In most cases involving an open door being hit by a car, the party that opened the door is liable for the damages. However, under certain circumstances, the driver of the vehicle that hits the door can be held responsible. The details of the accident will determine who is to blame.
At Vaughan & Vaughan, we have been helping accident victims recover compensation for over 100 years. We know exactly what to look for when attempting to establish fault and will thoroughly investigate your accident. Contact us today by calling us or filling out our contact form and schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Lafayette car accident lawyers.
Establishing Fault After a Car Accident Involving an Open Door Being Hit
Following a car accident where an open car door was hit by a passing vehicle, establishing fault is critical for recovering compensation. In these types of accidents, liability is typically with the party that opened the door. Opening a door into a passing vehicle or impeding their driving path can be dangerous and result in a serious accident.
However, the driver that strikes the open car door can also be at fault in some cases. For example, if the open car door is not extended out into the lane of traffic when it is hit, the driver that struck the door may be at fault for leaving their lane of traffic and striking the open door.
Whether you were the one that opened your vehicle or the driver who had a car door open in your path, it is essential to hire an experienced attorney who can help you prove the fault of the other party so you can recover the compensation you need and deserve after suffering damages.
Damages Available Following a Car Accident Involving an Open Door
If you were the victim in a car accident where a car door was hit, you will likely be able to collect a wide variety of damages. However, the exact damages that apply to your case will vary depending on the specific details of your accident and any injuries you sustained. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you identify all the damages that apply to your case.
All recoverable damages can be divided into three primary categories.
Economic damages tend to be straightforward and easy to evaluate. These damages are meant to replace the money you spent or failed to earn because of your accident. Since these losses are financial, calculating their value is fairly simple. In an accident involving an open car door being hit by a passing vehicle, the most common economic damages include:
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning power
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Property damage
- Money spent to complete daily tasks you can no longer perform yourself
Non-economic damages are much more complicated. These damages cover every other loss you suffered as a result of your accident. The majority of these wide-ranging losses share the common traits of being deeply personal and irreplaceable. As a result, the money awarded for non-economic damages often makes up the bulk of the compensation received.
In an accident involving an open car door being hit by a passing vehicle, the most common non-economic damages include:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Decreased quality of life
Punitive damages are used differently from compensatory damages. Rather than being used to compensate an accident victim for the losses they endured, punitive damages serve as a means of punishing the liable party for their role in causing the accident.
Punitive damages are rarely awarded in cases involving an open car door being struck by a passing vehicle. For a judge to consider punitive damages, the action of the liable party must have been deemed criminally negligent or carried out with the intention of causing harm.
Pay Attention to the Statute of Limitations When Pursuing a Car Accident Lawsuit
If you are planning to file a lawsuit after suffering damages in an accident involving a car door being hit by a passing vehicle, it is critical that you pay attention to the statute of limitations for the state in which you are filing. Indiana gives accident victims two years from the date of the incident to submit the paperwork necessary to sue the liable party.
If you fail to meet this deadline, you could be out of options for recovering compensation. However, you need to understand that exceptions may apply to your case that can alter the amount of time you have to take legal action. The details of your case could either extend or further limit the amount of time you have to file.
The best way to avoid losing your right to recover damages because of an unexpected deadline is by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Your attorney can identify whether or not any special circumstances apply to your case and ensure that all the required paperwork gets filed well in advance of the deadline.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today
Hiring an experienced attorney is critical when pursuing compensation after an accident where a car door was hit. Your lawyer can help you identify who is at fault for your damages and get you the money you need and deserve. At Vaughan & Vaughan, we have a proven track record of securing favorable case results for our clients.
Reach out to us today by phone or through our website to schedule a free, no-obligation case review with a member of our legal team. We’ll go over your case, advise you of your legal rights and options, and answer any questions you may have about your situation.