Negligent driving behavior, such as distracted driving, speeding, and drunk driving, can expose bicyclists to harm that can lead to a traumatic bicycle accident.
One of the most damaging types of negligent driver behavior that can cause a bicycle accident is dooring, which is when a driver opens their door in the path of a bicyclist. They will likely be going fast enough for the sudden interruption from a steel door that they can receive a significant direct blow that can send them flying from their bicycle.
Dooring bicycle accidents can result in impact from a direct blow from the car door and the hard ground, leading to severe injuries like facial injuries, whiplash, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). You could pursue compensation for your dooring accident damages by filing a bicycle accident claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
The bicycle accident lawyers at The Russo Firm can help hold the liable party accountable for their negligence and put you in the best position to recover fair compensation for the full cost of your damages.
What is a Dooring Accident?
A dooring accident is a type of bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle driver opening the door where a bicyclist is riding. These bicycle accidents are common when someone parks near a sidewalk or unprotected bike lane and leaves little room for bicyclists to maneuver around the car door. Dooring accidents occur when a driver does not check to see if opening their door can cause harm to a bicyclist.
Just like a pedestrian needs to check both ways before crossing a street, drivers must ensure no pedestrian or bicyclist is walking, running, or cycling in the path where they open the door. Not checking if it’s safe for others before opening the door is a negligent behavior that can expose others to harm and leave the driver liable for the damages caused by the bicyclist’s severe injuries.
Whiplash Caused by Dooring
The impact of a door opening into a person on a bike can cause severe injury through blunt force trauma from the door itself and the ground after falling from the bike. One injury that can result from a dooring accident is whiplash, the violent jerking of the head and neck during an accident. This can happen during a dooring accident, as the victim can fall backward, collide hard with the ground, and have their head ricochet off the ground.
Whiplash is a damaging type of injury that can result in symptoms such as back, neck, shoulder, and arm pain, fatigue, reduced range of motion, headaches, dizziness, etc. It can also lead to more severe damages and injuries, such as muscle injuries, nerve damage, and intervertebral joint injuries.
Dooring Can Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries
Dooring accidents can directly impact a victim’s head, both from the impact of the door and colliding with the hard ground. Both of these impacts during a dooring accident can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when a violent blow to the head damages the brain. While a mild TBI can result in temporary brain cell damage, a more severe TBI can lead to torn tissue, brain bleeding, and physical damage that can irreparably alter how a person’s brain works.
The following are some of the TBIs that could result from a dooring accident:
- Brain contusion
- Penetrating brain injury
- Coup and contrecoup brain injuries
Some symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include severe headaches, loss of memory, speech problems, loss of balance, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness. If you suffered a TBI from a dooring accident, you must see a doctor to receive treatment before the injury complicates and worsens.
Waiting for treatment can result in further cognitive issues that can negatively impact you for the rest of your life. A bicycle accident lawyer can help you pay for medical bills later by filing a bicycle accident claim to seek compensation for economic damages.
Facial Injuries Caused by Dooring
During a dooring accident, the bicyclist’s face can receive a direct impact from the steel door. This can lead to a facial injury, which is any damage to the face that results in an injury. Some of the facial injuries you can suffer from a dooring accident include a broken nose, broken teeth, skin lacerations, jawbone fractures, and orbital bone fractures. Facial injuries can cause significant symptoms, such as double vision, facial pain, swelling, and disfigurement.
A facial injury can have a significant physical and emotional impact on a person’s life. They will have to deal with the pain and how the facial injury can make seeing, breathing, and eating more difficult.
They can also suffer psychologically because they may experience severely dampened self-esteem from the change in their appearance. A bicycle accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your facial injury’s monetary and non-economic damages.
How Can Dooring Injuries Affect a Victim’s Standard of Living?
Dooring accident victims can also suffer from severe injuries like broken bones, back and neck injuries, and internal injuries. Victims can suffer a worsened quality of life from severe injuries caused by dooring accidents. Their injuries can affect their financial situation, as they will have to pay for expensive medical expenses like hospitalization, surgical, and medication costs. Their ability to work can also be affected, leading to lost wages and earning potential.
Severe injuries from a dooring accident can also affect someone psychologically, as depression and anxiety can set in from the effect of the injury. Severe injuries can affect how a person views themself, possibly leading to alienation that can affect their personal relationships, self-esteem, and interactions with their community.
How Can a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help a Dooring Victim Recover Compensation for Damages?
Dooring accident victims will suffer from significant damages that can affect them now and in the future. They could file a bicycle accident claim with the at-fault party’s insurer to pursue fair compensation for these damages. Hiring a bicycle accident lawyer can help with this process, as they have the experience handling each step of the process that can maximize your potential for recovering compensation.
The bicycle accident claims process requires multiple steps, including determining the at-fault party, collecting evidence, filing paperwork at the proper time, and negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will have handled these steps before and will be able to provide informed legal counsel that can increase your chances of recovering fair compensation that can pay for the full cost of your dooring accident damages.
Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Bicycle Accident Claim
No bicyclist expects to smash into a door opened by a driver not paying attention when they leave for a ride. The experienced bicycle accident lawyers at The Russo Firm can help you pursue compensation for the unexpected damages caused by a dooring accident.
We can help you collect evidence to prove the at-fault party’s negligence and negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurer. We put your needs first, ensuring that our personalized legal counsel plan caters to the specifics of your case.
You can take advantage of our free consultations to learn how our bicycle accident lawyers can help with the claims process while you recover from your injuries. Contact us at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page.