Proper Etiquette When It Comes To Door Dings

Here’s the story. I pull into my apartment complex Friday after work and notice someone is parked in my spot (assigned parking spaces). I stopped and gave a little tap on the horn, but the guy obviously didn’t know what I wanted so he didn’t do anything. Now there’s an empty space next to mine (nobody lives in that unit currently assigned to that spot) so I pulled in next to the guy, rolled down my window and tried to get his attention by yelling and another honk of the horn, but this guy was oblivious to me… until he opened his door right into the side of my car… he knew I was there now.

He rolled down the window and just kind of gave me a look, didn’t apologize, just kinda looked at me until I proceeded to get annoyed. I had every intention of politely asking the guy to move from the spot so I could park my car and go inside, but now that he decided he wanted to slam his door in my car and not even apologize I wasn’t going to be nice anymore. Now for those who know me, you know that I am not a very big guy and normally I don’t like confrontation, but I can also read people pretty well and know when I’m not really in danger of getting my ass kicked, although I’m sure I’ll misjudge someone at some point.

So I got out of my car and repeated asked the guy if he was kidding… Basically my way of saying “what the fuck”. I then told him that first of all he was in my spot, which he then asked me why I didn’t just ask him to move… ugh, then I asked him if he always went around and slammed his car door into other people’s property. As he’s moving his car to another spot all he can say is “It was an accident, don’t you know what an accident is?” I said sure, I’ve been in a couple lately (none of which were my fault) and usually the person who causes the accident covers the damage. Now there really wasn’t any damage to my car, just a tiny nick on the door bumper guard thing, which actually might have already been there. So it wasn’t really a money issue, but more of some idiot not wanting to take responsibility for doing damage to my property without so much as a sincere apology. He then sarcastically told me I could call his insurance company if I really wanted to.

Obviously I wasn’t going to do this as it wasn’t worth my time, but then I asked him how he would feel if I went up and kicked his car, to which he replied, “Go ahead, I don’t care, it’s just a car, it’s a piece of junk”. Now his car was kind of a piece of junk, granted it was an Infiniti, it’s an older QX4 and it looked like more than one person had opened their door into his car. But either way I wasn’t going to come down to his level and kick his car. My car, however, is not a piece of junk and I take pride in the fact that it’s very clean, so I was a little annoyed at this comment.

After about 5 minutes of arguing with the guy, which was going nowhere, I decided to just let it go, but not before taking a picture of his car. I know there was absolutely no reason to take the picture, but he knows where I live, he was picking up his daughter or something, so obviously he had to drop her off again, so I guess it was just piece of mind in case I came out the next day and my windows were smashed or something.

So now my question is, what’s the proper etiquette when it comes to a door ding? I know everyone, including myself at one time or another, have accidentally opened their door into the car next to us, but not a lot of us have done in while the person is sitting in the car next to them. I know if I opened my door into a car and there was someone in it, the first thing I would do is apologize. Obviously I didn’t mean to do it and it was obviously my fault, so it’s only the right thing to do. 9 times out of 10 there’s not going to be much damage from a door ding, a lot of times it’s just a scuff and you can usually get them buffed out, so do you offer to pay? Or if it was your car that got hit and the person sincerely apologized, would you ask for money? Had the guy in my situation been nice about it and apologized, I probably would have just dropped it, but what would you have done in either situation?