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Auto accident involving a parked car open door and another car driving down a street in LA

Los Angeles, CA |

There was a car driving down on a street in LA. My car was parked on the street and I opened the door. Shortly after, an SUV hits my door and there were damages to car. My auto insurance (progressive) has made the decision that it wasn't my fault. The issues that the other party has filed a small claim suit against me for the damages on the car. Is there any way of winning this case? What is the best way of going on this?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Both of you are probably at fault, and I would imagine the court would find this as well.

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Posted

The devil is on the details. The case may be decided on such details as how close the other car was when you opened the door, how fast the other car was travelling at the time, whether it was safe for you to open the door under the circumstances, whether it was safe for the other car to be travelling in the manner it did, and other pertinent facts. It may be helpful if there are witnesses who will be able to support the proposition that you were acting reasonably and that the other driver was not. Credibility of you as a witness viv a vis credibility of the other driver will also be important.

This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Thank you Paul. I appreciate your help. My insurance (Progressive) is refusing to give me a copy of the report of the accident and decision for confidential reasons. Am I entitled to get a copy of that information?

Paul Y. Lee

Paul Y. Lee

Posted

I'm not sure what report you are talking about, but if it is an internal memo or report they probably are not required to give you a copy at this time.

Posted

Mr. Lee provides a perfect response, which I second.

Despite the fact that Progressive has determined that you are free from fault, you can still be held responsible after a trial in the Small Claims Court. The good news is that Progressive is required to defend you in that matter and should hire a lawyer to protect your interests. The best and only thing for you to do is to tell your side of the story.

At the end of the day, there is a good chance that you will be determined at fault, in whole or part, as you have an obligation to make sure there are no vehicles approaching before you open your car door. Good luck.

The aforementioned opinion does not constitute legal advice and is for general educational purposes only. See an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for competent legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through the within legal question and answer session.

Richard Andrew Harting

Richard Andrew Harting

Posted

You need to notify Progressive immediately. While they legally cannot appoint you a lawyer for a small claims matter, they most likely will send an adjuster with you to assist at the hearing. If you loss the case, progressive will either pay the award or file an appeal. At the Appeal you will be appointed a lawyer.

Asker

Posted

Thank you Anthony and Richard for this valuable information! I really appreciate it.

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