Who Is at Fault When an Open Car Door Is Hit?

May 10, 2022
Who Is at Fault When an Open Car Door Is Hit?

If you hit a motorist who opened their car door, they will likely be liable for the damages. This is because they had a chance to observe their environment and wait for oncoming vehicles to pass. Still, you may also be partially liable for the damages if you did not follow traffic regulations.

Determining who is at fault when an open car door is hit often depends on the exact circumstances of your case. You can consult a car accident attorney to help you gather evidence in order to establish who is liable. 

When Can You Be Partially Liable When You Hit an Open Car Door?

Certain circumstances may lead to a partial fault when you hit an open car door. For example, if you were driving in the wrong lane, you will be partially liable for the accident. When this is the case, you most likely will not receive total compensation for your injuries. 

 Other issues that may lead to liability for such a crash are:

  • Tailgating
  • Overtaking carelessly
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to yield

Moreover, driving when exhausted can impair your judgment and make it challenging to react to emergencies. Hence, you may be at fault for a crash if you hit an open car door after driving beyond the recommended duration. You can prevent significant damage by driving at a reasonable speed and staying aware of your environment.

How Much Compensation Can You Receive if You Hit an Open Car Door?

After sustaining injuries in a car accident, the compensation you receive will vary based on the exact circumstances of the accident. If the crash were entirely the fault of another party, you will likely get reimbursement for all damages. However, if you were partially liable, the insurers would reduce it by your level of negligence.

This means that if you were 20 percent at fault, you might recover 80 percent of the damages. However, depending on your state, you may lose the right to claim compensation if you were more than 50 percent liable.

Another factor determining the reimbursement you qualify for is the sustained damages. If you suffer significant physical harm, you may receive a high settlement. The amount can also increase if your injuries have long-term effects. Since the value of a personal injury case differs based on various factors, you should extensively assess the damages before filing a claim. 

Can You Sue the Party Liable for an Accident Caused by an Open Door?

You may often sue the party responsible for an open car door accident. However, it is advisable and often required to file a claim against them or their insurer first. After that, you can negotiate with adjusters for a fair settlement based on the sustained damages. If the insurance company denies your claim or fails to reimburse all injuries, you may be able to file a lawsuit.

Which Evidence Can You Use When Claiming Damages for a Car Accident?

When you file a claim for damages caused by an open car door, you must present enough evidence. One item you can use is a video of the incident. This footage might be from traffic cameras, CCTV systems, or doorbell cameras.

Another item to help you prove liability and sustained damages is a police report. You can obtain this document by contacting authorities after the crash and providing your account of the incident. More evidence you can use for your case are:

  • Pictures of vehicle damages
  • Images of sustained physical harm
  • Report by an accident reconstructionist
  • Witness statements

Crashing into an open car door may lead to physical harm. When claiming compensation for medical costs, present a report by your physician. Further, provide receipts and invoices of expenses incurred on emergency care, medication, and hospitalization.

If an open car door accident led to vehicle damages, you should also present evidence of repairs when filing a claim. However, if the collision was severe and caused significant destruction, you can provide an assessment report indicating the crash totaled your vehicle.

Contact a Lawyer to Determine Who Is at Fault When an Open Car Door Is Hit

A personal injury lawyer can help you determine who is at fault when an open car door is hit. At Dolman Law Group, we can study your case to help identify if another motorist was negligent. Contact us today to speak to a car accident attorney.