Car accidents occur all the time in the United States; in fact, there are more than 6 million accidents reported every year that result in countless injuries and fatalities. Though we typically associate car accidents with speeding or a failure to brake in time before a rear-end collision, accidents and injuries can also occur when a vehicle is parked and not moving. Dooring is one of the most common ways bicyclists and motorcyclists alike are injured on the road, and drivers responsible for the dooring can be held liable for damages if victims file claims.
What is Dooring?
Dooring refers to an accident that occurs when a parked driver or passenger is exiting their vehicle. The car occupant opens their door to get out, which just so happens to block the path of an oncoming cyclist. Bicyclists or motorcyclists often don’t have time to brake or change lanes to avoid a collision.
Because bicyclists and motorcyclists don’t have the protection that vehicle occupants have, including seat belts and airbags, they’re much more likely to suffer serious injuries in accidents, including dooring accidents. These injuries can include broken or crushed bones, spinal cord or neck injuries like paralysis, and severe head or brain damage.
Individuals responsible for the dooring can be considered negligent because even if their vehicle is parked, they’re still responsible for keeping the road safe for others. Opening your door without checking that the coast is clear is dangerous.
How to Avoid Dooring
As a driver who decides to park on the side of a street, there are some tips you can follow to prevent causing a dooring accident.
If you’re in a car:
- Use your mirrors to check that the path is clear before you open your door
- Open your door slowly but close it quickly
- Don’t leave your door open for too long
Bicyclists have a right to remain in the bicycle lane, but it’s still important to be alert and make accommodations if you notice cars parked on the side of the road.
If you’re riding a bike, you can do the following to avoid being doored:
- Ride outside the door zone
- Look out for drivers or passengers sitting in their vehicles
- Ride at a legal speed
If you’ve been involved in a dooring accident as a cyclist, chances are you have mounting medical bills and other expenses due to your injuries. Hiring a personal injury attorney to fight for compensation on your behalf is crucial if you wish to stay out of debt.
Ready to Go to Trial for You
When drivers and other individuals cause injuries to others, they should be held financially responsible for all damages that occur. Drivers have a responsibility to follow all traffic laws and keep the roads safe for those around them, including drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians who may be nearby. If you have been injured, you deserve to be represented by a team of litigators who aren’t afraid to go to trial for you. The Law Office of James M. Stanley has more than 40 years of trial experience and prepares for our cases with the understanding that we may have to go to court to pursue your goals. No case is too complex or daunting for us to handle. You can rest at home or in the hospital knowing we can take care of your case and get the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.
Call (817) 591-4222 or contact us online.to seek trusted legal representation after a road accident. Whether you’re a driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian, you can rest assured knowing our team has successfully settled injury claims for more than 40 years.