What rights do I have, as the injured driver, against the person who opened the door of the parked car? 11 Answers as of May 25, 2015

I was severely injured in the collision. The person in the parked door was negligent and caused a multi-car crash by swinging the door open right as I drove by. I hit several other cars because of it. Who is at fault if a vehicle collides with an opening door of a parked car?

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Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
I would say the person opening the door. A driver can not be expected to slow down and take into account the behavior of each and every person who is occupying a car. You are in the right.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 5/25/2015
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
The jack*** who opened the door without looking.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/22/2015
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
They person who opened the car door in your path of travel is liable, this is well-established. You could be held partly liable if it can be claimed that you were traveling too fast for conditions, failed to keep a proper lookout, or were driving too close to the parked cars. Report all this to your insurance company if you have not already done so, since a multi-car collision ensued, you may end up as a defendant as well. Since you were severely injured, you need a personal injury lawyer to pursue your case against the responsible party. This is NOT a DIY job, you NEED a lawyer to have any chance of success.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/22/2015
The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C.
The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C. | Russell Gregory
Liability will turn upon timing who should have halted, you with the car, or him with the door? Chances are you'd win. There's only a brief period of time that the door could have been open long enough for you to have avoided it, but short enough for the other person not to have been negligent for sitting in his parked car with his door opened into a roadway. I think you have a good case.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/22/2015
Adler Law Group, LLC
Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
The answer will depend on whose conduct was more reasonable. If the road was narrow the door opener would have an obligation to be more careful than if the road was wider and you were driving too close. You should have counsel prosecute this matter for you. If in Connecticut feel free to call for a more detailed free consultation.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 5/22/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Normally, you should not be driving that close to a parked vehicle that you would hit a door being opened. Unless the parked car driver had reason to know a moving car would be that close [narrow roadway lanes], you would seem to be at fault.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    It sounds to me like the person who opened the door is at fault and would owe you for your injuries and damages. Consider consulting an experienced injury lawyer for your options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    The vehicle code places the car-opener at fault. You should see a personal injury lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    Pius Joseph A Professional Law Corp. | Pius Joseph
    You have clearly a case against the parked car driver, if he/she negligently swung the door causing the chain reaction collision.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Generally it would be the fault of the person who opened the door without looking. But there are also many many facts and factors which might be considered e.g. were you careless in driving too close to the parking lane? Were you speeding so that you came upon the open door too suddenly for the driver to react? There may be others. In Wisconsin we have a comparative negligence law: if it reaches trial, the finder of fact will have to determine what percentage of the total negligence belongs to each party. Consult a skilled personal injury lawyer. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/21/2015
    Cloon Law Firm
    Cloon Law Firm | Bryson R. Cloon
    It depends on the lighting conditions, witnesses, etc. Not enough facts to give you a good opinion. My gut reaction is that the person opening the door has the strongest duty of reasonable care. Hope you are healing.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/21/2015
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