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Collision With Open Car Door: Who is Responsible?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 29 Jul 2019 | comments*Discuss
Open Car Door Hit Door Driving Without


Who is most likely to be held responsible for a car colliding with an opened driver's door - legally parked on a town road?
The parked car or the moving car?

(A.C, 4 May 2009)


Who is at fault in this situation really depends on the circumstances, although it is generally assumed that the person who hit the door is at fault as it can be argued that they were driving without 'due care and attention' if they didn't see it in enough time to stop.

However, the onus also sits on the driver or passenger in the car to make sure that the area around their car is clear before they open any doors, whether it be to get out of the car or put shopping, or a child inside. Section 239 of the Highway Code states that you should ensure that you do not hit anyone when you open your car door and that you should check carefully for cyclists or other road users/pedestrians before you do so.

So if you open your car door without looking and a passing driver hits it, then it is likely to be you that will take the blame for the collision. However if you open your car door with no traffic around and another driver comes along and hits it, then you can argue that they were not driving with due care and attention because they didn't see the door open in time to stop. Drivers are expected to apply hazard perception techniques when they are driving and so should be on the lookout for dangerous scenarios, such as animals in the road, pedestrians and open car doors.

The difficulty comes with proving what happened. If you hit another driver's door, or you are the one who finds your vehicle has been hit, then the best thing you can do is try to find an independent witness who saw what happened. Without witnesses, it will be difficult to prove that the door wasn't opened onto the passing car, thus causing the collision.

Although not always possible, the best thing you can do to avoid your car door being hit by another car is to make sure that you get in and out of your car, and put things in and out of it from the off-roadside doors, rather than the side that opens out onto the road. Remember to look out for pedestrians though!

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My partner was stationary outside our home when he opened the driver door to get out,Roughly 2 seconds later a car hit their wing mirror on the door which also left a black mark on her passenger door.The car didn’t stop until she was about 2 houses down the road and the plastic from her wing mirror went flying across the road. Our street is a side street which is a 20mph zone so even if she was coming around the corner as he opened his door she should have had time to stop or at least slow down as we are the 4th house away from the beginning of the street. Does anyone have any advice on who is at fault for this?
Ab - 29-Jul-19 @ 9:21 AM
Hi I was reversing out of a parking bay in a supermarket I checked all my blind spots before I started to reverse nothing was in sight I also stopped half way to do my observations again still nothing in sight finally I got my car out and went to drive straight but checked my rear view and side to make sure that no one or vechile was coming before I moved but as I looked in my rear view mirror they’re was a car outwitg the parking bay loading shopping in passenger side the driver claimed I hit the car but my cars never jerked or bump .. no they’re want to claim my insurance what should I do ?
Chez - 22-Jul-19 @ 12:12 PM
My son was driving on a country road at night. There was a car sitting with full beam lights on when he came level with the car he realised the drivers door was open and he made contact with it. There was no street lighting on the road, who's would be at fault?
Murphy - 24-May-19 @ 7:55 PM
I was in the back of a taxi, who had pulled up on a cyclist lane. When I opened the door, a cyclist when into the door, causing a dent in the taxi door. Who is at fault?
Clo - 25-Feb-19 @ 8:58 PM
Hello. I parked in an angled parking bay. I was completely stationary and my passenger in the rear left seat opened his door. At that time another car pulled into the parking bay next to mine, at speed, on the left side, and my rear passenger door and the other car collided, damaging both the door on my car and her rear passenger door. Who is at fault?
Georgie - 15-Jan-19 @ 11:21 AM
I was pulling Into a school carpark, most of the spaces were empty so I went around to the front as its easier to get out As I got to top of carparksomebody was parked illegally not in a space yet there was around 25 empty spaces he hadparked across 2 spaces In the path of where traffic would go to leave carpark (School /or council have these wooden posts in the car park that you cannot see in your mirrorsno matter what size car you drive, As a result of the illegally parked car and post I've now got damage to my car door A lot of cars have been damaged by these posts No damage to illegally parked car he got in his car waved and drove off before I could get his reg or photos ( I know where he lives anyway for reg ) I'm trying to find cctv of proof of hisparking Who is in the wrong ? Would I claim against him for his parking Or council for dangerous posts
Simone - 14-Jan-19 @ 6:55 PM
Hi We went to kmart last night. After finished our shopping, we went to the car park. My husband put the bag in the car in another side on the right hand . My daughter ( almost 3 year S old) just follow him, so I went to sit in my front side on the left. But I didnt know my daughter came and open the back door that hit the parking car next to our car on the left. It caused a tiny little mark ( like a dot ) . The couple asked us for taking photo of licences , my husband was so angry at me ( so he left me deal with them) it is first time and I didnt even drive before , I forgot to ask their licences too. I apologized them for my daughter mistake but they seems too hard for it .I took the photo of our car and their car , I just see our car from the yellow gap is leave for big space. But their car ( front wheel is a bit out of the gap and the behind wheel is almost touching the gap) . They didnt even parking nicely and left more space for next car to open. What should we do in this case ? Back home , I just sent them message to ask them to give me their photo of lience but it seems he doesnt want ( while he got my husband one) Please advices Much appriciate
Liz - 8-Dec-18 @ 12:48 PM
Hello, My car door was hit by a car while I was putting my daughter in her car seat. When opening the car door I checked the road was clear. Whilst fastening her seatbelt the wing mirror of the car hit my door squashing me between the door and the frame and my daughters car seat. The driver did not stop but I do have the mirror and casing to their wing mirror. Who would be at fault? My car isn’t majorly damaged by dented and scratched. Should I report to my insurance even though I do not have the details for the other driver? Many thanks.
Laura1983 - 5-Dec-18 @ 11:18 AM
Hi, I was parked up just off a junction and before me was double yellow lines (I was parked well after these) I opened my car to get out the car and just as I got my leg out the car, another car came flying way to fast round the corner and took my car door off.The damage to her car was the front of her passenger side just above the wheel so you can clearly see she drove into my door. My car has now been wrote off but the woman is still trying to hold me at fault, any advice here?? I’m so stressed with all this and now I have no car!
RileyP - 23-Oct-18 @ 8:22 AM
Danso- Your Question:
I was parked in the centre of a shopping car par, there was a space to my right and a car to the right of the space, I checked my mirror and no car, I opened car door and a girl hit me on the door, she was trying to drive through the parking space in the middle of me and another car to get to the space facing it, she should have been going very slow and parked to the space to my right, she is saying its my fault but is this even legal to do, should she not have drove around all the cars and parked in that space she wanted

