Dooring is a term that refers to the act of opening the door of a motor vehicle into the path of any other road user. This usually occurs when a vehicle has parked or stopped, and a driver or passenger exits the vehicle. Dooring most commonly results in bicycle accidents, and any person who suffers injuries in a dooring accident will want to contact a San Francisco personal injury lawyer.
California actually has a law designed to prevent dooring, as California Vehicle Code § 22517 establishes that a person cannot open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and be done without interfering with the movement of traffic. Nor can any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
The San Francisco 2012-2015 Collisions Report found that 203 of 1,235 collisions in the city, or 16 percent, involved people opening doors into moving traffic. Dooring is exceptionally common in urban areas such as San Francisco.
Dooring Accident Injuries
Dooring accidents may be complicated because it is not always immediately clear which party was at fault for an accident. This often means an investigation needs to be performed to determine who breached a duty of care, which is why it becomes so important for people to contact a personal injury attorney.
Factors that are usually taken into account following a bike crashing into a car door will include whether a driver was parked legally, whether the driver properly looked for oncoming cyclists before opening their car door, whether a person exiting the car was distracted, whether a bicyclist was riding lawfully at the time of the crash, whether the bike was equipped with required gear, and whether the bicyclist was riding the bike in an unsafe manner. Bicyclists should know that insurance companies for vehicle drivers in these cases will frequently argue that the bicyclist was the at-fault party.
When you are involved in any kind of dooring crash, you will want to first call the police and request a copy of the accident report, get the driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information, and perhaps most importantly, seek medical care. You should also try to gather any evidence you can at the scene of the accident, such as the names of witnesses and photographs of where the vehicle was parked.
Bicyclists can suffer many kinds of serious injuries in these crashes. You could be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages or reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, property damage costs, and any other losses related to the bike accident. Bicycle injuries could include:
- Road rash
- Head and face injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal organ injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
In the most serious cases, dooring accidents are fatal. In such situations, a family can pursue a wrongful death claim.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer
Have you suffered severe injuries in any kind of dooring accident in the greater San Francisco area? Make sure you are quick to contact The Cartwright Law Firm for complete assistance in holding the negligent party accountable and recovering all of the possible damages you need and deserve.
Our firm serves communities all over Northern California. Call (415) 433-0444 or contact us online to receive a free case review so we can sit down with you and answer every legal question you might have.