Dooring Accidents: How to Determine Fault

Dooring is a danger to bicyclists. One out of ten accidents that involve a bicycle and motor vehicle is because of dooring. Dooring occurs when a door opens in the path of a cyclist. The cyclist may not see the door in time or fail to brake fast enough. These accidents can lead to serious, if not fatal injuries in some cases.

If you were involved in a dooring accident, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and damages. If you were recently in a dooring accident, it is critical to proving that the driver is at fault to receive compensation.

Defense of the Driver

Some bicyclists and pedestrians assume that an accident involving a motor vehicle is automatically the fault of the vehicle’s driver. No matter who is involved in an accident, fault is still the foundation of a civil lawsuit. If a driver opens the door on a clear street with plenty of time for the cyclist to swerve around the vehicle, then the driver could claim that he or she did not act negligently.

Defense of the Cyclist

Like the cyclist, it is up to the driver to watch out for hazards on the road. This also applies to parked cars when entering and exiting the vehicle. Drivers cannot open the door to oncoming traffic or when he or she sees a bicyclist passing their vehicle. Before the driver opens the vehicle, he or she should check to ensure that the path is safe.

If you were cycling and the door opens up in front of you without any time to properly brake, then it is not your fault if you hit the door. When there is also traffic on the street, you may not be able to get around the car, period and may collide with the door. In this case, it is not your fault, but the driver’s for not giving you adequate time to stop.

Dooring accidents are not always black and white. It all boils down to fault. To prove fault, you may need the help of witness testimony, traffic cameras, or police reports. If a bicyclist is at fault, he or she may not be able to receive compensation. If you are worried about the outcome of your case or an insurance settlement rejection, speak to an attorney, like a bike accident attorney from Barry P. Goldberg. He or she can help guide you through the process and defend your right to compensation.