Our Response:
We can't comment on individual liability on this wesbite unfortunately.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 18-Sep-18 @ 3:40 PM
I was parked in the centre of a shopping car par, there was a space to my right and a car to the right of the space, I checked my mirror and no car, I opened car door and a girl hit me on the door, she was trying to drive through the parking space in the middle of me and another car to get to the space facing it, she should have been going very slow and parked to the space to my right, she is saying its my fault but is this even legal to do, should she not have drove around all the cars and parked in that space she wanted
Danso - 18-Sep-18 @ 2:24 PM
My mum was driving 12 on a 20 after we dropped my sister off at school there was traffic going both ways and there was a van car park on a double yellow line. As mentioned my mum was driving slowly she was already passing the car when the passenger swang the door open taking off my mums mirror and denting and scraping both of the passengers doors. The driver admitted to being at fault but we don't have a written confession from him. If we were to go through insurance who would be at fault? Is there a chance that the other drivers insurance company would say my mum was not driving with due care? the man offered to pay for it himself if we get it done privetly however the estimate at the moment is between £1600-2000 so we're not sure if he will be willing to pay this much. So just wondering what's the likely course of action should we go through the insurance route?
Vee - 25-May-18 @ 8:02 PM
I had my door opened for less than 20 seconds, when the wind blew and it hit the car next to me, no damage on the car, but then the car pulled out, damaging my door, who is at fault?
nig - 31-Mar-18 @ 6:21 PM
I was putting my child into the back of my 3 door when a car driving past hit my door , the driver was a learner driver in his instructors car, I’m thinking surely the driver being a learner would go in favour of the parked car owner, I was even parked in a marked car park bay the ones with the small white lines around them at the side of the road, do I have a chance here?
5L1M - 22-Mar-18 @ 9:33 PM
Torm1358 - Your Question:
My wife was getting into the drivers seat when the wind unexpectedly blew the the door out of her hand and into an adjacent car. Should I (she is a named driver) be responsible for the scratch to the other car given my wife was paying all due care and attention when opening the door and she was physically unable to prevent the accident?The insurance company ruled against us and paid out the claim which is now closed. Is there anything we could do to reverse the decision?

