Be Careful Getting Out Of Your Car!

*Image Credit: claims

       Many of you who follow me on social media probably already know that my car was struck last week.  While this is not the first time that we have had an accident, the details of this particular one are quite unusual and you will probably be surprised to learn a few things, especially if you are a driver.

    It all began last Wednesday, which was the day after the East Coast was slammed with some serious snowfalls.  New York City was no exception and we received over a foot of snow in some areas.  True to his passion as an athlete, my husband expressed that he wanted to take the kids snow tubing since they were lucky enough to be enjoying a snow day, unlike their public school counterparts.

    A few hours after they left, my husband called me and I could immediately tell by the sound of his voice that something was seriously wrong.  He proceeded to tell me that he was exiting our parked vehicle on the driver’s side when another car struck our car door and almost took Hubby’s arm off along with the door.  I could tell that he was in shock because he kept repeating that he had looked in the side view mirror and turned his body to look over his shoulder and that there had been no other car there.

    The gentleman who struck our car was 74 years old and had his granddaughter in the car whom he admitted to be rushing to the hospital for some unknown reason.  Not only was this gentleman not wearing any glasses, which I suspect he probably required, but he also had to be driving very fast in order to suddenly appear despite the fact that my husband had carefully turned and looked around repeatedly.

    Police were dispatched to the accident and now I will fast forward to the insurance issues.  Since my vehicle is new, we have full coverage on it and can fix it through our insurance provided that we pay our $500 deductible.  My plan was to go through the other guy’s insurance since he clearly was at fault since he barreled into our car when it was parked and my husband had been cautious when exiting the driver’s side.

    After speaking to his insurance company, we were told that under New York State law, the person opening the door of the car is at fault for an accident of this nature.  This is just mind boggling to me because I don’t understand what else my husband was supposed to do to make sure nobody was coming aside from turning his body to look over his left shoulder and checking his side view mirror.

   In any case, my insurance company told me to just go through them to get my car fixed and to let them deal with battling with the other insurance company.  I will gladly oblige but thought it would be a good idea to share my story with you all since, apparently, drivers in moving vehicles are allowed to plow into people who are exiting their parked vehicles.  It seems these liability laws change depending on what state you live in.  Word to the wise, make sure you take every precaution when you are opening your car door…

Let’s Discuss:  Have you ever had anyone hit your car and who was at fault?

© 2014, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. amanda ripsam says

    oh my that’s really scary, I think my redheaded attitude would have suck out from me and reamed the insurance guys butt all the way to his supervisor. I think as his job is to save the insurance money and make money for the company he was looking after his own butt and not yours. I think you may need to find your self a small claims lawyer try prepaid legal look them up. I’m glad your hubby is ok. I’m no expert in this but I am sure your hubby did nothing wrong and I see no reason you should have to pay a months worth of rent to some people just for a door to get repaired.

  2. That is scary and ugly that the driver of the other car was not considered at fault.

  3. So true. A lot of things can happened – we’ll never know. For some reason, my mom tend to repeat stuff that I always tend to look out for the streets first before getting out of the car and I guess, that was a good habit after all – I grew with that cautious habit of my mom. A lot of things can happened you can encounter those people and situations and the best thing to do is to really be aware yourself first and foremost.

  4. Onica {MommyFactor} says

    Oh goodness sorry to hear about the accident. It’s crazy how it happen in the first place but then to hear because you opened the car door your in the fault?! Ugh. Good thing you have a good insurance company.

  5. Tracy Iglesias says

    I am just so glad you guys are OK! And even though he was at fault, I do hope that his grand-daughter is OK since you mentioned he was rushing her to the hospital. I’m glad your insurance will take care of everything but am sorry it’s going to cost so much! 🙁

  6. Don’t get me started on NYS DMV laws regarding accidents! I hope you get your car fixed and pack the patience these insurance companies are sticklers with this stuff now. I’m still fighting with one 7 years later over an accident to which I was rear ended at a red light and ended up seriously hurt. Thank god your husband didn’t get hurt – your vehicle can be fixed or replaced, but the hubby can not!

  7. Oh my god! That is ABSURD that an accident like that would be your husband’s fault and not the driver. If the driver had been watching where he was going, it wouldn’t have happened. Oh man, I Hope you don;t have too much of a battle on your hands.

  8. It’s ridiculous! But I’m not a bit surprised. :/

  9. Wow, this is not the outcone I expected when I started reading this. I am super careful with my car and opening the doors.

