If I was exiting a taxi and when opening the rear door accidentally hit an oncoming car, am I at the fault?

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If I was exiting a taxi and when opening the rear door accidentally hit an oncoming car, am I at the fault?

My sister-in-law law, who was seated in the front passenger seat, was already making the payment to the taxi driver, so I assume that the taxi driver will stop us there. I was carrying my 6 month old son in his baby carrier. After the incident

happen both the taxi driver and driver were communicating in Chinese among themselves without hearing any explanation from my side. After a while they came up with a piece of paper with a handwritten agreement asking me to be responsible for all of the damages. I was still in a panic and shock and my baby was then crying and I blindly signed the agreement without thinking.

Asked on April 3, 2016 under Accident Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First yes, you could be at fault if you were careless (i.e. not paying attention or watching) when you opened the door into traffic. More importantly, though, you say that signed an agreement to pay for the damages. Such an agreement, even if handwritten and even if you panicked and in shock, is legally enforceable against you (after all, you could have refused to sign; in choosing to sign, you obligate yourself to the agreement). Therefore, by your own action, you have bound yourself to pay for the loss.


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