Our Response:
We really can't give advice on individual cases where we don't have both parties' versions of events. The information in the above article/answer should help you.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 28-Feb-18 @ 3:04 PM
My wife was getting into the drivers seat when the wind unexpectedly blew the the door out of her hand and into an adjacent car. Should I (she is a named driver) be responsible for the scratch to the other car given my wife was paying all due care and attention when opening the door and she was physically unable to prevent the accident? The insurance company ruled against us and paid out the claim which is now closed. Isthere anything we could do to reverse the decision?
Torm1358 - 27-Feb-18 @ 4:00 PM
Hi,i had a bit of a bump today and im unsure who is at fault. I was taking my children to school and i turned into the school and went to back up and i hit a car that was to the side of me. Tge lady driving the car wasnt in her car she was on the other sode of me on the pavement. Her car dpor was wide open and the engine was running.I noticed the car but i didnt thi k that her door was wide open and by the time i realised her door was open i tried to avoid it but hit her wheel arch instaed of taking her door off. Am i at fault on this?
Jaxx - 28-Nov-17 @ 12:22 AM
I turned left into the car park whist dropping my child off at football. I was looking for a parking spot and was 3 car widths into the car park. I stopped my car and My daughter opened the back nearside door to get out for football. Another vehicle was overtaking me and the door hit his moving car causing damage to wing mirror and window screen frame. Who is at fault?
Tracey - 20-Nov-17 @ 11:40 PM
I am a Removal man. I was parked on the side of the road safely with my tail lift open while I was offloading furniture into the customer House. my tail lift is not fully down because i am moving furnitire in. she drove the side of the car to the back of my tail lift. which caused a damage from a passenger door in front to the back tyre. she rammed the side of her car into my stationary park van tail lift. luckily enough there was no damage to my tail lift or my van. Her car was badly damaged her back tyre gone flat. she was yelling at me blaming me for it. please, could this be my fault while I was offloading customer goods. please advise. we exchange insurance details and random man walked up to me and said is my fault. I am van man delivery items. i am at stationery. not moving i was not inside my van. she drove into me where i parked my van doing my work.
T - 14-Jun-17 @ 11:52 PM
Hi my daughter was waiting (about 5 cars back) from a red light and her passenger opened her door to slam it. A passing cyclist went straight in to it sustaining injuries to his chest and damaging his bike. Who is at fault? Does it need to go through my daughters insurance? Police did not attend but ambulance did. Injured party has now reported it to police and wants my daughter to settle out of court. Not sure what to do....advice please!
bex - 5-May-17 @ 1:28 PM
I was parked in a store lot with the engine off, keys out of ignition. i had just pulled into this space. The space to my left was empty. I opened the door, glanced out just as another car pulled in and caught my door in their rear view mirror, putting a dent in their car. no damage to mine. The other driver stated they were behind me, saw me park, and took the empty space. Who is at fault?
John - 9-Feb-17 @ 1:05 AM
I had parked my car in a bay down a busy small street (can still fit two cars down at same time usually) turned my engine off and clicked my door open, although my door was open it was resting against my arm and in no way "wide open" I couldn't have even of got my foot out the gap. I was waiting for a car to pass before opening fully. My door was open about couple seconds before she was passed(not much in it) But I really think this driver was driving far too close to my vehicle and has drove into my door, as this road is small they were obviously going at a slightly slower speed so there is no damage to my door at all but her wing mirror had been smashed. I'm 99.9% she would've hit my wing mirror if my door was fully closed. We exchanged details and afterwards I returned to my car and saw her waiting for me, she pointed out that actually the damage extended to the front side of her wheel arch which had been dented in. I am suspicious as to why we both didn't notice this too start with as it is a significant dent & she has then left the scene and returned after "speaking to her husband". She has put a claim in against me, but I don't think I am to blame here? Please advise.
Jem - 29-Jan-17 @ 11:51 PM
