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Dooring Accidents

Dooring is a term used by cyclists to describe a type of bicycle accident. It happens when someone opens a car door right in the path of a cyclist, and it can cause serious bodily injury to the rider. Most of the time, the cyclist hits the door and then suffers another significant impact when hitting the pavement. This is why a dooring injury can cause a serious injury or even death.

Different Types of Dooring

There are several scenarios that can produce a dooring accident. Most common is when someone is riding their bike either in a bike lane or on the far-right hand side of a city street, and the occupant of a car parked along the curb opens their door right into the path of an unsuspecting cyclist.

This can also happen with an occupant of a car stopped in a loading/unloading zone or even a car in traffic that opens its door when a cyclist is passing. Another dooring risk happens when a cyclist sees a door about to be opened and swerves into the street to avoid the door and collides with a car.

In Kentucky, most cyclists on city streets ride on the right-hand side of the road, but Kentucky law allows someone to move to the left to avoid a hazardous situation which means that a cyclist can move to the left into the street when passing parked or stopped cars.

Common Dooring Injuries

One of the devastating aspects of a dooring accident is that the cyclist is not expecting a door to open and doesn’t have time to react. This causes a more violent collision that results in some common injuries. Some of these are:

  • Head Injuries (Concussions, traumatic brain injuries, face bones fractures and skull fractures) can Traumatic spinal cord injuries
  • Writs and arm fractures
  • Legs, pelvis fractures
  • Nerve damage
  • Broken Ribs

Dooring Liability

Under Kentucky’s personal injury laws, a victim of a dooring accident needs to show that the person was negligent in opening the door. As of 2019, Kentucky does not have a dooring law for cyclists, but under current law, each person driving or riding in a car is supposed to take due caution in their actions so that others around them might proceed in safety. If this is proven, then the injured cyclist can collect compensation for their financial losses.

Sources of Compensation

  • Driver: The driver opened the door, the his or her auto insurance will pay for the damages.
  • Passenger: If the passenger opened the door, then that person’s auto insurance will not cover the damages because the passenger wasn’t operating the vehicle. However, if they have a homeowner’s insurance policy, this might cover some of the losses.
  • Injured Cyclist: If neither the driver nor the passenger has insurance that applies, then the injured cyclist’s own auto insurance policy might pay for the damages if their policy has uninsured/underinsured coverage.

Contact a Louisville Bicycle Injury Attorney Today

If you’ve been injured in a dooring or other bicycle accident in Louisville or anywhere in Kentucky, then don’t listen to the insurance company tell you there is no coverage or that the accident wasn’t their client’s fault. Talk to a Louisville Bicycle Accident Attorney who knows the law and can get you the compensation you deserve.

Call the attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, at 800 937-8443, for a free consultation and case evaluation. If you call, you will immediately speak to a member of the legal team and not a message machine.

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