Who Is At Fault If I Opened My Car Door And It Was Hit By Another Vehicle?
This situation happens more often than you might think. In most cases, the person who opened the car door that was hit by another vehicle is deemed at fault for causing the collision because it was their responsibility to check the mirrors before opening the door.
However, there are exceptions to the general rule. The driver whose vehicle hit your open car door could be held at fault, too. Determining fault after a car crash that involves one vehicle hitting another car’s open door can be tricky.
Fault is often based on many factors, such as the location of the parked door, the speed of the vehicle that hit the parked car’s door, and many more. Contact our Miami car accident attorneys to discuss your particular case and determine fault in your “dooring” accident.
How is Fault Determined in a Dooring Accident?
If a car accident was caused by one car hitting the other’s open door, the following factors would need to be evaluated to determine fault:
- Who had the right of way? If the car that hit another vehicle’s open door had the right of way, the parked vehicle’s occupant who opened the door would be at fault for the crash.
- Did the person who opened the door check their mirrors? People are required to check their mirrors before opening doors to avoid causing accidents.
- What was the moving vehicle’s speed? If the vehicle that hit your door was traveling at high speed and it was not possible to see it coming when opening the door, the driver of the moving vehicle may be deemed at fault for the dooring accident.
- Was the driver of the moving vehicle paying attention to the road? In other words, did the driver have enough time to react to the other car’s open door?
These and many other factors will need to be considered to determine fault in your dooring accident in Florida.
Multiple Parties May Be at Fault for a Dooring Accident
In many cases, multiple parties may share responsibility for the crash. For example, if the driver of the moving car was distracted at the time of the accident and had enough time to react and avoid a collision, while the driver of the parked car failed to check their mirrors before opening the door, both drivers may be partially at fault for the accident.
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means parties may be partially liable for damages resulting from their own negligence. Under Fla. Stat. § 768.81, the person who contributed to the accident may still seek damages, even if their degree of fault exceeds 50%. However, the at-fault party’s recoverable damages will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.
If you opened your car door and it was hit by another vehicle, it is important to contact a knowledgeable attorney to examine the facts of your accident to determine fault. Schedule a free consultation with our lawyers at Pita Weber Del Prado to discuss liability in your dooring accident. Call 305-670-2889.