suit. If you do not have insurance, you will have to defend yourself or hire an attorney if they file suit. Meanwhile, continue to deny fault. It was the other guy who hit you with his door - what could you have done to avoid the accident? Honk your horn to warn of your approach.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    Turn this claim over to your auto insurance carrier.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Report it to YOUR insurance company and let the professionals deal with it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    If you have liability insurance that should pay for any exposure you have, if any. Report this to your carrier in writing ASAP. Also, the description you gave about how it happened is not very detailed but it at least superficially sounds like it may very well be the fault of the other party in which case the other party's liability insurance should pay to fix your car.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Phillips Law Firm
    The Phillips Law Firm | Joseph J Ganz
    In my opinion,you are not at fault. The opened door hit you on the side of your vehicle and was caused by the inattention of the person exiting their vehicle. You were unable to avoid being hit.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Lee Law Group | Ernest Lee
    Friend: You should hire an attorney. If it happened as you say you may be able to get them to pay you. The question of who's at fault depends on the facts. If you were parking and they opened the door on you it sounds like they were not sufficiently careful. Thereby they may be at fault.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You both may be partly at fault but whatever that may be if the carrier is threatening you with your license (DMV can take license for not paying a judgment) report this to your insurance co and let them deal with it. if you don't have insurance see a lawyer about the threat.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    It is probably as much the other persons fault as yours- it would be a case of comparative negligence, and it may take a third party to determine fault- If I were you I would deny liability- (it is probably up to your insurance company) and make the other side prove that it is more your fault that the other person. You need to be careful pulling into a parking space, but they need to be equally careful in opening a door when they know o should know that another car is pulling in.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Offices of Mark Hopkins | Mark Hopkins
    If you have insurance, immediately turn this claim over to them via a letter in US mail, as well as fax and email to your insurance company. Do not rely on a phone call, as that is a waste of time with large corporations. I would also tell your insurance company that the other insurance company is threatening to contact the DMV to try and have the DMV suspend your license, which I believe is not permissible conduct for an insurance company. Ask your insurance company to request that the Department of Insurance discipline the other insurance company for such unprofessional conduct.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Offices of Steven D. Urban
    Law Offices of Steven D. Urban | Steven D. Urban
    It sounds like a question that needs to be answered by a finder of fact, which usually means a jury. In any event, the other driver's insurance company usually would not have any right to suspend your license. In all likelihood, they have already contacted your insurance company and your insurance company probably denied coverage. Write your insurance company a letter to put them on proper notice of what is going on so that they defend you as is likely required by your insurance policy.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C. | Paul A. Samakow
    Not your fault, they cannot suspend your license. Make them sue you if they believe that you are at fault. I predict they won't do that, and if they do, you will win. Your insurance company will provide an attorney for you if you are sued.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Timiney Law Firm
    Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
    First, an insurance company cannot suspend your license. It is difficult to say who is at fault here. If there was a police report taken, obtain a copy. That could be helpful to you. It is possible this could be determined to be a no fault accident or a shared liability accident, where both of you share some fault for the accident. I would suggest getting in touch with your own insurance company and asking them to assist you with this.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    Take a look at ORS 811.490 Improper opening or leaving open of vehicle door.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Law Offices of Linh T. Nguyen
    Law Offices of Linh T. Nguyen | Linh T. Nguyen
    From your description, it sounds like the other vehicle is at fault. People exiting vehicles must make sure it is safe before opening their doors. I don't see how your license could be suspended in this situation. I believe you have a valid claim against the other car's insurance. You can get a lawyer to help you file a claim or try to find out how to file a written claim with the other driver?s insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Even if you are at fault and have insurance, the max is $500 for collisions and otherwise if the car was parked, it is covered under property damage under your insurance. Sounds odd to me.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Call your own insurance company and ask for the adjuster, and if they won't take your call, ask for that adjuster's manager
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Tuttle and Associates | Jeffrey Brook Tuttle
    Call your insurance company and they will defend you against any claim being asserted against you. They are obligated to do so via your insurance contract.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    If both sides deny liability, you may need to file a small claims lawsuit to legally determine who is at fault. Your insurance company should take care of that for you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    You are partially at fault, under Iowa law we have comparative fault, the person who opened the door as you pulled in may be partially at fault as well. If you are each 50% at fault you pay your damages and they pay their own.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 8/14/2012
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