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QLD Car Accident Caused by Passenger Alighting from Taxi

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Colin, 11 May 2015.

  1. Colin

    Colin Member

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    My wife was on holiday in Tasmania and got out of her taxi from the back seat using the drivers' side door. In doing so, the door struck a passing car causing a car accident and around $1000 damage to the passing car and little or no damage to the taxi.

    The taxi owner (not the driver at the time) has now forwarded the repair bill to us for payment.

    My question is: who is responsible for this repair? Isn't this what car insurance is for? I think he is just trying to save his no claim bonus.

    I cannot find any answer to this. I understand some states have "dooring" laws where you can be fined for doing this but can not find anything around liability to pay for damages. It seems to me, that if fare paying passengers were liable for this then there should be warning in the cab and as the driver could see in his external mirror, he should have warned my wife it was dangerous.

    Thanks.
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Colin
    1. Did your wife agree to pay for the damage caused at the time?
    2. Have you and/or your wife contacted the taxi owner to dispute of the alleged debt?
     
  3. Colin

    Colin Member

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    John R.
    Thanks for the question.
    to point 1. My wife did not agree to pay for anything but left her details in case anything needed to be verified. The driver did not say anything at the time that my wife was liable for the damage, if this was true I am sure he would have said something.
    to point 2. firstly the taxi owner called us and asked us to pay and I said we were very sorry this accident happened and it soured the holiday a bit but we would not be paying for anything because I do not believe She is liable and I believe it is a insurance claim and he would have insurance to cover it. He just said oooh great and hung up.

    Yesterday we got a letter from the owner attaching a police report which is just a statement that the accident happened and a tax invoice from a repairer for the damage to the other car for $900. They had to replace the left hand front door external mirror and some painting. No mention of anything for the taxi.

    Also in the owner's letter, he states "Australian Law states that you must check traffic before opening a car door and unfortunately that did not happen". My wife is adament that she looked before opening the door but did not see anything.

    thanks again
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to say but based on your description, your wife is at fault and should pay.

    There is no driver responsibility here, and the owner is within his rights to protect his 'no claim bonus'.

    Do you have any kind of public liability insurance to cover this kind of event? Check all your insurance policies. I'm no insurance expert so don't know if house/car/contents insurance might cover this sort of event.
     
  5. Phildo

    Phildo Well-Known Member

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    This.

    I would consider it to be the responsibility of the passenger to check before opening the door out into oncoming traffic, especially the door on the driver's slide (ie oncoming traffic). I can't see how the driver can control or be held responsible for this.

    The driver isn't protecting his no-claim bonus. For taxi insurance the excess is usually $2,000. If the driver/owner has paid out to fix the other car then he is only trying to recover that money. Which is fair enough.
     

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