What is my liability if my car door was flung open abruptly by the wind and hit the side molding of the car parked next to me?

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What is my liability if my car door was flung open abruptly by the wind and hit the side molding of the car parked next to me?

The owner acknowledged that the wind was responsible and I told her I would help pay to fix the molding on her door. She has now contacted me and told me she had to order four new side moldings and I owe her $280. Do I legally have to pay for all four moldings?

Asked on May 19, 2015 under Accident Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You only legally have to pay if you were at fault, such as by not holding onto the door in a high wind (which could be considered to be careless)--liability, or the obligation to pay, in auto or property damage cases is based on fault. Also, to get the money from you if you refuse to pay, she would have to sue you and then, in court, prove by a preponderance of the evidence ("more likely than not") that you had been careless or at fault. So in a case like the one you describe, there is a very good chance that you were not negligent, were not at fault, and do not owe the money.


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