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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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