  10. Oh my I am so glad he is not seriously hurt. I really hate going around people with their doors open. It makes me so fearful of something happening. I really dislike that these rules and regulations are like this, everything these days is blamed in the other direction. Again I am so glad your hubby is ok

  11. I am very glad to know that your hubby was not seriously hurt other than the emotional trauma that he had to go through. I work in Insurance and yes, it is considered as the fault of the person opening the door and not the person who is ramming his vehicle on to the parked or idling car. And this type of fault determination is not always fair, I completely agree! The idea behind this is that the person opening the car door is interrupting the natural flow of traffic and hence found at fault. In Canada, this law applies the same way in all provinces.

  12. Isabella Grey says

    That’s crazy! It’s good to know that your husband wasn’t hurt, but it’s absolute BS that the other insurance is trying to pin it on you!

  13. I recently came upon an accident scene where a woman had got out of her car and another car hit her and drove off. I didn’t see the accident occur but did see the poor woman laying still on the ground. I found out the next day that she died. So now I am very, very cautious about opening my door on the road side. I don’t know what our at-fault laws are in that situation. I never heard whether they caught the driver. I sure hope so. I’m glad your situation was not as bad. But how scary that must have been!

  14. Terry My Journey With Candida says

    I live in Pennsylvania and our laws are the same as NY. If you open your door into oncoming traffic, you are at fault. They consider it a moving vehicle. I have been opening my door a crack and peeking out before I get out of the car… that way I can see if anything is coming.

  15. Lawna Young says

    I would never suspect that they would blame your husband. This is just asburd but good to know.

  16. Yes, my son was hit from behind backing out of a parking space. According to Delaware Law he was at fault…. Sorry about your hubby, just thank God he was not seriously injured or worse.

  17. I hate these situations. When one is clearly at fault, there is no reason the victim should be left with all the fees and a headache. I hope you can this resolved soon.

  18. Melanie Roberts says

    I had a car hit me at a stop sign at a dead stop she slammed onto me.. Been in pain ever since and it was 4 years ago; the cops didn’t even give her a ticket, I still say it was her fault.. I was stopped…

  19. chubskulit says

    That is what my husband always tell me, that when we exit the door, we have to make sure that there’s no car passing because it will always be our fault and not the car that is moving. I feel your frustration but so glad nobody got hurt during the accident. Thank you for sharing the story, this will serve as the wake up call for every one of us.

  20. Marielle A. Lord says

    Wow, just wow. How can it be your fault though. That law is clearly in need of revising. The way I see it the person that rams into you should be held responsible. This is one of the many reason why I fear driving. I’m just glad your hubby is ok.

  21. TouristMeetsTraveler says

    WOW this is totally crazy I had not idea the person opening the door was at fault. I don’t know how many times I ope my car door and some bike almost hits me… Still glad your hubs is okay.

  22. Lean Lacaba says

    Wow. I hope that doesn’t apply to everywhere. It clearly isn’t fair, plus to be human is to error, so I think your law needs to be revised and bended. For your case, a man that old should have been careful. I hope your husband is feeling better though.

  23. Wow, that is insane! A few years ago, my ex was hit in a Turkey Hill parking lot. He was parked, getting ready to back up. A pulled in too close or something and hit him. We were told that he shares 50% of the fault because he had the engine turned on. If it was still turned off, he wouldn’t have been at any fault. Insurance is incredibly illogical when it comes to this stuff. I’m just glad your husband wasn’t hurt!

  24. I’ve been in a car accident before. Actually a 4 car pile up and luckily the other people involved were at fault since we were broadsided and pushed into the other lane. Luckily for us we didn’t hit anyone. As for hubby, the laws are the same here as well. If we open our door, even after looking, and someone comes up and hits us, we’re at fault. Doesn’t really makes sense and totally stupid but that’s just the way it is unfortunately.

  25. I have been in several accidents-always someone hitting me. It’s terrible that a person can still get blamed even though it wasnt their fault.

  26. That’s SO scary.. I’m glad your hubby and kids are fine, but I can only imagine the fear that struck your husband. I’ve been hit by cars a few times, but never my own car since I don’t own one. However, I know insurance is an issue always – they will battle you through the process.

  27. Teresa McCluskey says

    I had my car door slammed into my finder by a cargo van. It was very scary! And it was the vans fault.

  28. Taylor Brian Allen says

    Holy crap! I’m glad you’re okay! Thats really scary…

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