Sacramento Dooring Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Being “doored” is the worst fear of many bicyclists. This is a type of accident that occurs when a vehicle door is opened suddenly, and the cyclist crashes into it. These types of collisions have always happened far more frequently than they should, but they have become more common with the advent of ride-sharing companies, as passengers often do not check their surroundings before opening their doors. Dooring accidents can leave bike riders with catastrophic injuries, leading to immense medical bills, temporary or permanent disabilities, and missed time at work.
If you have been the victim of a dooring injury in Sacramento or the surrounding area, you have the right to file a claim for compensation for your losses. The experienced Sacramento bicycle accident attorneys of Tiemann Law Firm are dedicated to standing up for the rights of bicycle accident victims, and we will do everything in our power to pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call us now at (916) 999-9000 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Dooring Accident Liability in California
Unfortunately, many bicyclists blame themselves after being involved in a dooring accident. However, according to the California Vehicle Code, the fault lies with the driver or passenger who is opening the vehicle door. The law states that any person should open a vehicle door on the side that is available to moving traffic only if it is “reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of traffic.” The code also stipulates that a person may only leave a vehicle door open on this side for the necessary amount of time required to load or unload passengers.
This “dooring law” is very clear. If you have been involved in a dooring accident as a bicyclist, you are most likely not to blame. Generally, the person who opened the door or left the door open is at fault, and you deserve compensation for the injuries you have suffered.
Common Dooring Injuries
Dooring accidents can happen to even the safest cyclists. This is because it is impossible to predict the actions of other people, especially when they are hidden inside parked cars. Because bicycle riders do not have an enclosed vehicle to protect them, they are vulnerable to serious injuries when they crash into a door that another person has negligently opened. This can often lead to temporary or permanent disability for the injured person. Some of the most frequent injuries seen in dooring accidents include:
- When a cyclist crashes into a door, their head jerks forward and backward in a way that can cause serious damage to the vertebrae, nerves, muscles, and connective tissue in the neck.
- Severe Lacerations. A dooring accident can lead to road rash if the cyclist slides on the rough road after being thrown from the bike. It is also possible for elements of the door itself or shattered glass from the window to cause serious wounds to any part of the cyclist’s body.
- Fractured or Dislocated Bones. The impact of the crash can lead to bone fractures, particularly in the shoulders, arms, hands, legs, and ribs. Furthermore, as the cyclist attempts to break their fall, they may end up suffering dislocations in the shoulder or other joints.
- Internal Organ Damage. The blunt force trauma of colliding with an open car door at speed can lead to internal bleeding, and broken ribs can puncture and damage internal organs.
- Traumatic Brain Injury. Even if the cyclist is wearing a helmet, the collision can lead to a concussion. If the force is particularly strong, the injured person may suffer a fractured skull or even brain damage.
- Spinal Cord Injury. Colliding into a car door can cause serious damage to the spine and the spinal cord. In particularly serious instances, damage to the spinal cord may even lead to paralysis below the waist (paraplegia) or below the neck (quadriplegia).
What Should I Do if I Am Doored?
Unfortunately, California roads do not always have dedicated bicycle lanes. When they do, they are often unhelpfully in the dooring zone. That’s why it can be so difficult to avoid being doored. If it does happen to you, here are some important steps to take following a dooring accident:
- Check yourself for any obvious signs of injury.
- Ask for help if you require it.
- Ensure that the motorist does not leave the scene.
- Call the police or emergency medical services.
- Get contact information from any witnesses.
- Write down or take a photo of the license plate information if the motorist is not being cooperative.
- Request an accident report when the police arrive. Inform them that you have been doored.
- Get the police officer’s name and badge number.
- Go with EMS to the hospital if you have suffered any kind of injury.
Following the above steps will ensure that you receive the attention you need for your injuries and will also make it easier for you to file a claim for compensation.
Contact a Sacramento Bicycle Accident Attorney
California cyclists have the right to use their bicycles with the expectation that they’ll have the same free access to safe roadways as other road users. When a driver does not respect a cyclist, serious injury can occur.
If you have been injured in a dooring accident, you have the right to file a claim for compensation. The financial award you receive can go toward paying your medical bills, compensating you for lost wages due to missed time at work, and even addressing the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have endured because of the traumatic accident you have had.
The experienced Sacramento bicycle accident attorneys of Tiemann Law Firm are here to help. We will do everything we can to make sure that the negligent party is held accountable for their actions. Contact us today by calling (916) 999-9000 or by filling out our online form, and we will let you know what your legal options are. The initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose.