Dooring occurs when a motorcyclist rides between cars (lane splitting) or near parked cars, and someone opens their car door directly into the path of the motorcycle. Most motorcycle dooring accidents happen when motorists are lane-splitting.
Dooring can severely injure a motorcyclist when an inattentive driver or passenger opens their door.
Call our motorcycle accident attorney today for a free evaluation if you or someone you love has been injured because of a dooring accident.
What Happens When a Motorcyclist is Doored?
Often, the motorcyclist doesn’t have time to avoid hitting the door, as it typically happens right as they approach the car.
Some factors that lead to dooring include:
- Speed: How fast a motorcycle goes plays a big part in how nasty the dooring collision will be. Speed contributes to 40% of all dooring crashes
- Traffic: Since doors are rarely opened while the car is moving, the likelihood of dooring increases when traffic has stalled, or a vehicle is parked
- Inebriation: Being inebriated is a factor for both the driver opening the car door and the motorcyclist who needs to react quickly
- Negligence: Being distracted can quickly lead to dooring when the motorcycle driver isn’t paying attention to opening doors
- Road rage: There are cases where an angry driver intentionally opens their door in front of an oncoming motorcycle
- Failing to check mirrors: Side and rear mirrors exist to help car occupants view the street before getting out. Failure to check mirrors is a common reason dooring happens
- Not being careful in bad weather: It can be challenging to see a smaller object like a motorcycle in the rain, snow, fog, or ice
- Talking on the phone: Talking or texting while absently opening the door can result in a collision
- Failure to look for road hazards: Things like potholes, trash, and more can cause a motorcyclist to swerve out of the way and directly into an opening door
- Failing to look: Drivers or passengers neglect to check behind the car before opening their door or may only be looking for cars and trucks and not motorcycles
- Illegally parked cars: If a vehicle is parked illegally in an active traffic lane or a driveway as the driver dashes in and out, many times they forget to check for oncoming motorists before getting out of their car
- Opening the wrong door: Drivers or passengers should not open a door in the lane available to moving traffic unless they have checked that it is safe to do so without hindering traffic movement. No door should be left open on that side of the vehicle for longer than it takes to load or unload passengers
Common Injuries From Dooring
When a motorcyclist is in a dooring accident, they generally never have a lot of time to react suddenly or reduce their speed. This often means that the motorcycle stops abruptly, and the rider is thrown over the handlebars or front shield of the bike.
Some common dooring injuries include:
- Blunt force trauma
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Head and brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
Who Is Responsible?
In Georgia, the most negligent party must take responsibility for paying for the damage they caused. If another party is also at fault, that party must cover their share of the fault. If the motorist is less than 50% responsible, they may recover against another responsible party for their injuries. However, if they were more than 50% responsible, they cannot recover anything.
Contact an Atlanta Dooring Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been hit while riding a motorcycle, you should take as many pictures as possible to prove that you were driving responsibly. Once you have seen medical professional take care of any injuries, you should immediately contact a lawyer who understands motorcycle laws and is skilled in going against insurance companies.
We will work hard to get you the financial compensation for mounting medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, or future economic or medical needs. If a wrongful death has occurred, we will fight to obtain justice through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Most motorcycle dooring accidents happen because the driver failed to see a motorcycle approaching. It is a sad fact that insurance adjusters will try to offset the blame to save their company money.
While the person who opened a door is usually responsible if a motorist is doored, the total financial compensation depends on the facts of the case. There are cases when the motorist is partially at fault.
Contact Henningsen Injury Attorneys if you or someone you know has been injured because of a dooring accident. We can help you establish who is at fault for your injuries so that you can request compensation for your injuries and lost wages.