The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has fueled many trends, from baking bread to rolling skating. One fad that has taken to the streets is bikes. More people are seen traveling on two wheels—motorcycles, electric bikes, or traditional bicycles—as a way of transportation or exercise. Since the pandemic hit, there has been a surge in bike sales and bike shops across the county are even facing supply shortages.
But the increase of more bicycles on the road, also means there are increased numbers of accidents involving bicyclists. One common type of bicycle accident that involves motor vehicles is a “car-dooring accident.” These types of bike accidents are generally contested, with both sides pointing fingers at one another as to who caused the crash.
What are Car-Dooring Bike Accidents?
Car doors can be lethal weapons if you are riding your bike and on the road in the “door zone” of a motorist. As a bicyclist, it is always wise for you to assume that a motorist in a parked car will exit without giving thought to anyone approaching on the left.
A car-dooring, or dooring collision, happens when a bicyclist is traveling down the road next to a parked car, and without warning (checking the side mirror and/or looking over their shoulder) the driver opens the side door of the parked vehicle directly into the bicyclist’s path. This negligent action of the driver can cause the cyclist to hit the door head-on, swerve into traffic, or be pushed off their bike into the path of another car. The door can also hit the bicyclist as they are riding past the parked vehicle. In all instances, resulting injuries to the bicyclist can be serious or even fatal.
The Statistics on Dooring Bicycle Accidents
Some of the biggest issues related to bicycle accidents, especially in major cities, involve bicyclists getting thrown into traffic by dooring. Dooring accounted for 203 cyclist accidents in San Francisco from 2012-2015. There were similar numbers of accidents in other major cities, like Los Angles, throughout California. This number is significantly on the rise due to the popularity gain of riding bicycles as both a mode of transportation and exercise since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Injuries resulting from car dooring bicycle accidents are typically serious, requiring extensive medical care and attention. If you or a loved one was injured in a car-dooring bicycle accident, it is imperative to immediately hire a bike accident attorney to help you fight the insurance company of the motorist who caused the accident to get the full compensation that you deserve.
Common Injuries Suffered in Car-Dooring Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists are at a much greater risk for suffering serious injuries in accidents than motorists due to the lack of safety features, such as seatbelts, airbags and steel frames. These injuries are even more severe in a dooring bicycle accident. Some common injuries include:
- Head injuries, including a traumatic brain injury
- Broken or fractured bones
- Neck or back injuries
- Internal organ injuries
Regardless of what type of injury you suffered in a dooring bicycle accident caused by the negligent action of another party, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. To protect your legal rights and ensure that you get the full compensation that you deserve, it is in your best interest to immediately consult with and hire an experienced accident attorney.
Determining Fault in Bicycle Accidents Caused by Open Car Doors
What makes dooring accidents complicated is that it is not always immediately clear who is at fault for the accident. There is nothing inherently negligent about a motorist opening his or her car door or a bicyclist riding down a road where cars are parked to the side of the road. This makes it even more important for a thorough investigation to determine who breached the duty of care.
Factors that an experienced car-dooring bicycle accident attorney should consider when investigating a bike crash involving a car door include:
- Was the driver of the car parked legally?
- Did the driver properly look for oncoming cyclists before opening the car door?
- Was the person exiting the car distracted, such as by talking on the phone?
- Was the bicyclist riding lawfully at the time of the crash?
- Was the bike equipped with required gear, such as brakes and a light? (The use of light is especially important if the accident occurred at night.)
- Was the bicyclist riding the bike in an unsafe manner?
The bike accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas will thoroughly investigate the facts surrounding your car-dooring bicycle accident to prove fault for the crash. Our personal injury lawyers know what it takes to show negligence on the part of the motorist who opened their car door into your path, and we will gather every piece of evidence necessary to get you the full compensation that you deserve.
Compensation Available to Victims of Dooring Bicycle Accidents
Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may be entitled to various types of compensation for the injuries you suffered. Some common types of compensation that you may be entitled to include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
When you hire an accident attorney from a reputable personal injury law firm, you can be confident that their legal team will work hard to get you the full monetary compensation that you deserve. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will allow you to focus on your injuries and medical treatment without having to worry about the details of the legal portions of your car-dooring bicycle accident.
Call an Experienced Orange County Bicycle Accident Attorney!
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. You should immediately consult with an experienced bike accident lawyer to help protect your rights and get you the full compensation that you deserve. The Orange County personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help!
With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our personal injury attorneys represent bike accident victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our lawyers, please call 949-727-9300.
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