ClickCease Bicyclist Accidents Caused By Car Door

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Car Door Bike Riding Accident


Car Door Bicyclist Accident Information to Know

Riding a bike in the city can be haphazardous, especially in California where bicyclists are permitted to only ride in the street with other vehicles, and not on the sidewalk. There is always a chance of getting into an accident, and one unique form of accident for bicyclists includes getting a car door opened on them, also known as getting doored. Below, our expert team of bike accident injury attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers break down the legal implications of getting doored and what bicyclists should do in case of this type of accident.

Getting Doored


Getting doored while riding a bike can happen suddenly, oftentimes when it is too late for cyclists to come to a stop in time to avoid the collision. Since bike riders must ride one the road, in the bike lane, or to the most right hand side-of the lane, they ride right next to vehicles parked on the side of the curb. When drivers and passengers exit from the left-hand side of the vehicle without first checking to see if they are clear, they could accidentally open the door on an unsuspecting cyclist, which can cause severe injuries to them. A bicyclist who is doored can be injured by either slamming into the door or hit by another vehicle when they try to swerve out of the way to avoid colliding with the door.

Liability


California is a fault state, meaning that somebody must be found responsible for causing an accident. California is also a comparative liability state, meaning that more than one person involved in causing the accident can be held liable for the damages caused. The level of liability that each party is found guilty of depends on the level of negligence that each party engaged in that caused the accident. Negligence occurs when someone breaches their duty of care, also known as their responsibility to conduct themselves in a lawful and careful way to protect others as well as themselves.

Everyone owes one another a duty of care while on the road, including cyclists and drivers. Cyclists should do their part by riding correctly on the road, and drivers who park curbside on the road should always check for bicyclists coming up behind them before they or their passengers exit the vehicle. In bicyclist-doored accidents, more often than not, the person who opened the door on the bicyclists will be found at fault for causing the accident, not the bicyclist. This is because the driver has a greater duty of care and should always check out the road for upcoming traffic before they decide to open their door. Opening the door before checking for oncoming traffic is negligent on their part. Bicyclists can also keep a lookout for people in their vehicles, anticipating their exit, however this is much harder to do for a bicyclist who needs to be focused on the road.

What to Do When Someone Gets Doored


When someone gets doored, it can be an emotional scene. However, there’s no need to panic, but there is a need to take the following steps quickly. 

  • Call or have someone call the police for emergency assistance. Call 911 to get police on site to the scene of the accident as soon as possible and request an ambulance as well, if needed. When the police arrive on site, they should create an official police report. Be sure to get the information of the officer who makes the report. If there are severe injuries, be sure that the cyclist gets immediate medical attention.
  • Get the contact information and insurance information of the driver. Do not allow the driver of the vehicle to leave the scene of the accident. They must wait for police to arrive at the scene to create the official accident report. They must provide their contact and insurance information as a part of the police report, but it is also important that the cyclist have this information first-hand themself as well. 
  • Get as much evidence as possible. Attain all the evidence you can at the site of the scene, especially through the use of photo and video. It is imperative to get footage of injuries, the vehicle (with the make and plates), the bicycle, location of the scene, witness testimony, and whatever else you can get in the moment. 
  • Get an attorney to help you navigate the building of your case to make an insurance claim. An experienced bike accident attorney can help the bicyclist navigate the process of filing an insurance claim and getting the medical attention that they need. They can help build the case for the claim, make sure that medical bills and property damages are covered, and negotiate with the insurance companies to ensure that the bicyclist gets the highest amount of compensation possible. They can also represent the bicyclist in court in the case that a lawsuit needs to be filed.

Need a Bike Accident Injury Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help


Get the compensation that you deserve! Our experienced team of bike accident injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you cover the property damage experienced to your vehicle, cover medical bills as they come in, and receive compensation for all of your losses. Call us today at 888 341 9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate expert personal injury legal team.

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