The simple act of opening a car door can wipe out a cyclist. When a car occupant opens their door to get out, sometimes it’s in the path of a unsuspecting cyclist. This is calling “dooring” and it can cause serious injury and even death to a cyclist.
The severity of the injuries is in part because the cyclist suffers a double impact, one with the door and the other with the pavement.
If you were doored while cycling anywhere in Los Angeles County, contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.
Types of Dooring
There are several common scenarios that lead to dooring. The most common is when a cyclist is traveling in a bike lane or using the far right-hand side of a street with cars in parking spots between the lane and the curb. Then someone opens the door to get out, and the cyclist runs into the door.
Other dooring accidents occur outside of parking zones when a car pulls up to the curb to get out or let someone out and opens their door. Even experienced cyclists can let their guard down when they don’t see the line of parked cars.
The last scenario is less common but can be more deadly. In a bit of irony, a cyclist spots a potential dooring event and swerves to miss it right into the path of a vehicle on their left. In some of the most tragic of these cases, the cyclist is run over by the car or truck.
Common Dooring Injuries
Serious injuries can happen in a dooring accident because of the suddenness of the first impact with the door and the impact with the pavement. Many times, cyclists are left without warning or the ability to protect themselves.
Some of the common injuries suffered by a cyclist in a dooring accident are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Traumatic spinal cord injuries
- Multiple fractures requiring surgery
- Organ damage
- Nerve damage
Under California law, a bicyclist injured in a dooring accident can recover damages for their financial losses from the at-fault person. This can the driver of the car, or the passenger, or both, if they opened the door in front of the cyclist.
California law requires the driver to have insurance, and this will cover some if not all of the damages. If the passenger is at fault, their auto insurance won’t cover the cyclist’s damages, but their home owner’s insurance might.
If all other forms of insurance fail, then the injured cyclist can claim the accident on their own insurance policy if they have uninsured or underinsured. It works because UM/UIM is designed to cover when there is no insurance or too little insurance, and because it was an auto accident that caused the damages, it still applies to a cyclist
Contact a Los Angeles Bicycle Injury Attorney Today
The bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Steers & Associates believe that every cyclist is entitled to their share of the road, safely and enjoyably. Although riding a bicycle comes with a heightened risk, it should not preclude our clients from participating in a riding pleasure they love. The lawyers in our firm are committed to upholding the rights of cyclists who have been injured by the negligence of another. Our goal is to provide you with the best representation available, while delivering a favorable financial settlement for your injuries, so you can heal completely and begin enjoying the ride again.
Contact us today after any type of dooring or other bicycle crash for a free, confidential consultation.