CAR DOOR BIKE ACCIDENTS
Put Our California Bicycle Accident Lawyers on Your Side
Car door bike accidents are relatively common. Also referred to as “dooring,” this type of accident often occurs when a car door is suddenly opened on the driver’s side of a parked car. The cyclist then hits the car door or window or falls while swerving to get out of the way, incurring injuries and damage to the bike.
If you’ve been injured in this type of accident in California, our California bicycle accident attorneys at Bike Legal can help you receive the compensation you deserve. We have over 35 years of legal experience and many of our key staff members are cyclists themselves. We understand the unique concerns and challenges you are facing, as well as how to effectively navigate the legal process, take on liable insurance companies, and obtain fair compensation for your losses.
Common Injuries in Car Door Bike Accidents
Proper procedure requires a driver to check their side mirror and look over their shoulder before opening their door. When a careless motorist opens the door of his or her car into the path of an oncoming cyclist, even the most skilled cyclist may not have time to stop or avoid the obstacle. This can lead to serious, even life-altering injuries for the cyclist. Even low-speed dooring accidents can have devastating results, as it can cause cyclists to be thrown from their bicycles and into the path of oncoming vehicles.
Some of the most common injuries that result from car door bike accidents include:
Bruises, cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
Broken bones, including fractured clavicles
Soft tissue injuries and damage to internal organs
Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
These and other injuries require extensive medical treatment and often prohibit cyclists from returning to work or getting back out on the road—either temporarily or permanently. The long-term physical, emotional, and financial effects of such an accident can be devastating.
Side of Road Laws and Dooring Accidents
Cyclists who are not riding as fast as motor vehicle traffic generally must ride as far to the right side of the road as possible, with the exception of one-way streets which allow cyclists to ride to the far left. If a bike lane is provided, cyclists are required by law use it. While these laws are meant to protect cyclists, riding close to parked cars exposes bicycle riders to the possibility of dooring accidents.
California Vehicle Code 22517 prohibits drivers from opening a car door unless it is reasonably safe to do so and does not interfere with the movement of traffic, dooring accidents are usually clearly the fault of the driver. Some jurisdictions even consider it a traffic violation to leave a vehicle door open if it unnecessarily blocks a travel lane. Despite this, there are still certain defenses that drivers may use to attempt to place blame for a dooring accident on a cyclist.
Drivers may be able to argue that a dooring accident was at least partially the fault of a cyclist if:
There was no traffic at the time, therefore the cyclist did not need to keep to the side of the road
The cyclist was traveling at a high speed
Cyclists Representing Cyclists
At Bike Legal, many of our key staff members are avid cyclists themselves. This, along with our decades of legal experience, makes us well-equipped to provide injured cyclists with the dedicated focus they need and the compassionate, zealous representation they deserve. We know exactly what you are going through, and we are prepared to guide you through every step of the legal process.