Who is responsible for a parked car accident?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 2, 2013

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Insurance Question from Philadelphia, PA

Asked on 01/02/2013

Who is responsible for a parked car accident? My car was parked. The passenger (my 22 yr old son) was getting out of the car. As he opened the door, a vehicle that was attempting to park next to my car, made contact with my door. My car is fine, his has damage. Do i pay for his repair? I live in Pa, but this happened in NJ.

Answer given on January 07, 2013

If you are parked and are exiting the car, then it is your responsibility to be sure it is clear to open your car door into traffic. If you, or a passenger, open the door and strike the other car, it is your responsibility for the damages to the other driver’s car.If the door was already open and the other driver then strikes your car door, it would be their responsibility for the damages to their car and yours.Depending upon the damages to the other car, if it is your responsibility, you may choose to pay for the damages yourself. If the damages are under a certain amount, usually $750, your insurance company will pay for the repairs and will not increase your premium. If the damages are over that amount your rates could increase if it is determined to be your fault. If you are in doubt, report the incident to your insurance company and let them investigate and determine the fault. They will take your statement and the other driver’s statement in the investigation and settle with the other driver or their insurance company.

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