Davis is one of the friendliest bicycling cities in the U.S. where almost 25 percent of the residents ride to work on a bicycle. However, all this riding puts Davis cyclists at risk for injuries like those sustained in a dooring accident.
Dooring happens when an occupant of a car opens a car door into the path of an unsuspecting cyclist. These accidents can become serious and even cause death. Most of the victims end up going over the handle bars and then onto the street. Other times, the cyclist sees the door open and swerves into traffic to avoid the door only to be hit by a car.
Common Dooring Injuries
A cyclist is unprotected when he or she gets into a crash with an automobile. In a dooring, the impact with the door and then the pavement can cause serious injuries even when the victim is wearing a helmet. Some of the common dooring injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken wrists
- Broken ribs
- Organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Severe road rash
California Laws on Dooring
In an effort to protect cyclists, the California legislature passed a law that prohibits the opening of a door of a vehicle on the side of moving traffic unless it’s “reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of traffic.”
Although this prohibits the car occupant from opening their door into the path of a cyclist, it still happens. The violation brings a fine to the door opener, but often the cyclist is left with serious injuries. This leave the cyclist to sue the person responsible for injuring them.
Who Pays for Dooring Claims?
Most dooring accidents happen with the driver of the car being the at-fault door opener. When this happens, the driver’s insurance company will pay for the damages. However, if the door opener was a passenger in the car, then the driver’s auto insurance probably won’t be covering the damages.
Then the victim can either make a claim against the homeowner’s insurance of the passenger, if there is a policy. If not, the victim may be out of compensation sources.
Damages Claimed in Dooring Accident
The law allows the victim to be “make whole again” which is impossible on a practical level, but the court can award monetary damages, which include:
- Past medical bills and medical bills reasonably expected to be incurred in the future
- Past lost earnings and earnings reasonably expected to be lost in the future
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs in the event of a wrongful death
Contact Davis Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in a dooring accident, contact a Davis Bicycle Accident Attorney today. At the Bay Area Bicycle Law, we offer a free consultation where you can be advised of your rights and ask any questions you have about your case. We are the only law firm in northern California to deal exclusively in bicycle injury law, and we have experienced and knowledgeable attorney waiting for your call.
We know how difficult the driver’s insurance company can be, and we have the experience in getting injured cyclists the compensation they deserve under the law. Start putting someone on your side, call us at (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact us online. If you still wonder if we’re the right firm for you or even if you need an attorney, read this this for help answering these questions.