Austin Bicycle Dooring Accident Lawyers
A bicycle rider can suffer serious injuries or death when involved in a “dooring” accident with a vehicle parked in the roadway or parking lot. Dooring accidents occur when a vehicle occupant opens their door into the pathway of an approaching bicycle. In many situations, the bicyclist is flung over the door, suffering serious injuries to their body. In nearly every case, a car door accident is caused by a negligent driver or passenger distracted, inattentive, or not watching the roadway when exiting.
Common Dooring Scenario Where Cyclists Get Hurt
Failing to take notice of an approaching bicyclist before opening the vehicle door can cause severe incidences over and above just hitting the biker. These incidents can include:
- The bike rider might swerve to avoid hitting the door and instead ride the
bicycle into traffic, another vehicle, or an obstacle.
- The bike rider might fall from their bicycle to avoid striking the car door and
- hit the road, gravel, or asphalt at a speed that causes serious injury.
- The bicyclist might be hurled over the car door landing on the pavement only to be struck by other vehicles sharing the road.
Motorists Taking Preventative Measures to Avoid Dooring Cyclists
While driving defensively has saved many motorists’ lives, it is also good advice for bicyclists. By taking preventative defensive actions, the cyclist can avoid hitting a vehicle door that opened suddenly in their pathway. In addition, the biker can continuously scan the area while riding to be alerted of any vehicle recently parked or any other visual cue that might signal an individual is exiting their vehicle. Maintaining a safe distance from the “door zone” is also advisable by traveling three to four feet away from parallel parked vehicles or cars stopped along the curb.
When alone on the roadway alongside parked vehicles, the possibility of a dooring accident increases because occupants in the car are unsuspecting of an approaching bicycle. Installing a bike rear view mirror is an effective preventive solution that provides instant data on approaching cars if the biker must swerve out of the way to avoid the opening door. Because parked vehicles make bike lanes significantly more dangerous, installing a rearview mirror provides a practical safety advantage that allows the bike rider to keep their eyes on every potential hazard while maneuvering to avoid impact with an open door.
Serious Injuries Facing Bikers Who Get Doored
When a bicyclist hits the car door, flips over, and lands on the hard pavement, they can potentially suffer serious injury to their face, head, shoulders, hands, pelvis, knees, or back. Often, the victim suffers severe “road rash” where the skin is torn away from the body by moving across the hard road surface.
Austin bike injury lawyers filing claims and lawsuits notice recurring accident themes where cases involve serious injuries that include:
- Skull and brain injuries
- Neurological damage and excruciating impulses on pain receptors
- Internal bleeding
- Friction burns
- Physical deformities and severe permanent scarring
- Critical spine injury, including paraplegia, tetraplegia and quadriplegia
Car Driver Liability For Injuring a Cyclist When Opening the Door
When a bike rider suffers serious injury or death caused by an open door, the motorist or passenger might be legally liable under state traffic laws. Whether the accident was caused by negligence or distraction of the vehicle’s occupants, it violates unambiguous laws making the motorist legally liable. However, injured bike riders are burdened to prove how an occupant in the vehicle directly caused the accident. Because of that, victims will often hire personal injury attorneys specializing in car-dooring accidents.
Hiring an Austin Bicycle Accident Lawyer to Prosecute a Bike Dooring Injury
Obtaining legal representation is essential if you, or a loved one, have suffered severe injuries in a vehicle dooring accident. Law Office of Joel A. Levine handles these cases on contingency and provides a complimentary initial consultation to discuss your compensation claim. Our team of Austin bike injury lawyers will provide answers to every question to ensure you have the information, clarity, and reassurance you need.
Our Austin Bicycle Accident Lawyers are well-versed in Texas bicycle accident law and local Austin bicycle ordinances, regulations, rules, and policies. Our years of experience in handling complex tort cases involving negligence, along with our comprehensive understanding of civil procedure and access to legal resources, have allowed us to litigate bicycle accident cases throughout Central Texas successfully.