Oakland bicyclists may feel that the only thing worse than a distracted driver is a distracted “parker.” Distracted drivers are moving through Oakland at all hours and present a true danger to the cyclists they share the lanes with. Yet another hazard for a rider to beware of is when people park and hop out of their cars causing something called a “dooring accident.”
Dooring Threats from Parked Cars
Dooring accidents occur when a person in a parked vehicle pops open a door in front of a bicyclist.
As is the usual case, the occupants of the car are careless, forgetting to look properly before getting out. They may think no one is coming and try to hop out of their car just as a bicyclist approaches. They can end up sending the rider into a devastating impact. Either the rider slams into the door and gets thrown over it or the rider tries to swerve to miss it, possibly sending them into moving traffic.
A rider can wind up with severe injuries and unable to get back on a bike for a long time. During the recovery, victims will likely wonder who can be held responsible for the pain and financial loss after this unfortunate accident. A local attorney with Bay Area Bicycle Law focused on helping Oakland bicycle accident victims can assist you in filing a claim against an insurance company and help get you back on your feet.
Dooring Accident Numbers and Finding Help
The threat of dooring accidents around Oakland can be overlooked by many. These accidents can lead to severe injuries but statistics kept on bicycle collisions generally don’t distinguish when an impact involved dooring.
An article from WeLoveCycling demonstrated just what kind of threat dooring can be. They looked at one year when Chicago kept track of dooring collisions. Dooring registered as being involved in 20% of bicycle accidents in the city. The website article also includes a breathtaking video of a stuntman showing what happens in a dooring collision. It’s not for the faint of heart.
With speed and the element of surprise, these accidents can be devastating. A cyclist can collide with the door and the ground and be left with a long, expensive recovery. The ability to get back on a bike could be months away. In these situations, an injured cyclist will need help paying for medical bills and covering lost wages, and the at-fault person who carelessly opened the door should be held responsible.
Some of the damages that are commonly covered in a bicycle accident lawsuit are:
- Medical Bills (Past and Future) for procedures like surgeries and skin grafts.
- Rehabilitation and Medical Equipment (Past and Future).
- Damage to Bicycle or Replacement.
- Travel Costs.
- Missed time from work and future loss of income.
- Permanent Disability.
- Permanent Disfigurement.
- Pain and Suffering.
- Counseling and psychological services.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bicycle Accidents
What if I was partially at fault in my Bicycle Accident?
You can still file a personal injury claim even if you were partially at fault.
California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means the driver and passengers in a car and the rider can share the blame in an accident. They can be assigned a percentage of the fault.
For example, a bicyclist may be found to be 20% at fault for an accident, but a driver might be found to be 80% responsible. In that case, a cyclist could still get compensation for injuries and other losses, but the 20% blame he or she shared would be deducted from the final award.
How long do I have to file a Bicycle Accident Claim in Oakland?
Victims in California generally have up to two years to file a claim after an accident. We recommend that victims file as soon as possible though. The more time that passes after an accident, the harder it’ll be to gather evidence, collect documents, and contact any witnesses to build a solid case. A local bicycle accident attorney can help you with these details.
Can I file a Bicycle Accident Claim if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
You can still file for damages in a bicycle accident even if you weren’t wearing a helmet. The concept of comparative negligence would come into play here too. You might be assigned part of the blame for your injuries if you rode without a helmet, but the driver involved could also take a percentage of the blame for careless driving. You could be awarded damages, with your percentage of the blame subtracted from the final total
Contact an Oakland Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in Oakland or anywhere in the Bay Area you need to focus on your recovery and working towards that day when you can get back on your bike again. Let a local bicycle accident attorney fight on your side and file a claim to get compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial losses.
At Bay Area Bicycle Law, we concentrate our practice solely on bicyclists who have been injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of others. We’re dedicated and effective Oakland bicycle accident lawyers. If you were injured in a bicycle accident around the Bay Area or anywhere else in Northern California, contact us right away for a confidential free consultation and case review.