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Accidents with open car doors


How many times have you nearly had your open car door taken off by an approaching vehicle, probably more than once or twice? It's not an uncommon type of accident, but who is to blame? This can be a tricky one, you may have thought that it was the fault of the driver who hit the door because they were not paying attention to the hazards ahead of them.

But what if you are in a hurry and without looking properly you open your door right in front of an approaching vehicle? Unfortunately in this situation it is likely to be your fault because according to the Highway Code, it is your responsibility to ensure that when opening your door you do not pose a hazard to either pedestrians or other road users.

Whether it's your door that's been hit or you that's taken off someone else's door, you will need to prove somehow that it's not your fault, or at least not entirely your fault. The best way to do this is to get the details of at least one, or even better two independent witnesses who can verify your version of what happened.

Collecting your evidence

If there was someone following the vehicle that struck the door, then this is probably your best option as they should have witnessed the whole incident. If there was no one behind the vehicle then you need to find a passer-by or perhaps someone in a local shop who saw what happened. Bear in mind that if your witness is known to you then their statement is likely to carry a lot less legal 'weight' than if they are a totally independent witness.

You will need to obtain all the contact details of your witness or witnesses and also a description of the incident written in either in their own hand writing or typed, but in both cases it MUST be signed by the witness as an honest and fair account of the events that occurred. If a police officer attends the scene then they will also take statements that can be used to support your case.

Even if in the stress of the situation you forget to take witness statements at the time, it may still be possible to collect witness statements from local shop or business employees, but this must be done within a few days of the incident ideally as your witnesses may not recollect all the important details - or perhaps be willing to provide them.

One other possibility to check is video evidence from a CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) security camera. Many shopping areas and business premises have security cameras that cover areas outside that may include the area of road you were driving on, or parked in.

If you notice one you will have to identify who operates it and ask them if they can provide you with a copy of the video for that particular time. They may charge you for this, which is worthwhile if it proves your version of events.

If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be able to make a compensation claim. Please give us a call on 02392 484 244 or start your free claim enquiry online using the button below, and one of our experienced claims advisors will be happy to assist you.
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