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  1. #1
    kmanbootman is offline Junior Member
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    Parked car hit by moving - who is at fault?

    I am writing regarding NY state laws.

    My girlfriend and I were parked in a parking space and I opened my door getting out (of the passengerside) and as I put my foot down on the pavement a second car pulling into the space on our right hitting the passenger side door impacting the door hinges into themselves and bending the door up so it won't close properly. I am pretty sure that the moving vehicle is at fault here regardless, but I wanted to know who would be considered at fault in this scenario. He is lucky he didn't hit me getting out...

    kman
  2. #2
    moburkes is offline Senior Member
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    In the end, fault will probably be assigned as 50/50. Sorry, I know that's not what you wanted to hear.
    My new signature:
    Originally Posted by arazi
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  3. #3
    kmanbootman is offline Junior Member
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    One more detail to consider

    Thanks for your reply. I thought that it was the responsibility of the moving vehicle's operator to ensure the path ahead was clear and safe... I mean, this was a teenager who came whipping in pretty quick, crossing the yellow line marking our parking space (we took pictures of the car placement). Will that help any?
  4. #4
    moburkes is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmanbootman View Post
    Thanks for your reply. I thought that it was the responsibility of the moving vehicle's operator to ensure the path ahead was clear and safe... I mean, this was a teenager who came whipping in pretty quick, crossing the yellow line marking our parking space (we took pictures of the car placement). Will that help any?
    Yes, the fact that they were over the line would. The age of the driver, no. Yes, they are supposed to make sure the path is clear and so are you - you're in a parking lot after all, where cars move in and out of the stalls all day long.
    My new signature:
    Originally Posted by arazi
    I'll take you on one-to-one in a volcabulary test anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
  5. #5
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    I disagree with Mo - I think you will be assigned much more fault. You opened your door in to the path of a moving vehicle.

    EDIT - there was more info posted after I initially submitted my post. Based on the further information though, I still feel that you (the door opener) are more at fault in this. You did not look to see if the path was clear before opening your door. Sure, I think the driver of the other car has SOME liability, but I think you have a greater obligation to make sure that no cars are coming when you open your door...
    Last edited by Zigner; 08-01-2007 at 03:12 PM.
  6. #6
    kmanbootman is offline Junior Member
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    I didn't open my door in front of the moving car (it was already opened prior to car 2 pulling into the space). My door was opened to the first segment (the first notch - I had put my foot out and was finishing a conversation with my g/f... This one when I heard the bang and the accident took place.
  7. #7
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmanbootman View Post
    I didn't open my door in front of the moving car (it was already opened prior to car 2 pulling into the space). My door was opened to the first segment (the first notch - I had put my foot out and was finishing a conversation with my g/f... This one when I heard the bang and the accident took place.
    If that's the case (and you can prove it), then you are likely ok. But, it now comes down to believability.
  8. #8
    kmanbootman is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice guys - always appreciated for the Shady NY insurance happenings haha
  9. #9
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    I'm walking out of the office and I don't have to pull the statutes, but NY only imposes liability on the door-opener if you open it in a traffic lane (i.e. getting out of your car while parked by a meter). In a parking lot, the moving vehicle is the responsible party, assuming your door was open well before they pulled in (it sounds like it was).

    That said, insurance companies are not bound by NY law in making their liability assessments... at least until they are hauled into a NY court

    Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  10. #10
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by You Are Guilty View Post
    I'm walking out of the office and I don't have to pull the statutes, but NY only imposes liability on the door-opener if you open it in a traffic lane (i.e. getting out of your car while parked by a meter). In a parking lot, the moving vehicle is the responsible party, assuming your door was open well before they pulled in (it sounds like it was).
    That's what I was trying to say
  11. #11
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    Make no mistake however, a motorist can't drill a cars door that is blocking a travel lane.

    Much as we might want to.

    In this case it is really going to boil down to what the insurance companies want to work out, because this happened in a parking and we have no mention of a police report.
  12. #12
    JustAPal00 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by xylene View Post
    Make no mistake however, a motorist can't drill a cars door that is blocking a travel lane.

    Much as we might want to.

    In this case it is really going to boil down to what the insurance companies want to work out, because this happened in a parking and we have no mention of a police report.
    Can we drill cars that are double parked when their are open spots just down the block?
  13. #13
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by xylene View Post
    Make no mistake however, a motorist can't drill a cars door that is blocking a travel lane.

    Much as we might want to.

    In this case it is really going to boil down to what the insurance companies want to work out, because this happened in a parking and we have no mention of a police report.
    I agree 50%

    Here's the statute:
    Quote Originally Posted by VTL
    § 1214. Opening and closing vehicle doors. No person shall open the
    door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless
    and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without
    interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person
    leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic
    for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
    Now, you're entirely correct that the insurance companies could not care less what the law says in making their liability assessment, so a 50-50 split is very likely. However, in terms of "legal liability", (as in "what would a judge say") if you open your door into a travel lane and a passing motorist takes it off, then:
    1- the fact that the accident occurred is (rebuttable) evidence that it was not "reasonably safe to do so; and
    2- the fact that the accident occurred is (rebuttable) evidence that it was not opened without "interfering with the movement of other traffic". (This also means if you open the door and someone swerves out of the way to avoid it, you can be given a ticket).

    Now, factor in that the violation of a statute is admissible proof of negligence in NY, and you actually have a decent case that you can, in fact, take the doors off of idiots who throw them open in front of you in the street.**

    As a general matter, I only posted this because it may help the OP argue his case with the other driver's adjuster - there is certainly enough here that he could win a court case (meaning he should get 0% liability) as long as he states/can prove he didn't open the door at the proverbial "last minute".



    **Disclaimer: Not responsible for anyone attempting to prove this theory, including, but not limited to: car damage, insurance increases, lawsuit expenses or physical beating you may take from other driver.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  14. #14
    kmanbootman is offline Junior Member
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    You are guilty - please reply thanks!

    Hey there - that statue that you are citing is for a roadway. Do you happen to have the statute for opening closing doors in a private parking lot? Is there a separate statute?

    The father of the kid who hit my door is a lawyer and called me when we made our claim to his insurer. He badgered me trying to tell me that not only would I lose the claim, we would end up paying for both of his car and my girlfriend's cars damage (he threatened that he was "ready to go the full distance" on this one). He then gave me an ultimatum that if I didn't remove my claim he would "go the distance," but if I did remove my claim we could each pay for our respective damages...

    Thanks again for any help you can give. I would really like to view the statute before I leave my claim in - though principle makes me want to leave it in anyway...

    I fugure that worst case I woudl get assigned 50/50 dammage, i.e. his damage and my damage equally split in two. The damage on my car is far more extensive so I would stand to pay less either way...
  15. #15
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmanbootman View Post
    Hey there - that statue that you are citing is for a roadway.
    Have you looked in to the definition of a "roadway" by any chance?

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