Who’s side is the law on in a parking lot accident under specific circumstances?

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Who’s side is the law on in a parking lot accident under specific circumstances?

This Thanksgiving eve, I went to my local grocery store to pick up an onion and
baking soda. As I was pulling into the empty parking spot, the passenger swung
open her door fully into the spot I was pulling into. This action pulled pain
from my door and dinged it significantly. The driver came and gave me her name
and address, telling me to go to a collision place and that she didn’t want to
claim it on her insurance because she had just made a claim recently. I did not
claim any blame myself or imply that I was at fault like the driver did. The
next day – she renigged – claiming that she was parked and that I almost ran into
her passenger. I am waiting for the security footage to place blame on them but
my question is even though she was parked and I was pulling in to the spot, who
is legally to blame in this instance?

Asked on November 24, 2017 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no one always legally to blame in this circumstance (unlike the case, for example of rear-ending someone on the road, where the rear driver is almost inevitably held to be at fault). It depends on the circumstances and timing: basically, if she swung the door open when your car was already there, or so instantly before your car was in the spot that there was no time for you to stop, she was at fault; if a reasonable driver however could have stopped or avoided her door, you would most likely be at fault.


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