Ask Anne Marie: Who Is At Fault When a Parked Car's Open Door Is Hit?

Insurance expert, Anne Marie Thomas, recently received a question from a reader about fault determination rules for an accident that occurred in a parking lot, and how it affects car insurance.

The question comes from Kim, who asks:

My car was parked in a parking lot, and the space to my left was open. I kicked my door open to get out when a car pulled into the space and clipped my door in two places, hyperextending it. Who is at fault?

A moving driver hitting a parked car’s open door is one of the most common parking lot accidents. Typically, fault is assigned to the driver who opens the door of their parked vehicle.

Anne Marie explains:

The onus is on the driver of the parked vehicle to ensure that the way is clear when opening their door. That includes making sure that no other vehicles are entering the spot even after you have parked and are ready to exit your vehicle. In the majority of cases, it's the driver that opened their door that is considered to be at fault.

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