When someone’s car door causes your bike accident, you can demand monetary compensation. We can help!
Getting doored is a cyclist’s nightmare. One moment you’re riding your bike along a California street and the next moment a car door slams into you and you’re skidding across the rough pavement.
Car door bicycle accidents can cause severe, life-altering injuries for cyclists. You’ll be lucky to survive a dooring accident that knocks you into traffic. And you’ll probably be left wondering how to hold the other person responsible for hurting you!
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we see the devastating results of bicycle dooring accidents all too frequently. Many of us are cyclists as well as lawyers, so our hearts really go out to people who get doored in traffic.
Here in California, injured cyclists have the right to pursue compensation from motorists who hurt them. You can get your bills paid, get your bike fixed, and move forward from the crash. We can offer you a free bicycle accident case evaluation now.
How Do Car Door Bicycle Accidents Happen?
Bicycle dooring accidents tend to happen when a motorist, an Uber driver, a truck driver, or another vehicle is parked or idling at the side of a street. The driver or passenger opens their door into traffic without looking to see if anyone is coming up behind them.
If a bicycle is traveling toward the vehicle, the cyclist may have no time to react before the door opens in front of them. A motorist’s carelessness results in a cyclist being severely injured. The door itself can cause severe injuries or the cyclist can be flung into traffic and run over by passing traffic.
Even worse, motorists often blame cyclists for these accidents! They say, “Why weren’t you on a bike path?” or “You should use the sidewalk!” But cyclists’ rights to share the road are well documented in California.
Do Cyclists Win Compensation for Getting Doored?
If you’re wondering whether it’s worthwhile to start an accident claim over a dooring injury, we have good news for you. Cyclists frequently win high-dollar awards against motorists who hit them with doors in traffic.
For example, we helped a San Francisco cyclist secure $85,000 after being doored by a taxi driver. The insurance company tried to lowball the cyclist with a $15,000 offer, but we stepped in to demand the much higher compensation our client deserved.
This is just one example. In some cases, clients win upwards of $200,000 or more depending on the extent of their injuries and other losses like property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Common Injuries From Car Door Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle dooring accident injuries can range from minor bruising to severe injuries and permanent disabilities. Here are some of the most common we see at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers:
- Soft tissue injuries like bumps and bruises
- Torn muscles and ligaments
- Knee injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Road rash
- Back and spinal injuries
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Chest and ribcage impact injuries
- Broken bones
- Loss of feeling in the limbs
- Limited range of motion
- Problems with balance
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
- Emotional injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Can I Win a Car Door Accident Claim if I Share the Blame?
Are you being blamed for the accident? Does the police report assign you some of the responsibility or were you cited for a violation? That’s okay!
Our clients are sometimes worried about starting an accident claim because they might be partially at fault. But that shouldn’t stop you. Here in California, each person’s level of fault for an accident is assigned as a percentage using the comparative negligence rule.
In your car door bicycle accident, the motorist could be 100% responsible and you may have none of the blame. Or the motorist might be 50% to blame and so are you or any other percentages. But as long as you’re not totally at fault, you can successfully recover compensation.
The fault is established in personal injury cases through evidence. Each person’s amount of fault will be based on things like the police report, witness testimony, expert analysis, skid mark evidence, video footage, and more. Working with your lawyer, you’ll present all of this evidence to the court or insurance company.
To win your claim, you’ll need to provide overwhelming evidence of the other person’s level of fault plus documentation that shows your costs. Compensable costs in a bicycle dooring case typically include bike repairs, medical bills, lost days of work, and pain and suffering.
What Factors Matter in My Car Door Bike Accident?
Lawyers, insurance companies, judges, and juries look at many factors when evaluating a car door bicycle accident. Here are some of the factors that are likely to be considered.
- Relevant California bicycle laws
- Where and when the crash occurred
- The weather and road conditions
- Witness accounts
- Expert witness testimony
- How each person was positioned in the crash
- Damage to vehicles and bicycles
- Drunk, drugged, or distracted driving
- Video footage
- Police reports
Gather as much evidence as possible after your dooring accident! The more evidence you can gather to support your side, the stronger your case will be.
Your Next Steps After a Bicycle Dooring Accident
What you do in the hours and days after the crash is important. Get medical attention immediately after the crash, then carefully consider your next steps. We strongly advise you to work with a bicycle accident lawyer to ensure you don’t make any missteps that could harm your case.
It’s vital to preserve any evidence you may have, like debris from the accident and your damaged bike. In particular, focus on collecting evidence that matches the details listed in the police report because this will strengthen your case significantly.
Take photos and videos of your injuries, including any cuts, bruises, deformities, or scarring. Continue to document these injuries as you receive treatment and begin to heal from your dooring accident. Also, photograph your medical gear like crutches, casts, slings, and canes.
All possible paperwork must be preserved and presented during your case. Save all of your relevant medical records and keep track of your medical costs. This is a huge part of determining the value of your claim, even if most of your costs are covered by your health insurance.
Track your out-of-pocket costs too, like bus fares, Uber rides, and copays. These costs can add up, so it’s worth adding all costs to your case and seeking full and fair reimbursement.
Next, open a claim with the motorist’s insurance company working closely with your lawyer. Don’t share your personal information, like your social security number, or provide a recorded statement until you speak to your lawyer first.
Also, this is important: Don’t talk about your accident on social media. You may want to disable your social media accounts for a while to prevent the other side from gathering information they can twist and use against you.
Act Fast After Your Car Door Bicycle Accident
The state of California assigns a time limit for accident claims involving personal injuries. This is known as the statute of limitations. It’s usually within two years of the date of the accident, but sometimes this period shortens if you’re dealing with a government entity, for example.
Don’t wait too long. As time passes, memories fade and valuable evidence can be lost forever. Talk to an accident lawyer as soon as possible to start building a strong case for compensation.
You Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer ASAP!
It’s not a good idea to try to handle a car door bicycle accident yourself, without a lawyer. The motorist might be trying to blame you, putting pressure on you to drop the case or accept a lowball offer from the insurance company. You need a lawyer on your side.
Plus, handling it alone can be extremely stressful and takes your focus away from your health and healing from the trauma of the accident. Now’s your time to rest and recover.
Here’s something else to consider. Insurance companies tend to give minimal offers to people who don’t have lawyers. They’ll assume they can bully you into taking a basic payout, plus they’ll know you’re spending zero dollars on legal representation and will think you’ll accept a fast, small payment.
Your lawyer also serves in the role of maximizing your compensation. You deserve more than the basic cost of your medical bills. What about your mental health counseling? Your lost days of work? The value of your beloved bike?
Don’t make the mistake of undervaluing your pain and suffering either. Your suffering should never be undervalued by an insurance company that’s pressing you for a quick settlement. Place the proper value on your pain and suffering with help from your lawyer.
As you decide what to do next, remember that at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we don’t take our fee until the conclusion of your case. Our goal is to help you cover the costs of your dooring accident and still have money in your pocket.
We’re cyclists ourselves, too! We have the greatest sympathy for your situation. Contact us now for a free and confidential consultation that’s also compassionate for your position as an injured cyclist. You have rights and we’ll help you protect yourself!
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Life
After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including car door bike accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about California’s injured people. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation or call 877-380-8852.