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View Full Version : Who is responsible for this accident?



Doowstados
04-01-2011, 03:36 AM
As I was pulling into a parking space at my bank today I hit a woman's door. I (as common sense would dictate) made sure the space was open prior to trying to park there. When I was about half way in the space, she opened her door. I immediately braked and tried to move to the left, but there was no time and it made little difference. I had absolutely no way to avoid hitting her.

Am I correct in assuming that because I was already half way in the space and she opened her door in front of me that she is responsible due to negligence? (She was not paying attention to her surroundings.)

After the accident she tried to claim we were both 50% responsible. I think this is her way to try and weasel out of full responsibility.

Here are some pictures of the damage. Note the vertical mark on my bumper and the way her door was hit. If her door was open when I entered the space I would have taken the door off, not hit it like this.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a265/doowstados/20110331135210.jpg

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a265/doowstados/20110331135115.jpg

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a265/doowstados/0331111324-01.jpg

T-spoon
04-01-2011, 03:57 AM
Well, it really all depends... were police called? Was there any citation? If no, and you just exchanged info, I doubt her insurance company will pay anything. Probably yours will end up paying for your damage and hers will pay for hers.

I've come to find in my old (heheh) age that responsibility and fault are nebulous ideas and rarely applied logically, especially where automotive incidents are involved.

Hookecho
04-01-2011, 04:01 AM
A parked car can't hit anybody. A motorist/pedestrian entering and exiting a parked vehicle has the right of way. The right of way is any place where a motorist has an expectation to safely enter and exit a parked vehicle. The lines dividing a parking space don't constitute a boundary.

Even though it's an accident it will likely be your fault

Like Spoony said, There are no real guidelines with insurance companies. It's a game of "pass the buck" more than anything.

Doowstados
04-01-2011, 04:03 AM
I only have liability being a 20 year old male. Full coverage for me would be $200 a month even though I've had my license for three years and my driving record is perfect. Police were not called and there was no citation.

My insurance company (State Farm) basically said that in cases like this chances are it won't even be pursued because of the nature of the incident. I'm hoping this is true because I'm already paying $68 a month for liability, I can't afford a rate increase.

4thgenceli
04-01-2011, 04:05 AM
Agree to pay 50/50.

You pay your car repairs, she pays for hers.

problem solved.

Hookecho
04-01-2011, 04:08 AM
On a side note I do hate that a Celica was injured. I hope you get it fixed.

Doowstados
04-01-2011, 04:10 AM
Agree to pay 50/50.

You pay your car repairs, she pays for hers.

problem solved.

That's what I'm hoping for. The car I hit was a 2004 Benz so I'm pretty sure State Farm is going to invest in defending me just to avoid paying the pricey repair cost.


On a side note I do hate that a Celica was injured. I hope you get it fixed.

The damage on my bumper is extremely minor. VERY small dent and some paint damage, nothing a ball pin hammer and a rattle can with my paint in it can't easily fix.

T-spoon
04-01-2011, 04:12 AM
And wow, very little damage to the 5g but that lady's door is all f'ed up, lol

Grot
04-01-2011, 04:12 AM
Tell you the truth bro, i would say you are "responsible", but the accident is her fault.

And i understand your pain with insurance.

For myself and my wife, 20 and 21 respectively, we pay like 180 a month for her 99 Regal and my 82 F150.

T-spoon
04-01-2011, 04:15 AM
That's what I'm hoping for. The car I hit was a 2004 Benz so I'm pretty sure State Farm is going to invest in defending me just to avoid paying the pricey repair cost

Don't count on that, my rates are still jacked from an idiot in a brand new Mercedez stopping in the middle of the road. I brushed bumpers (ALMOST avoided him completely) and left only a scuff on it, no citation or police and State Farm wouldn't even listen to me, just "Yep you're at fault, it's over 1k in damage, we're payin, your rates go up!" And I've had the policy since I was 16.. talk about getting nothing for my loyalty. Insurance is a racket.

