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Parked and someone hit my car with their mirror

by Kevin
(Federick, Maryland)

I was legally parallel parked on a somewhat busy road. My husband was in the back seat with my children. I looked behind me to ensure there was no oncoming traffic and then told my husband he could exit the vehicle.

A woman in a blue vehicle turned the corner sharply and seemingly at a speed faster than the 25 mile an hour posted speed limit, sideswiped the open rear driver's side passenger door.

No damage was done to our door, yet the other driver claims that the dangling mirror was caused by the impact. It appeared to be old damage and the impact appeared to be on the mirror side of the mirror. Nonetheless, she is claiming we should pay for this.

Who is responsible?



Why was the door open? You cannot leave a door open just because, especially if the door is hanging out into incoming traffic. If you are loading or unloading, and the door is obviously there to be seen, then there is a possibility that you are not responsible (at least not as much as the other party). However, if the door was opened as the other vehicle went by, then there probably is more fault on your side (the person opening the door has a duty to look before opening).

Speed can be an issue, but it appears that damages are minor so determining the speed of a vehicle (and whether it was going over the speed limit) would be very hard to do (insurance companies usually do not even argue this without evidence of speed – a police report citation for going too fast).

If the damages are old, you would not owe to pay for them, but would owe for the aggravation. There are simply not enough facts and without an investigation, determining fault would not be possible. You need to file a claim with your insurance company so they can defend you. Remember, you have a duty to report all losses.

Good Luck,

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