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Bit of free advice for the 4th.
Most states recognize a driver's duty to yield to things they can
miss [question of fact] and the duty to keep a lookout on the travelled
way. Obviously, if person throws open a door while you are doing 55 and
you have no time to react you will not be liable. Really nothing more
than the same reasonableness standard used in most cases.
In Paul's case, can't say I would have done anything differently,
'cept maybe the speech to the local police:) Go get her Paul. Small
claims is the quickest and cheapest, just pay attention to the local
limits. Locally, it is $2,500; some areas more, some less.
PS Watch standing on the brakes when someone is on your ass.
Very good way to get hurt, and, depending on the circumstances [read here
how good the lawyer is] you may get to pay for the front of their car,
etc. Tempting, I know, but....