Doowstados
04-01-2011, 04:19 AM
And wow, very little damage to the 5g but that lady's door is all f'ed up, lol

That's what happens when you build cars out of plastic and tin foil.

Hookecho
04-01-2011, 04:20 AM
I guess it pays to be older and a careful driver by insurance standards. I pay $65 for all 3 of my vehicles.

Doowstados
04-01-2011, 04:21 AM
I guess it pays to be older and a careful driver by insurance standards. I pay $65 for all 3 of my vehicles combined.

The day you turn 25 you instantly become a better, more responsible driver.

Doowstados
04-01-2011, 04:23 AM
Don't count on that, my rates are still jacked from an idiot in a brand new Mercedez stopping in the middle of the road. I brushed bumpers (ALMOST avoided him completely) and left only a scuff on it, no citation or police and State Farm wouldn't even listen to me, just "Yep you're at fault, it's over 1k in damage, we're payin, your rates go up!" And I've had the policy since I was 16.. talk about getting nothing for my loyalty. Insurance is a racket.

What were your rates before and after the accident?

EDIT: Sorry, accidental double post.

Hookecho
04-01-2011, 04:23 AM
Yup, as long as you keep a clean MVR.

T-spoon
04-01-2011, 04:23 AM
BUT, it depends a lot on where you live. For instance, my Supra with full coverage including $250 deductible collision and no deductible comp in Houston was $87 a month. The 88 alltrac here in Seattle costs me like $140 a month, even before being penalized for what I mentioned above. They determine rates based on the area, not just your age and record.

T-spoon
04-01-2011, 04:24 AM
What were your rates before and after the accident?

EDIT: Sorry, accidental double post.

Don't recall for sure, but it's something like an extra $20 a month.

Doowstados
04-01-2011, 04:44 AM
Don't recall for sure, but it's something like an extra $20 a month.

Yikes. Considering I only make ~$500 a month, that's quite a bit. Hopefully things work out in my favor.

Car_Barn_Bandit
04-01-2011, 04:47 AM
Cali rapes on insurance...

Doowstados
04-01-2011, 04:52 AM
Cali rapes on insurance...

Cali hates drivers in general. SMOG, high gas tax, high registration, everything is stacked against car owners.

Doowstados
04-02-2011, 08:41 AM
Update:

I spoke to my claims rep today and was told that CA state law puts her as the responsible party because I was already halfway in the space. State Farm is pursuing cost of repair for my car and if necessary a rental car while it's in the body shop. (Meh, kind of overkill for such a small ding, but I'll take it :laugh: )

Hookecho
04-02-2011, 02:00 PM
That's really good to hear. Congrats.

alltracman78
04-02-2011, 03:19 PM
Good, that's what it sounded like.
Nice to see the law on the right side for once.

Slider
04-02-2011, 05:11 PM
Good to hear, the Celica won this battle that lady's door got owned pretty good lol

T-spoon
04-02-2011, 05:35 PM
Awesome :)

terryd
04-02-2011, 06:59 PM
Like Hookecho, I remember the days of higher insurance premiums. Yep - being older with clean MVR has its benefits

Nissan Altima (paid off 10mo early - moving from full coverage to 100/300/100 liability only)
1 x Buick LeSabre (100/300/100 liability only)

Was paying $620/yr ----- will now pay $490/yr

Glad to hear you're not at fault. Good luck.

Facime
04-02-2011, 08:36 PM
Grot had it right though, what right and whats legal are often two different things. Im glad in this case "right" worked out in your favor.

What kind of braindead person just irresponsibly opens their car door without looking to see if anyone is coming? I almost bet she was on her cell phone or just finished a text. Fucking irresponsible self absorbed people...sheesh.

Terracar
04-03-2011, 02:45 AM
Well most insurance companies where I live do not lower rates when you hit 25. I was all happy when I hit 25 and never seen a rate discount so I called and they basically said tough noogies.