My mom had her car parked outside my house, usually there's hardly any traffic in the area and she had made sure to check there was no cars, she had opened the door to get groceries out slightly, and whilst doing so another car was driving past, the door swung open and hit that car by mistake which resulted in her leg getting badly bruised. Since there's a massive dent on her door, it was likely the driver was driving fast. I think the driver should have known her car door was open but he was furious, blaming her. I would like to know whose fault would it be? I wasn't there at the scene to witness, but my mom has visited the doctor, and her leg seems to be very swollen.
Rabbit - 29-Jan-17 @ 4:11 PM
Today my partner was revising out of where we live and a van was park there with his front door of he's van left wide open he was in somebody house so my partner has hit he's door and damage he's van quite bad it's 2016 connet van who would be a fault for this please
Don - 30-Dec-16 @ 2:37 PM
Was getting out of parked car .in supermarket .nobody beside us swung round put my feet on ground and a car swung in hit doorjammed me in door .causing massive bruising and bump on my head.an elderly chap got out of other vehicle and said he didn't see me.it has shook me up even a week later.went to hospital 2 days later said it was badlybruised .
Brenda - 14-Nov-16 @ 11:46 AM
Nice article, helping me to understand somethings.I was involved in an incident a couple of days ago when leaving a taxi. The taxi driver took me to where I was going, double parked and stopped in the middle of the lane in the road. I checked for any oncoming traffic, unbuckled my seatbelt then opened the door. SMACK.The door had clipped the wing mirror of an oncoming car, taking the mirror off and scraping the door of the taxi. The door was open at no more than a 30 degree angle, 6-8 inches from the car. The police were called who blackmailed me with a ticket so that I would exchange my details with the taxi driver. I maintain that I am not responsible due to the car being double parked but also parked so close to the oncoming lane. I checked for oncoming traffic and did not see the car coming but no due care was given by the driver to myself as, being in the front of the vehicle, he would have seen the oncoming car approach.I feel like my safety was jeopardised by this gentleman.
fletcher24 - 22-Aug-16 @ 5:01 PM
Tonight as I was leaving my parking spot .A car drove up on my left side and I waited to merge into traffic after she passed me. It passes and doubled park to left of me in front of me blocking traffic. I highlighted thecar and honked at her to move out of my way but it remained double parking on the left of me and moved up a little. So I reversed and waited for traffic to clear as I manuevered around the vehicle passing it from my right side. As I was passing the vehicle the passenger behind the driver opened his door and scrapped the right side of my vehicle and dented my back passenger door and theyre blaming me . Ive never seen anyone double park without their emergency lights on,that unloaded their passenger into the side where traffic is passing . He literally opened his door midway of me passing the vehicle and thats why the damage to my car doesnt start til the back end of my vehicle and there is no damage to the front right part of my vehicle .What do I do?
Sein - 7-Aug-16 @ 9:15 AM
I was parked beside a truck in a tims parking lot as I was loading my children into my car the lady returned to her truck got in a preceded to pull out of your spot while doingso her fender of her dual wheel pick up grabbed my door and she proceeded to keep driving ripping my door off. Called insurance company they say my fault for having my door open , how else in was supposeto get into my car. He said I should aware of cars around while getting into my car . I was aware of this truck however when I was loading the truck was unoccupied but she returned and just pulls away, how is it she isn't at fault she should have been aware of 3 children getting into a vehicle beside her.
Clbs - 2-Jun-16 @ 12:10 AM
My wife has recently knocked a cyclist off with a young boy in a bike seat on the front of his bicycle, unfortunately she was stopped on yellow zig zags outside of school, an ambulance was called but no medical attention was needed and the cyclist also said he wasn't paying much attention. My wife did not report this to the police as she thought both party's we're OK. Now 2 weeks later we've had an email saying that the cyclist may have injuries & are in contact with the police via email, obvouisly we are worried about he health of the cyclist but would like to know where we stand legally
A doing - 31-May-16 @ 2:12 PM
I pulled up my car by the kerb.I opened the door, got out and and closed the door.I went to the rear driver's side door.I opened it, removed a shopping trolley and placed it on the ground.When the trolley hit the ground, a vehicle hit the end of the car door.I estimate the door had been open and stationary for 5 to 10 seconds.Who is liable for negligence?
joseph - 31-May-16 @ 1:28 PM
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