If my car door hits another car door will my insurance company pay for the damages? Well if your door smashes hard into another vehicle and causes significant damage, then it is a serious problem. If you open your door though and there isn’t really even a nick in the other car, then you’re probably okay. The reality is that many people park in tight quarters and packed parking lots from time to time and it’s tough to get out without having your door come in contact with another vehicle. If there are damages caused to another vehicle, it’s important to stay calm and know what you can do to fix the problem.
Many people will simply pay for the damages out of their own pocket because they don’t want to have to file a car insurance claim. When there are petty damages caused from two car doors hitting each other, insurance can get complicated. Resolving these types of claims can be tricky because in most cases, it is tough to have proof that you were the person that smashed your door into their car.
Whose insurance company is responsible for making payments towards fixing a damaged car door?
In cases like these, it is tough to say whether your insurance company or the other individual’s insurance company is supposed to pay for the damages. A number of different factors will need to be analyzed before proper compensation is given. Things that insurance companies will need to know include:
- Amount of evidence – Is there really enough evidence to tell what happened?
- Which party was “at fault” – Is one party more at fault than the other? Who caused the door damage?
- Exact cause of the damage – Was the damage caused from opening the door carelessly? Could there have been another cause?
- Whether there is a formal police report – Police reports always help clarify information. If there is no police report, insurance claims become tougher to get straightened out.
Location: Does it matter whether you live in a no-fault state?
No fault states
In short, yes, it does matter where you live. As you probably are aware, insurance companies function in accordance with state laws. If you live in a state where fault is not assigned (i.e. a “no-fault” state), the driver that has their door damaged would have to go through their own insurance to pay for the damages. It may seem unfair, but that’s how insurance operates in these states. When there is “no-fault” assigned, problems are handled relatively quickly, easily, and out of the courts.
If there is significant damage to your vehicle from a door hitting the side of it, you may want to file a police report. The reason for filing a report is so that you can get reimbursed for damages. Many insurance companies in “no fault” states will not give you any type of reimbursement if you didn’t file a formal report. I know that this may seem totally unfair, but it’s just the reality of life – especially if there is not very serious damage to your door in the first place.
At fault states
If you live in a state where fault is assigned, the legal system determines who is primarily at fault for the damages. Obviously if you smashed your door into someone else’s car and they saw you do it, they could raise havoc and try to get you to cough up some money.
Most people will generally just pay them a small fee to have things repaired, but others will want to go through the insurance process. If you hit someone else’s door with yours, going through the insurance settlement process can be long and tedious.
If there is really no evidence that can link you to the act of hitting the other car, you will likely not have to deal with any claims. If there is video or a formal report that has been filed, there is a better chance of the victim collecting compensation.
What if my car door gets dented or scratched by a person in a parking lot? What should I do?
If you are the victim whose vehicle suffered the damages, it can be tough as to whether or not you should file a claim. Most people tend to know whether they have comprehensive car insurance. If you have comprehensive coverage included in your policy, you will likely get reimbursed for the damage repairs without much questioning.
On the other hand, if you don’t have comprehensive coverage, you may want to see whether the person who smacked your car door will pay for the repairs. Most people are good-natured and won’t hesitate to give you $50 for repairs if they are minor. If you aren’t able to get any financial help to repair your car, it probably won’t cost you an arm-and-a-leg to repair things on your own.
Keep in mind that when you file a claim, you may run the risk of having your insurance rates raised. People get savings bonuses all the time for going without claims (commonly called “no claims discounts”). In this case it’s important to calculate how much you are currently saving from being without claims and weigh that amount against what you would have to pay for your door to get fixed. If the amount to fix your door is considerably more, then it may make sense to proceed with the claim.
What if someone hit my car door and left?
If someone hits your door and leaves, it can be psychologically frustrating to deal with. If you park in a big parking lot to attend a rock concert and come back after the concert to find that your door now has a whopping dent and paint damage, you may get pretty upset. Since you weren’t there and didn’t know who was responsible for causing the damage, you’ll really never know unless your car has some sweet built in camera system that caught the other driver.
Unfortunately, most people have to deal with minor fixes like dents, scratches, and chipped paint on their own. Whether the other person did it intentionally or not doesn’t really matter – it is totally irrelevant. The fact is that the damage was done and it’s time to move on. At this point you should know that you have three options:
- Pay out of pocket for repairs
- Do nothing about the repairs if they are minor
- File a claim to get them fixed
Fixing Car Dents with Proper Tools (Video): Maybe this guy could help you with your door?
Hopefully you now know what to do if you bump doors with another driver and/or someone hits your door in the parking lot. I think that it always helps to be a good Samaritan in these situations if you were the person that hit someone else. Try to get in touch with the person whose car you hit if you did the damage. The old saying “what goes around comes around” holds true in a lot of cases. Maybe if someone hits your car in the future they will help you out because you built up some good karma by being honest about the damage you caused. Maybe I’m being farfetched. Anyways, hopefully you can get your door fixed and everything resolved if this happens.