Bicycle Dooring Accidents
When a cyclist is “doored,” it means that a driver or passenger in a parked car opened his or her car door into the path of the cyclist. The cyclist often does not have time to stop in these situations and ends up crashing into the open door. These accidents are serious, and can leave accident victims with severe injuries. These accidents have always been a problem in California, but they have increased in recent years with the rise in popularity of ride-sharing programs such as Uber and Lyft. These vehicles are difficult to identify, yet they are often pulled over, dropping passengers off and picking them up.
If you have been in a bicycle dooring accident, you may be entitled to compensation. A California bicycle accident attorney can help you get it.California Laws on Dooring
According to California Vehicle Code 22517, dooring is illegal in California. This section of code states that no one in a vehicle to the side of traffic shall open the door of their vehicle unless they have made sure it is safe to do so.
Like all traffic violations, when a driver or passenger breaks this law and a cyclist becomes hurt, it is easier to prove that he or she was negligent. Negligence is the concept upon which personal injury cases rest. If you can prove it, your case has a much better chance of success.Dooring Accidents and Insurance Issues
California is an at-fault state for auto accidents. This means if you have been injured in a dooring accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance is liable for paying compensation. If a passenger was at fault for the dooring accident, the driver’s insurance is still liable for paying compensation.
Unfortunately, this compensation is limited to the policy’s insurance limits. Most drivers in California only purchase the minimum amount of personal injury protection, and some do not purchase any at all. When this is the case, it leaves bicycle accident victims in a bad position. For this reason, all cyclists should carry their own underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage that can help make up the balance of compensation needed.Preventing Dooring Accidents
Even though dooring accidents have increased in California lately, drivers still are not understanding the danger. Too many drivers continue to open their door without looking, regardless of how close they are to traffic or a bicycle lane.
For this reason, it is even more important that cyclists always remain extra-vigilant, particularly around stopped or parked cars. Avoid the “door zone,” which is the four-foot area around a parked car, and travel slowly around vehicles that are stopped.Hurt in a Dooring Accident? Call a California Bicycle Accident Attorney
Dooring accidents are not only on the rise in California, they also cause very serious injuries. Accident victims may be entitled to compensation to help with the financial burden of those injuries, but they will need an experienced Oakland bicycle accident attorney that can help them claim it.
If you have been injured, call our experienced legal team at Willoughby Brod, LLP. We know how to hold insurance parties and at-fault drivers liable for paying the compensation you need. We review your case at no charge so call us at (800) 427-7020 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.