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The Dangers of Dooring Accidents

By Dallas Personal Injury Attorney on December 26, 2020

When riding a bike or a motorcycle, most bikers know to keep their eyes open for nearby traffic. After all, cars are much larger, heavier, and more powerful than bikes, which means most any collision will result in the cyclist getting injured. However, one danger that many forget is dooring. Dooring is a serious problem, one that many car drivers and passengers are completely unaware of. So let’s all be a little safer with this knowledge. And if you were injured in a dooring accident, here’s what you should know about filing a personal injury claim.

How Dooring Accident Happen

Many streets in Dallas have bike lanes, or small sections of road next to the curb that are meant specifically for those on bicycles. However, these bike lanes are often blocked by parked cars. This can force cyclists to go around the car, but they often stick as close to the side of the road as possible in order to avoid traffic. If the driver of the parked car, or one of the passengers, then decides to open his door without checking for any nearby cyclists, there is a chance the bicycle rider will hit the now-open door at full speed. This is called a dooring accident.

These accidents are almost always the fault of the person who opened the door, as he should have checked the road for any oncoming traffic before opening his door. Door can extend several feet into a road, putting anyone coming down that road at risk. If the door swings open suddenly, those traveling near the curb will not have the opportunity to stop or swerve out of the way, guaranteeing an accident. Sadly, doorings often lead to severe injuries, and not all victims of dooring accidents are equal.

Who Is Most at Risk?

When a door suddenly flies open in the road, anyone could hit it. That includes people in cars or trucks. However, when a car or truck hits an open door, often the worst thing that happens is some minor dents to the front of the vehicle. Often, those inside the vehicle are completely unharmed. The same cannot be said for people on bikes or motorcycles.

Motorcycle operators and bicycle riders are the most at risk when it comes to dooring accidents. That is because riders are completely exposed. They don’t have metal walls, crumple zones, airbags or seatbelts to protect them. When someone on a bike or motorcycle hits a car door, there are no restraints to keep them from flying forward, slamming into the pavement below. There is also nothing protecting them from the force of the impact with the door, which can cause serious damage to their face, torso, hands, and arms.

When a Door Becomes Dangerous

When someone on a two-wheeler slams into an open door, most of the force from the impact is going to go back into their body. This means that their body will be put under incredible stress, causing severe injuries. The human body can only take so much force before becoming catastrophically injured. Common dooring damage includes:

  • Broken bones
  • Road rash
  • Skull fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Deep lacerations
  • Eye damage
  • Severe bruising
  • Internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Organ damage

While dooring accidents may seem minor on the surface, and are even framed as comedic in many movies and TV shows, the truth is that they can cause debilitating injuries that last a lifetime. The door of a car is made from hard metal and plastic, and is built to stay attached to the car, even when hit by objects at high force. This means that the bike rider and motorcycle operator will always be the ones who lose during a dooring accident.

Even more alarming, the force of the impact can fling the cyclist forward or to the side, onto the road. If he is flung far enough, he could end up in the way of oncoming traffic. Drivers may not have enough time to slow down or swerve, leading them to hit the already-injured rider. This can lead to further injury, or even death.

Finding the Party Responsible

If you have been injured in a dooring accident, you should keep in mind that the person who opened the door is almost always the liable party. Drivers and passengers have a duty of care toward those on the road, and that includes checking to make sure there is no one nearby before opening a door. If someone neglects to check, then he is at fault for any ensuing accident and damages, even if he or his insurance provider try to argue otherwise.

Of course, cyclists and bikers often have a bad reputation for being reckless, not following traffic laws. This means that blame will be pinned on you, rather than the person who opened the door. Keep in mind that insurance companies want to pay you as little in compensation as possible, so it benefits them to place the blame on you, instead of their client. However, you are under no obligation to accept such a ridiculous narrative. In fact, your response should be to work with an experienced personal injury attorney at The Lenahan Law Firm who can fight for your right to compensation. To further discuss the value of your case, call our team at (214) 295-1008 today.

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