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Did You Get Doored? Here’s Why It is Not Your Fault!

Picture this: you’re riding your bike, enjoying the fresh air and the freedom of the open road. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a car door swings open right before you. The door suddenly opens, giving you no time to react, and you collide with it, resulting in injuries to yourself and damage to your bike. You might think it’s your fault for not paying enough attention or for riding too close to parked cars, but it’s not your fault at all, and you should understand why.

Dooring accidents, where cyclists collide with a car door opened in their path, are more common than you might think. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 1,700 reported dooring incidents in the United States each year. These accidents can lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries.

Personal injury lawyers understand the complexity of cases like these. They are here to guide you as you navigate the legal process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t let someone else’s negligence go unpunished; contact one today for a no-obligation case evaluation.

What is Dooring?

Dooring AccidentDooring occurs when a car door strikes a motorcyclist or bicyclist suddenly opens in their path, posing a common and dangerous situation. This often occurs when a driver or passenger doesn’t check for approaching cyclists before opening the door. The responsibility lies with the person opening the door, as they must exercise caution and ensure it is safe.

Cyclists face numerous dangers on the road, and dooring incidents can be particularly severe. Colliding with a car door can throw cyclists off balance, causing them to lose control and potentially collide with other vehicles or objects. These incidents can lead to serious injuries, such as broken bones, head injuries, and even fatalities. You must understand that it is not your fault if you were involved in a dooring incident.

The Importance of Bike Lanes

Bike lanes play a crucial role in preventing dooring incidents and ensuring the safety of cyclists. Dedicated bike lanes provide a designated space for cyclists, separating them from vehicular traffic and reducing the risk of collisions with car doors.

Municipalities are responsible for providing safe infrastructure for cyclists, including designing and maintaining bike lanes. By investing in well-designed bike lanes, cities can significantly decrease the occurrence of dooring incidents. Additionally, municipalities should regularly inspect and repair bike lanes to ensure they remain safe for cyclists and make ongoing improvements.

Legal Perspectives on Dooring Incidents

From a legal perspective, the person opening the door is generally liable for a dooring incident. Traffic laws and regulations mandate that opening a door is only allowed when it is safe. This means drivers and passengers must check for approaching traffic, including cyclists, before opening their vehicle’s door.

As a cyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as any other vehicle. However, motorists and passengers must exercise reasonable care when exiting their vehicles. This includes checking for oncoming traffic, including cyclists, before opening their doors. Failure to do so can result in a dooring accident, and the fault lies squarely with the person who opened the door without ensuring it was safe.

In a dooring incident, the injured cyclist has the right to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. To establish liability, you must gather evidence such as witness statements, photographs, and video footage. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can be instrumental in navigating the legal process and ensuring effective representation.

Is the Cyclist At Fault in a Dooring Accident?

In dooring cases, the insurance company may scrutinize the cyclist’s actions to determine whether they contributed to the incident. For example, they may suggest or argue that the cyclist was riding recklessly or not paying attention, which, if successful, can impact the liability and compensation in the case.

Even if the cyclist contributes to the incident, it does not absolve the other person opening the door of their responsibility. The person opening the door should always exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings before opening the door.

Having the representation of a well-versed personal injury attorney is imperative if you suffer injuries from a dooring incident. Your attorney can stand up for your rights and show how the other party, not you, is liable for your injuries.

Insurance Coverage for Dooring Incidents

Insurance coverage may be available to compensate injured cyclists involved in dooring incidents. Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is insurance that may cover medical expenses, lost income, and other damages resulting from the incident, regardless of who is at fault. Additionally, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage can provide additional compensation if the person opening the door does not have sufficient insurance coverage.

Cyclists should review their insurance policies and understand the coverage options available to them in the event of a dooring incident. Consulting with an attorney can help navigate the insurance claims process and ensure that the cyclist receives the compensation they are entitled to.

Steps to Take After a Dooring Incident

If you are in a dooring incident, here are some crucial steps to take:

  • Ensure personal safety: Move to a safe location to avoid further harm or potential hazards.
  • Seek medical attention: Even if you think you are not seriously injured, get a thorough medical evaluation, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  • Watch what you say: Avoid apologizing for the incident or offering explanations, as this can work against you.
  • Gather evidence: Take photographs of the scene, the position of the vehicles involved, and any visible injuries. Obtain contact information from witnesses, if possible.
  • Report the incident: Contact the appropriate authorities, such as the police or local transportation department, to report the incident and ensure an official record is on file.
  • Consult with an attorney: A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and support you as you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.

