Some of the most common (and preventable) motorcycle accidents are dooring accidents. These types of accidents happen when an open car door causes a biker to crash into the vehicle or swerve out into traffic where a crash occurs. Our motorcycle accident attorneys explain what dooring is, how it happens, and what to do if you’re a victim.
How Does a Dooring Accident Occur?
A dooring accident is when a person opens a door in front of a motorcycle or cyclist. The open door creates an obstruction that causes the accident. Car door motorcycle accidents are often due to a driver or passenger failing to check for a motorcycle rider when opening a car door while a vehicle is stopped. Most often, this happens from parked cars on the side of the road.
How Does a Dooring Accident Cause Injury?
There are two ways that a dooring accident can cause injury:
- Striking the open door – The motorcyclist can strike the door when opened carelessly, or without warning.
- Swerving into traffic – The motorcyclist may take evasive action to avoid the door only to be struck by another motor vehicle in oncoming traffic or hit an object.
Who Is at Fault in a Dooring Accident?
There may be multiple parties at fault in a motorcycle dooring crash, including:
- The driver who opens the door
- Someone else in the vehicle who opens the door
- Another vehicle driver
- A motorcyclist who does not drive at a reasonable pace and watch for traffic
Usually, the one at fault in a dooring accident is the person who opens the door. People must watch for traffic and make sure that they can safely open their doors before proceeding. If they are parked on a corner or conditions present poor visibility, they must watch for motorcyclists who may be rounding the corner.
How Do You Determine Fault for a Dooring Accident?
Fault for a dooring accident depends on several factors. The parties must examine the facts of how the accident occurred and the actions of each party involved. Some of the questions to determine fault are:
- Where was the vehicle parked?
- Was it an illegally parked vehicle?
- Did someone open a door while the vehicle was running or in motion?
- How long was the door open before the collision?
- Did the accident occur in stopped traffic or moving traffic?
- Where was the motorcyclist parked?
- What did the person opening the door do to look for hazards? Did they look behind them and check their mirrors?
- Should the person who opened the door have noticed the motorcyclist if they had been paying more attention?
- Did the person open the door to purposefully stop or impede the motorcyclist in any way?
- How fast was the motorcyclist traveling? Was it over the speed limit or too fast for traffic conditions?
- Were the parties in a traffic lane when the accident occurred? Should the motorcyclist have been expecting doors to open?
Usually, the fault falls on the party who opens the door, but sometimes both parties may share responsibility for the accident.
Does It Matter That the Vehicle Wasn’t Moving at the Time of the Accident?
Car accidents don’t always occur when both vehicles are moving—many motor collisions happen when one vehicle is stationary. A person can be negligent with a car even when it is not in motion, and anyone in a vehicle may be responsible for negligently opening a door when a rider is in the path.
What Compensation Can You Receive for a Dooring Accident?
Victims of a motorcycle dooring incident may receive economic and non-economic damages under motorcycle accident law. Compensation may include:
- Medical bills
- Disfigurement and scars
- Lost income
- Damage to the motorcycle
- Clothing and riding gear losses
- Mental health damages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
Compensation for a motorcycle accident can include financial losses, pain and suffering, and property damage. However, a claim must identify and value all damages in order to financially recover for those losses.
What Are Common Injuries From a Dooring Accident?
As part of your compensation claim, it’s essential to identify damages thoroughly. Here are some common injuries that may result from a dooring accident:
- Broken bones
- Concussion, brain injuries, or head injuries
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Road rash
- Mental health damages
It’s essential to have a medical evaluation if you have been in a dooring accident. Serious injuries can occur even at relatively low speeds. It isn’t always easy to recognize brain injuries or spinal cord damage immediately after the accident. However, it’s critical to verify and document everything as part of your claim for compensation.
Why Should You Work With a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Identifying the at-fault party is not always easy. The information must be gathered and analyzed to ensure all accident causes have been investigated. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will investigate and collect all the necessary evidence and build your case by:
- Identifying all the parties that may be involved, such as vehicles not directly involved in the crash or a passenger responsible for opening a door.
- Sorting through insurance company policies and applying Colorado law to determine who may pay damages.
- Investigating the actual cause of the dooring accident.
- Responding to shared fault claims (such as failure to use hand turns, lack of signaling).
- Ensuring that there is no bias against you because you are a motorcyclist and accident victim.
- Determining categories of compensation and the value of each type, making sure nothing is missed, like damage to your riding gear.
- Filing your claim for compensation.
- Taking steps to gather evidence, including accident reconstruction.
Lawyers for Motorcycle Dooring Accident Claims
At Bachus & Schanker, we are leaders in motorcycle accident claims with offices in Denver and throughout Colorado. Our experienced litigators know the necessary steps to take in all motorcycle crash lawsuits, including dooring claims. Our team goes the extra mile to ensure that you get fair compensation.
Taking New Cases – Free Consultation
Receiving the maximum settlement for a dooring crash requires careful, diligent legal work. Our lawyers are here to pursue your rights and ensure you’re treated fairly by the insurance companies. Our law firm is dedicated exclusively to victims’ rights. If you have been hurt in an accident, schedule a free consultation regarding your claim today.