Bicycle Accident Injuries Caused by Dooring 

May 19, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Bicycle Accident Injuries Caused by Dooring 

Dooring Bicycle Accidents Can Cause Severe Injuries

Florida bicycle accidents frequently occur because of a lack of protected bicycle lanes, leaving bicyclists sharing the road with reckless drivers. In 2021, over 160 bicycle accident deaths happened in Florida. Negligent actions from drivers can cause a bicycle accident, with one such reckless action being dooring.

What is Dooring?

Dooring is when a person opens a vehicle door in the path of another vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist. Dooring accidents are common for bicyclists traveling on unprotected bike lanes, where drivers park their cars and leave very little room with opened car door for bicyclists to to have safe clearance. The impact of the car dooring opening into a bicyclist can cause them to slam into the door at high speed and even fly from their bicycle which can result in severe bicycle injuries. 

Recovering Damages for a Dooring Accident

Dooring accidents can cause whiplash, neck pain, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, facial injuries, internal organ damage, and more. If you suffered a dooring injury, you could file a bicycle accident claim with the at-fault party's insurance company to work toward recovering damages associated with your injuries.

Dooring Bicycle Accidents Can Cause Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when the neck jerks back and forth violently and can lead to neck, upper back, shoulder, and arm pain. Some of the symptoms associated with a whiplash injury include reduced range of motion, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, etc. Whiplash can cause other injuries, such as nerve damage, intervertebral joint injuries, and muscle injuries. A dooring accident can cause a whiplash injury because the impact of the door slamming against the bicyclist can cause them to fall from the bike. In the act of falling, the neck can jerk back and forth, and the bicyclist can fall directly on their neck.  Treatment for whiplash typically requires a couple of weeks of rest. Victims may need to wear a neck brace and undergo physical therapy. The amount of time it takes to heal depends on the victim's age, prior neck injuries, and the severity of the impact from the door.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Dooring

A door slamming into a bicyclist can lead to blunt force trauma impacting the head and neck. Trauma to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can disrupt the brain's functioning. Some of the symptoms of a TBI include headaches, memory problems, nausea, blurred vision, uneven gait, etc. Trauma from a dooring accident classifies as either primary or secondary trauma. Primary trauma would be damage that occurs the moment the door impacts the head, leading to skull fractures and internal bleeding in the brain. Secondary trauma is damage that is not immediately apparent and worsens over time. This can include damage that leads to seizures and brain swelling. If you feel the impact of a dooring accident caused a TBI, you should head to the hospital to have your injury diagnosed. A doctor will use diagnostic imaging to determine the severity of the injury. A moderate injury will require weeks of rest, while a severe TBI may require surgery to minimize damage to the brain tissue and repair a broken skull.

The Impact of Dooring Can Cause Broken Bones for Bicyclists

Blunt force trauma from a dooring accident can cause broken bones for a bicyclist. The direct and sudden impact of a door opening as a bicyclist speeds by can lead to immense pressure and cause a bone to partially fracture or completely break. The impact of the fall from the bike can also cause a bone fracture, especially if you fall with all of your weight on one body part. A broken bone can lead to intense pain, bruising, swelling, body part deformity, and loss of functioning in the body part. Partially broken bones may only require a cast and physical therapy, while a severe broken bone could require surgery.

How Can Dooring Injuries Affect a Bicyclist's Everyday Life?

The effect a dooring injury can have on your daily life depends on the type and severity of your injury. Most injuries will leave the victim in constant pain. The victim will have to live with this pain for the weeks or months it can take for the recovery process and possibly even longer. Physical therapy appointments will take up a lot of a victim's time and effort. Your doctor will determine how often you need to go to physical therapy to make a full recovery from the injury. If you have a severe injury, you will have consistent appointments that can take up a lot of time in your schedule. A dooring accident can leave the victim with injuries that can take them away from work for weeks or months while undergoing medical treatment. If you suffered a dooring injury, you could file a bicycle accident claim to recover damages from the accident.

Seeking Damages by Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim

Hiring a bicycle accident lawyer is an essential step in the claims process, as they can help you negotiate with the at-fault party's insurance company. An insurance company's goal is to limit your settlement since their profits depend on paying out as little as possible. A lawyer will be able to combat any attempts to minimize the settlement and help you work toward getting fair compensation for your dooring accident injuries. A bicycle accident lawyer will assist you by calculating damages, filing the claim, sending out the demand letter, interviewing witnesses, handling the insurance adjuster, and representing you in court. With the help of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer, your claim could succeed in getting you compensation for your damages. Some of the damages you could receive compensation for include medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, property damage, disability costs, and pain and suffering.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Bicycle Accident?

If you suffered a dooring accident, the person who opened the door is almost always liable for the damages. According to Florida Statute 316.2005, a person cannot open the door to their vehicle unless they can do so safely. Opening a door into the path of a bicyclist is illegal and can leave the person who opened the door liable for damages.  Your lawyer can prove liability by collecting evidence that connects the door opening to your damages. Some of the evidence that can prove the at-fault party's liability include videos, photos, witness testimonies, medical records, and ticket records.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Bicycle Accident Claim

The impact of a dooring accident can lead to severe injuries with long recovery times. This can prevent a victim from working to pay off the damages caused by the accident. A bicycle accident lawyer can help you file a claim to work toward receiving compensation. At Dolman Law Group, we have lawyers skilled in handling bicycle accident cases that can use their experience to put you in the best position to receive compensation for your damages. Thye will negotiate with the at-fault party's insurance company using the legal techniques that have made Dolman Law Group one of Florida's most renowned personal injury law firms. Dolman Law Group offers a free consultation for personal injury victims seeking legal representation. Call 833-55-CRASH or leave us a message on our online contact page.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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