Common Dooring Injuries

Dooring accidents occur when a driver or passenger opens their vehicle door directly into the path of a cyclist or motorcyclist, leading to a collision or injury. These accidents are all too common and can have devastating consequences. Only some of the potential injuries that stem from dooring accidents include the following.

Broken Bones

One of the most common injuries resulting from dooring accidents is broken bones. When a cyclist or motorcyclist collides with an open car door, the impact can be forceful enough to cause fractures or breaks in the limbs. These injuries can range from minor fractures to more severe cases that require surgery and extensive medical treatment. Broken bones can result in significant pain, limited mobility, and prolonged recovery periods. If you’ve suffered a fractured bone in a dooring accident, seek legal assistance to ensure you receive proper compensation for your injuries.

Head Injuries

Head injuries are another common consequence of dooring accidents. When a collision with a car door throws a cyclist or motorcyclist off their bike, the risk of striking their head on the pavement or other nearby objects increases significantly. These injuries can vary from minor concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries. Recognizing that even seemingly minor head injuries can lead to long-term effects, such as cognitive impairments, memory loss, and chronic headaches.

If you suspect a head injury, seek immediate medical attention. Additionally, consulting with an attorney is essential to understand your rights and explore options for pursuing a legal claim. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the process, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost income, and the impact of the injury on your life.

Soft Tissue Injuries

In addition to broken bones and head injuries, dooring accidents can also cause severe damage to soft tissues. Whiplash, sprains, strains, and contusions are all common soft tissue injuries that can occur as a result of the sudden impact and force of a dooring accident. Soft tissue injuries can be painful and require extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain strength and mobility. These injuries can also lead to chronic pain and long-term limitations in daily activities. Since insurance companies like to downplay these types of injuries, always document and address them with the help of a legal professional who can advocate for your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.

Dooring accidents can result in a range of injuries, from broken bones to head injuries and soft tissue damage. Remember, if you’ve been in a dooring accident, it’s not your fault. As a cyclist or motorcyclist, you have the right to share the road safely with other vehicles, and drivers are responsible for checking for oncoming traffic before opening their car doors. If you have suffered injuries in a dooring accident, consult with an attorney who can guide you through the legal process and aid in securing the compensation you deserve.

The Statute of Limitations for Dooring Cases

The Statute of Limitations for Dooring CasesIf you’ve experienced a dooring incident, one of the first questions that may come to mind is how long you must take legal action. This is where the statute of limitations comes into play. The statute of limitations refers to the timeframe you are legally allowed to file a lawsuit. Understanding the statute of limitations for dooring cases is crucial to ensure your rights are protected, and you can seek the compensation you deserve.

In most states, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including dooring incidents, ranges from one to three years. You typically have one to three years from the incident date to file a lawsuit. However, this timeline can vary depending on your case’s jurisdiction and specific circumstances. It’s best to consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the legal process and ensure you meet all necessary deadlines.

Failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations can have dire consequences for your case. Once the statute of limitations expires, you lose your right to seek compensation through the legal system. The opposing party can use this as leverage and argue for dismissing your case. Time is of the essence when it comes to personal injury claims, so act promptly and consult with an attorney as soon as possible after a dooring incident.

Working with an attorney with experience handling dooring cases can significantly improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. They will guide you through the legal process and conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf. Time is of the essence, so don’t delay seeking legal representation to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Seeking Legal Representation for Dooring Cases

Seeking legal representation is crucial for individuals involved in dooring incidents. An attorney experienced in handling cycling-related cases can provide valuable assistance, ensuring that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.

A lawyer can be your advocate, helping you navigate the complexities of the legal system. They will investigate the incident thoroughly, gathering evidence to support your case. When negotiating with insurance companies, they’ll ensure you receive fair compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages arising from the incident. With their experience, a lawyer can provide valuable guidance, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.

By consulting with a lawyer who focuses on personal injury cases related to cycling accidents, you can gain peace of mind knowing that you have a dedicated advocate. Their experience will be beneficial as you navigate the complexities of the legal system, and they can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement.

In such situations, an experienced attorney can guide you through the legal complexities, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights. Don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel promptly to build a strong case and increase the likelihood of securing the compensation owed to you. Act today to protect your future.

Lauren Varner, Personal Injury Attorney

Lauren is a Personal Injury Attorney. She is Colorado native who became involved with the field of personal injury long before she became an attorney. Lauren’s professional philosophy centers around good old fashioned hard work, producing quality work product, and treating others professionally, with dignity and respect at all times.

Awards and as featured on

National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 Included in TOP 40 Under 40 by The National TRIAL Lawyers in Centennial CO Varner Faddis Top Lawyers Denver Badge – 5280 Magazine American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorney Top 40 Under 40 5280 Denver Top Lawyers