Who’s Liable If An Open Car Door Is Hit?

True story: I was driving to work this morning when the truck in front of me took off the door of a car parked next to the sideway. This made me curious. Who is at fault? I can’t believe the woman opened her car door when there was clearly a huge truck heading in her direction but I also can’t believe the truck hit the door – he didn’t even attempt to slow down. He then pulled over and got out of the truck while I continued forward and went to work. But now I’m wondering how does one even put in a claim for this type of accident.

The answer is a resounding “it depends.” Most of the time it is the person opening the car door who is the one who is at fault. The person driving was following all traffic laws (maybe he was speeding but so was everyone else on the road). He could not have been aware that the person would open the door, therefore, he cannot be responsible or any damage sustained to her car door or to his car. There a ton of traffic laws that state a variation of the following: no person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so.

However, that doesn’t fully get the truck driver off the hook. As I said, he might have been speeding which might be held against him. The woman could have thought she had the safety time to open her door but because he was driving so fast she didn’t have as much time as she thought. Also, I just saw the truck hit the door if the door was opened he should have seen it and had ample time to adjust his driving, therefore, making him at fault for the accident.

I will keep wondering what happens…