Cycling In Inclement Weather Attorney
Cyclists in Los Angeles are aware of the numerous hazards they face while navigating the roads. The region’s roadways can be chaotic, and cyclists often encounter drivers who engage in negligent behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, and failing to check their blind spots.
Despite the efforts to accommodate cyclists with dedicated bike lanes throughout many neighborhoods, even these lanes do not always guarantee safety. Inattentive drivers or passengers who carelessly open their doors into the bike lanes without exercising caution can inflict severe injuries on unsuspecting cyclists. This constant threat of door collisions poses a significant risk to the well-being of cyclists.
In case of driver negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your dooring accident in Los Angeles. Contact a lawyer to know more about your legal options.
What Is Dooring?
Dooring refers to an incident where a cyclist or other vulnerable road user collides with an open car door. It occurs when a driver or passenger in a parked vehicle opens their door without checking for approaching cyclists or traffic, resulting in a collision. The term “dooring” is derived from the action of a suddenly opened door in the path of an oncoming cyclist.
Dooring accidents often happen in urban areas where cars are parallel parked along the roadside, especially in areas with bike lanes or shared roadways. When a cyclist is traveling alongside parked vehicles, they may be forced to ride near the parked cars, making them susceptible to being struck by an unexpectedly opened door.
The impact of a dooring collision can be significant, leading to severe injuries for the cyclist, including broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and even fatalities in some cases. Additionally, the cyclist may be thrown off balance and into the path of moving vehicles, increasing the risk of further accidents.
Injuries Caused By Dooring Accidents
Dooring accidents can result in various injuries, ranging from minor to severe, depending on the circumstances of the collision and the speed at which the cyclist was traveling. Here are some common injuries that can occur as a result of dooring accidents:
- Cuts and Bruises: Cyclists may suffer cuts, abrasions, and bruises from the initial impact with the open car door or from subsequent falls onto the pavement.
- Fractures: The force of the collision can lead to broken bones, particularly in the arms, wrists, collarbones, and ribs. Cyclists may extend their arms to brace for impact, resulting in direct trauma to these areas.
- Head Injuries: If the cyclist is thrown from their bike or strikes their head during the collision, head injuries can occur. These injuries can range from concussions and lacerations to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can have long-lasting effects on cognitive function and overall well-being.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: A dooring accident may cause the cyclist to be thrown off balance and land forcefully, potentially resulting in spinal cord injuries. These injuries can have severe consequences, including partial or complete paralysis and loss of bodily functions.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be strained, sprained, or torn in a dooring accident. This can lead to pain, swelling, limited mobility, and prolonged recovery times.
- Internal Injuries: In some cases, the impact of a dooring accident can cause internal injuries, such as damage to organs or internal bleeding. These injuries may not be immediately apparent and require immediate medical attention.
- Emotional Trauma: Dooring accidents can have a significant emotional impact on the cyclist. They may experience anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or fear of cycling again, impacting their overall quality of life.
If you have been injured in a dooring accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney. They can assess the circumstances of your case, help you understand your rights, and guide you through the legal process to seek compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
California’s Anti-Dooring Laws
California has specific laws in place to address dooring accidents and protect cyclists from such incidents. These laws aim to promote safer practices among drivers and passengers when opening car doors. Here are some key aspects of California’s anti-dooring laws:
- California Vehicle Code Section 22517: This section states that “No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic.” It emphasizes the importance of ensuring the safety of approaching cyclists or vehicles before opening a car door.
- Duties of Drivers and Passengers: Both drivers and passengers have a responsibility to exercise caution when exiting a vehicle. They must check for oncoming cyclists or other traffic before opening the door. Failure to do so can result in a violation of the law.
- Penalties: Violating the anti-dooring law can lead to penalties, including fines. The specific amount may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the violation.
- Contributory Negligence: California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that if a cyclist is found partially at fault for the dooring accident, their compensation may be reduced proportionately. However, the primary responsibility lies with the person opening the door, who should exercise due care.
- Liability and Legal Recourse: If a cyclist is injured in a dooring accident due to the negligence of a driver or passenger, they may have grounds to pursue legal action. By establishing that the driver or passenger failed to exercise reasonable care in opening the door, resulting in the cyclist’s injuries, the injured party may seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
How Can Pacific Attorney Group Help?
We understand the challenges and dangers that cyclists face on Southern California roads, particularly in incidents involving dooring accidents. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing legal assistance and support to individuals who have been injured in such accidents. Here’s how we can help:
- Comprehensive Case Evaluation: We offer a free consultation to evaluate the details of your dooring accident case. Our team will listen attentively to your account, review any available evidence, and assess the strength of your potential claim.
- Legal Guidance and Support: We provide personalized legal guidance tailored to your specific situation. Our attorneys will explain your rights, help you understand the legal process, and provide clear and practical advice on the potential legal options available to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Thorough Investigation: Our dedicated team will conduct a thorough investigation into the dooring accident. We will gather evidence, including photographs, witness statements, police reports, and any available video footage, to establish liability and support your claim.
- Building a Strong Case: Our attorneys will work diligently to build a strong case on your behalf. We will analyze the circumstances of the accident, consult with experts if necessary, and prepare the necessary legal documents to pursue your claim effectively.
- Negotiations with Insurance Companies: We have extensive experience in handling communications and negotiations with insurance companies. Our attorneys will be your advocate, skillfully representing your interests and seeking fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
- Litigation Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, our experienced trial attorneys will provide strong representation in court. We will present your case, question witnesses, and skillfully argue on your behalf to seek a favorable verdict and maximum compensation.
- Knowledge and Experience: Our attorneys specialize in personal injury cases, including bicycle accidents. We have a deep understanding of California laws and regulations related to dooring accidents, and we leverage our knowledge and experience to effectively handle such cases.
At Pacific Attorney Group, we are committed to fighting for the rights of those injured in dooring accidents. We strive to provide compassionate and dedicated legal representation, helping our clients navigate the complexities of the legal system while seeking the compensation they deserve.