Sheesh, I have a clean record, 30, married, with 2 cars full coverage with 300/100/100 limits and a snowmobile with full coverage and medical coverage and I pay $185 a month. I switched to State Farm and my monthly insurance dropped from $232 for 1 car full coverage (minimum limits) with Progressive. I certainly wouldn't mind another drop in rates though :P

4thgenceli
04-03-2011, 03:07 AM
I just went from Geico to Farmers saving about 50/month

terryd
04-03-2011, 04:19 AM
Well most insurance companies where I live do not lower rates when you hit 25. I was all happy when I hit 25 and never seen a rate discount so I called and they basically said tough noogies.

Sheesh, I have a clean record, 30, married, with 2 cars full coverage with 300/100/100 limits and a snowmobile with full coverage and medical coverage and I pay $185 a month. I switched to State Farm and my monthly insurance dropped from $232 for 1 car full coverage (minimum limits) with Progressive. I certainly wouldn't mind another drop in rates though :P

State Farm, P'sive, Geico, Farmers -- -been with 'em all. Having full coverage on two cars likely is what's keeping your insurance higher. My yearly price is based on older vehicles, no car payments, 44 y/o, married ultra-clean MVR (no tickets, accidents ever!).

I have Erie Insurance and qualify for top-tier (best pricing available). I have all cars / homeowners with them. You may want to give them a call as NO other company can match them! PERIOD!

Murgatroy
04-03-2011, 08:42 AM
Wow, some of you guys are getting raped for insurance.

Maruki-kun
04-03-2011, 04:04 PM
call me an idiot, but I can't afford the $400 a month for insurance.


so we have both cars under Michelle with her insured for $100 a month.

vip09
04-03-2011, 08:59 PM
Glad to hear that they are going to rule in your favor.

When I first got my 7th gen GTS, my insurance was about $460/month for full coverage on just one car. I had 4 tickets and one accident on my MVR at the time though.

Now with both the 7th gen and the MR2 I pay about $80/month now with no tickets or accidents on my MVR. I saw no discount after turning 25 a couple years ago.

Doowstados
04-05-2011, 09:59 PM
So I just got off the phone with the lady's insurance company and they believe I'm at fault. I then called State Farm and spoke to three separate claims adjusters who all agreed that I was NOT at fault. The case is probably going to go into third party arbitration. Things look in my favor, though, because State Farm has on record that she admitted to not looking before opening her door.

Facime
04-05-2011, 10:06 PM
Of course they believe you are at fault. They are the ones holding the purse strings for her. Insurance is a pain in the ass. I wish more states would adopt a "no-fault" system.

DudeMan
04-06-2011, 12:59 AM
So if I were to go park on a busy, narrow road and swing my door into traffic I wouldn't be at fault? Wonderful.

In Alberta, hitting an open door is like rear-ending someone, your automatically at fault 99% of the time.

Its the sole responsibility of the person opening the door to do so at a safe and reasonable time in my opinion.

T-spoon
04-06-2011, 05:46 AM
So if I were to go park on a busy, narrow road and swing my door into traffic I wouldn't be at fault? Wonderful.

In Alberta, hitting an open door is like rear-ending someone, your automatically at fault 99% of the time.

Its the sole responsibility of the person opening the door to do so at a safe and reasonable time in my opinion.

True, but this is why I crawl through parking lots and ease into parking spaces as if people are going to swing doors and whole vehicles into my path at a moments' notice, not because they should be able to do that, but because I'd just rather avoid the whole situation if at all possible ;)

Doowstados
04-06-2011, 07:14 AM
True, but this is why I crawl through parking lots and ease into parking spaces as if people are going to swing doors and whole vehicles into my path at a moments' notice, not because they should be able to do that, but because I'd just rather avoid the whole situation if at all possible ;)


I was going very slowly. I always creep into spaces. She just happened to be SO close when she opened her door that it didn't make any difference.