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Auto Insurance Claims/who is at fault in this case

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Question
I was parked on the side of a two lane road and a van came around the corner as I was just starting to get out of my car and hit my drivers side door as he was passing my car. He wiped out my door so I could not even close it. lot of damage!!! Is he totally at fault for hitting my door?

Answer
Hi Bob,

Sorry to hear about the accident, I hope nobody was injured.

These are always difficult losses in terms of liability.  I would need to ask several follow-up questions to best determine liability, of both drivers.

Most states nearly always find that the driver opening their door into traffic bears ultimate responsibility to ensure the way is clear prior to opening their door; technically the vehicle on the roadway has the right-of-way in this situation.

It ultimately depends on whether either driver recognized danger, where the van was struck (passenger front bumper/corner, or on the fender/side/quarterpanel), and did either driver do anything to avoid the accident.

I would not be surprised if the other driver's insurance company denied your claim, or applied comparative negligence.

Hope this helps!

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Liability Claims Adjuster

Expertise

I can answer: - Questions about application of comparative negligence in complex auto liability claims - Questions about first party coverages - Questions about property damage claims - Questions about the auto claim process, in general I cannot answer, at this time: - Bodily injury settlement questions - Total loss evaluation questions - Questions pertaining to a particular insurer

Experience

I have been a liability claims adjuster for over 5 years, investigating, negotiating and settling nearly every imaginable auto liability claim (including theft). However, I am not a bodily injury adjuster. Additionally, I am a certified Arbitrator for the industry's Arbitration Forums (www.arbfile.org), of which 100% of all "name-brand" insurers are members, and of which a large portion of non-name-brand insurers also are members. I work for one of the Big Three insurance companies in the US. I am licensed to adjucate and settle claims in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, and also adjucate and settle claims in Maine and New Jersey (which do not require licensing).

Organizations
Arbitration Forums, Inc.

Education/Credentials
B.A., Political Science (The Colorado College, 1994)

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