A Calgary woman has learned the hard way that insurance companies hold all the cards when it comes to crashes, large or small.

Sarah Quigley was parked in a grocery store, getting her son out of his car seat and into a shopping cart when another car pulled up beside her. She believed the driver was looking to park beside her, so she moved her cart out of the way.

“The next thing I know, the car is driving into my open door. I was very surprised and my son was half-unbuckled in his car seat,” she said.

The other driver’s insurance company said that Quigley was at fault for the crash and Quigley’s insurance company, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, agreed with them.

The company cited two Traffic Safety Act sections as their only reasoning.

The first is that drivers are not supposed to open their car doors unless it is safe to do so.

The second says you can’t leave your door open if it creates a hazard.

Quigley says she thought she had complied with those rules.

“I felt it was safe to open my car door because there were no other cars coming and it’s not oncoming traffic.”

However, her arguments with TD and its ombudsman have been ignored and the company has stayed firm with its decision.

Police say that without an officer at the scene to issue a ticket, insurance companies are allowed to interpret and apply the Traffic Safety Act how they like.

If drivers don’t agree, their only recourse is to head to small claims court and let a judge decide.