Representation for Bicyclists Injured in Dooring Accidents
Seattle has taken big steps towards becoming the most bicycle friendly city in the United States. And no wonder – with our congested roadways, bicycles can maneuver around traffic in a third of the time. Not to mention that bicycles are cost-effective and great exercise for cyclists. But cycling roadways with motorists has its downsides, too. Most particularly, cyclists riding in traffic lanes next to parked vehicles take their lives in their hands. Why? Because inattentive motorists stop, park their vehicles, and swing their car doors open and hit the cyclist head-on! This is known as a “dooring accident.” In fact, dooring accidents are “head-on collisions.” Cyclists are knocked unconscious, falling into the path of other motorists, and helpless to defend themselves.
Have you or someone you love suffered injuries in a dooring accident? Let Premier Law Group help!
Our attorneys have firsthand knowledge and experience with the devastating personal injuries and fatalities caused by dooring accidents. Head and brain injuries take a very long time to heal. Many cyclists go into a coma, or are put into a coma, to cope with brain bleeding and swelling.
It can take months before medical professionals can figure out the full extent of the dooring accident injuries. Suffice it to say, dooring accident injuries are life-changing. Meanwhile, insurance claims agents are pressuring victims to sign off on claims!
Determining fault in dooring accidents is the first thing our attorneys pursue. We do thorough accident investigation, collecting evidence and eyewitness reports. Let us do the due diligence and deal with insurance claims adjustors. We negotiate for you, while you focus on regaining your life. That’s all we do!
Call Premier Law Group today at 206.285.1743 for a FREE Consultation!
What is “Dooring?”
“Dooring” occurs when a motorist or passenger swings a door open, directly in the path of the cyclist. This includes drivers and passengers exiting private and commercial vehicles, taxis, and rideshare vehicles like Ubers.
In truth, people are inattentive. They are intent on getting where they are going and do not look out for bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vehicles passing by. Motorists swing the door open into the driving lane, hit cyclists head-on, knock them into adjacent lanes, and worse.
In fact, doorings are the most common and serious injury accident for cyclists worldwide. Dooring accidents have forced governments to write laws about the proper way to exit a vehicle adjacent to moving traffic.
In fact, Washington State has a very clear law that spells this out. It is as follows:
RCW 46.61.620 – “No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side adjacent to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic…”
The “Door Zone”
The “door zone” is the space where the door swings out when fully opened. The width varies depending on the size of the vehicle. It’s approximately 3 to 5 feet wide. Bicyclists are 1.5 feet wide.
This means that ALL vehicle doors are wider than the width of a cyclist on a bike. Any motorists who opens a vehicle door without looking is negligent and breaking the law. They are responsible for all injuries and damages that result from their negligence.
“Dooring” and Liability
Dooring accidents are caused by the person opening the door and hitting the cyclist. But that will not stop an insurance adjuster from arguing that the cyclist should have braked to avoid the door. Thereby, placing blame on the accident victim for their injuries and damages.
It’s the insurance adjuster’s job to prevent claim payouts. In truth, dooring accident negligence can be difficult to prove. That’s why Washington State has “comparative negligence” laws. At times, cyclists are found partially at fault for the dooring accident.
Therefore, both the cyclist and the motorist are found “at fault.” Even so, the person who hit you with their door still has responsibility for causing the dooring accident. You have medical bills, lost work, and other damages. And you deserve compensation for your injuries and damages.
Never allow a claims adjustor to bully you or make you believe that the dooring accident was totally your fault. And never accept the first settlement offer the adjustor makes. Give yourself time to recover, for the full extent of your injuries to be determined by medical people. Most importantly, talk over your accident with a trusted personal injury attorney.
The Dangers of Dooring Accidents
Cyclists run the greatest risk of suffering devastating life-changing injuries and damages in dooring accidents. After all, there are no seatbelts, protective walls, airbags, or vehicle crumple zones to protect them. And bikes are smaller, quieter, and hard for motorists to see.
Consequently, any collision between a cyclist and a fixed object like an open car door never ends well for the cyclist. Some of the injuries that dooring accidents cause include:
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Spine injuries
- Severe Road Rash
- Skull fractures
- Loss of limbs
- Loss of life
Even if the dooring accident is not fatal, the injuries take a long time to heal and change the victim forever. For example, severe road rash alone requires multiple surgeries and skin grafts. It can take years for cyclists to regain their health and lives.
Brain injuries are particularly devastating and life-changing. Cyclists can end up with permanent disabilities that leave the victim bound to a wheelchair.
All these physical injuries are dangerous, and the medical treatments come with high price tags. No one deserves to be left swimming in medical debt. The motorist who couldn’t be bothered to look before opening their door is responsible for your injuries. The motorist owes you compensation.
Compensation For Dooring Accident Victims
Cyclists have the same rights and privileges as all other vehicle operators. If you’re in a dooring accident, you have the right to recover any costs caused by the dooring accident.
The kinds of settlement monies you are entitled to include:
- All Current and Future Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages and Any Reduced Earning Capacity
- Property Damages
- Pain and Suffering and Emotional Trauma
- And Any Other Losses Directly Related to the Dooring Accident
Definitely get in touch with a personal injury law attorney. The sooner the better, so the full extent of the accident can be investigated. It’s the accident “evidence” that forms the basis for filing claims for compensation. Because all you want to do is move forward on the road to full recovery.
I’ve Been “Doored” in Seattle – Now What?
Here’s a plan of action for you to follow. It goes like this:
- First, Call the Police! The police are your primary witness for determining fault in this accident. The vehicle owner may beg and plead for no police report. Do not go along. You need the police there to determine fault and negligence in the accident.
- Second, Get Medical Care Immediately! You can have a concussion, internal bleeding, organ damage, or broken bones. You need a full medical exam so the at-fault party’s insurance company cannot question your accident injuries.
- Third, Collect Accident Scene Evidence and Eyewitness Details! Photos, videos, eyewitness statements, and contact info from anyone at the accident scene. If you are too injured, the police report should have much of this detail.
- Do Not Make Social Media Posts About the Accident – unless you need eyewitnesses to step forward with what they witnessed. Insurance adjustors scour social media for victims’ accounts of these accidents. They will use your statements to deny your claims, wherever possible.
- Finally, Contact a Personal Injury Attorney! Choose a law firm with a long history of representing bicyclists. Better yet, look for attorneys who specialize in all kinds and types of personal injury law cases. These will be the people who can best help you build your case and get the best compensation.
Why Choose Premier Law Group To Handle My Case?
As your “difference maker,” you always work with YOUR ATTORNEY — not just a paralegal. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions, and help you build your case. Our attorneys know how to collect all the dooring accident evidence and build your claim.
Building a strong claim requires the following:
- Police Reports
- Eyewitness Reports
- Motorist Accident Records
- Medical experts reports and full details about your injuries
From this fact-finding, your attorney builds your case and files claims for compensation. We negotiate FOR YOU and your loved ones.
Don’t sign off on an insurance claim until you talk with us. Focus on healing, and let your lawyer collect evidence and handle the claim details.
Contact a Dedicated Seattle Dooring Accident Attorney!
You always work directly with an attorney and we are available to you 24/7.
Call 206.285.1743 Today!