My neighbor opened her garage door into my car that was temporarily parked while running in front of it. Who is responsible for the damage?

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My neighbor opened her garage door into my car that was temporarily parked while running in front of it. Who is responsible for the damage?

She did not look before opening her garage door. The parking complex has a row of garages lined up next to each other. There is an alley that runs parallel to the garages that people use to get to their garage. I was in the alley temporarily stopped in front of her garage door. She opened it while leaving her house from which you can’t see the garage.

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

This is the classic meaning of the word "accident".  She could not have known that your car was parked in front of her garage.  Cars are not generally parked in front of people's garages in your alley, I assume.  It would not be reasonable to expect the residents who cannot see the garage from inside the house to come outside and check to see if a car is parked outside their garage every time they are about to open their garage door.  I'm afraid that unless, through the kindness of her heart, she offers to pay for your damages, you are stuck with this one.  You can make a claim with your own insurance company.


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