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Can I make a claim for compensation?
Can I make a claim for compensation: I was parked, and standing on road getting my bag out of my car with my back to the road. The car door was obviously open. A breeze caused the door to open it further. A passing car collided with the door.
My UK road accident solicitor has informed me that the other car has damage relating to the door being opened onto them. My solicitor does not seem to have taken into account the fact that the door was already open and I was standing on the road.
Am I responsible for this accident?
A: To answer the question "can I make a claim for compensation" you should consider the following:
1. A vehicle driver should be able to drive along a road without having a car door opened unexpectedly in his path
Can I make a claim for compensation?
Vehicle driver's should take care of other road users, but is unlikely to expect a car door to be opened suddenly in the path of his vehicle either by a person or by the wind.
He would argue he was given insufficient time to react to avoid a collision, but you would argue he should ahve been driving at least a car door width apart from your vehicle.
2. The driver of a vehicle should leave a safe gap from the side of parked vehicles when passing by
We all know as drivers that car users can exit a their vehicle onto the road. A driver can expect a car user to have checked the road for vehicles before opening a door onto the road, but he should be ready to react should someone open a door giving sufficient time to manoeuvre to avoid a collision.
I find that a practical view of the facts of the accident is the best approach. If a road is very wide - there is sufficient room to drive leaving a good car doors width away from the side of a vehicle. If a road is narrower this is not possible.
3. The speed the other vehicle was driving will help determine whether you can make a claim for compensation
You have stated that you were standing getting your bag out of the car with your back to the road. Of course this is not very sensible as there is obvious danger.
The other driver must have noticed you and I would suggest that if the road was narrow he should have dropped his speed substantially. If he was speeding past - there might be a suggestion that the accident was his fault.
4. The timing of the further opening of the car door by the wind
I am presuming that the wind must have just caught the door as the other car was passing or just before giving the driver no time to react. If this is the case and the road was narrow - I would say the damage was your fault.
If you were on a wide road and the door opened in good time giving the other driver sufficient time to react, but he failed to do so due to his speed or a lack of attention and as a result collided with your car door (not the door colliding with his vehicle) - I think you have a strong argument to say the damage to his vehicle was not your fault.
Click road traffic accident to discover in plain English all the steps to making a claim for RTA compensation in the United kingdom
5. Discuss the matter in detail with your UK road accident solicitor
You have a road accident compensation solicitor defending your claim and you should voice all of your concerns to him. He should be able to give you a proper answer that will satisfy you and he should be able to explain his position.
If you find that you are not getting a proper answer from your solicitor - I would suggest that you use the link below where you will find a previous question I have answered explaining what to do if you are having problems with your solicitor.
Click road traffic accident problems solicitor the link to discover what you can do if you are having problems with your solicitor.
I suspect the problems you will have is that you had your back to the road and so perhaps did not see exactly what happened and you could have got your bag from the safety of the pavement using the nearside car door.
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