Automobile and Cyclist Liability in a ‘Dooring’ Accident

Injury Accident Attorneys

Bicyclists are frequently injured after colliding with an open car door, particularly when a driver is getting out of a vehicle along a line of parked cars. The most serious dooring-related injuries occur when bicyclists are struck by another motor vehicle after swerving to avoid the door. In any event, determining who is liable when a cyclist gets doored requires the skills of an experienced personal injury attorney.

The Perils of Dooring Accidents

With more bicycle messengers, commuters, Citibikes, or those cycling for leisure or exercise on the streets today, dooring accidents have become far too common. In fact, a study of bicycle accidents in New York City found that 3 percent of the resulting fatalities involved dooring accidents.

As congested as the city streets are at any given moment, all drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles in a safe manner and avoid causing injuries to others. Similarly, bicycle riders are responsible for their own safety and must abide by all traffic laws. This includes using a bike lane when one is provided or riding to the right of traffic which often forces them to ride perilously close to parked vehicles.

While bicyclists must be aware of other cars and pedestrians, drivers and passengers are required to check for bicycle traffic before opening a car door. Generally, the person who opened the door is typically liable if a bicyclist is doored, but a lot depends on the laws of the city or state in which the accident occurred.

Although these laws play a key role in determining who is at fault in a dooring accident, the number of damages an injured cyclist can recover depends on the circumstances of the accident. If there was no traffic on the road at the time of the collision, or the bicyclist was traveling at a high speed, they could determine that the cyclist was partially responsible.

This means that in states like New York that have a modified comparative negligence rule, the number of the injured cyclist’s damages would be reduced by his or her share of the fault. In the example noted above, if the court holds the driver was 80 percent liable and the cyclist 20 percent liable, and the number of injuries sustained is $100,000, the award would be reduced by 20 percent to $80,000.

The Takeaway

In the end, a cyclist injured in a dooring accident may be entitled to compensation for lost earnings and income, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. If a bicyclist is killed in a dooring accident, his or her immediate surviving family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dooring accident, an adept bicycle accident attorney can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Eye On P.
Eye On P.
1720977655
I signed up for an account on a Sunday and made an error. I was completely surprised when Shanice... contacted me via email to help fix the error. That was incredible as I was going to wait until Monday to call and get help. Very proactive and professional. If this is an indication as to the type of service they provide, I made the right choice.read more
Dana M.
Dana M.
1720909366
I spoke with Miss Shanice on a Saturday. She returned my call within a couple of hours. She was... very pleasant and professional. We converted my plan to the Family Plan. It took less than five minutes. I'm very pleased with AOR. I hope that I'll never need them.read more
J R
J R
1720655144
The Attorney and Paralegal I worked with did an extraordinary job in aiding my comprehension of the... legal system as it pertained to my situation. Attorney Emma Wittmann and Paralegal Tory Stewart were both extreme knowledgeable, efficient at answering any/all questions, and went above and beyond in all aspects. I am quite pleased with their work. I absolutely and unequivocally recommend both Attorney Emma Wittmann and Paralegal Tory Stewart should you be in need of legal counsel, and by extension law firm Attorneys for Freedom. Thank you all so much!read more
Timothy M.
Timothy M.
1720647678
I researched Attorneys On Retainer extensively and found nothing but excellent reviews. I want to... add my review of five stars to the reviews after interacting with the firm and specifically Mike Wasdin. He was a great help in navigating the paperwork and my membership within the organization. Thank You Mike.read more
gilbert C.
gilbert C.
1720060140
This message is for all the gun owners in the state of Connecticut recently we have some new laws... which are very ridiculous but anyway this is regarding the Attorneys For Freedom the return every cent that I spend for the past year because they couldn’t work in the state of Connecticut, but they have the integrity and the ethics to still represent us in case of self-defense cases without charging usthey’re working to see if they can change the law and be able to work one more time in the state of Connecticut I would like to encourage every gun owner in the state of Connecticut and outside the state of Connecticut that happen to have the same situation that we and write a review a positive review because they deserve itI have to admit I was very surprised, but it was a good surprise. It is rare to find this caliber of people.They are willing to do the right thing so please support Attorneys For Freedom because they are unique among the rest.read more
js_loader