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Who is Liable for a Dooring Accident in Pinellas County?

As environmental and health concerns have increased in recent years, more and more people began looking for alternate forms of transportation. One of the most popular and inexpensive ways is bicycling. Many cities have started to make their roadways safer for the increasing number of cyclists by adding bike lanes and safe travel routes along the city streets. These extra lanes have made commuting by bicycle safer than it ever has been, however, it does not completely rule out all dangerous hazards and threats to the safety of the bicyclist. One such threat is that of dooring.

WHAT IS A DOORING ACCIDENT?

Dooring occurs as one is riding along the right side of the road, as they should. This area of the road is called the “door zone.” The “door zone” indicates the area that the door of an automobile parked along the side of the road will occupy when it is swung open. When the door of an automobile is flung open into the “door zone” right in front of a bicyclist, they will hit the door and be thrown from their bike. A dooring accident can also occur when the bicycle rider is struck by the passenger side vehicle door. This occurs much less often than being struck by the driver’s side door.

WHAT INJURIES CAN RESULT FROM A DOORING ACCIDENT?

A dooring accident is sudden and surprising, and due to the nature of the accident many serious injuries, and even death, can occur. If a bicyclist is travelling at a high speed and cannot stop in time when a door is opened in front of them, they can end up with a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, a neck injury, broken bones, and severe lacerations and contusions. Even worse, a bicyclist may instinctively swerve into traffic to avoid colliding with door, risking a fatal collision with a moving automobile.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO AVOID A DOORING ACCIDENT?

Bicyclists must practice defensive riding habits to stay as safe as possible when sharing the road with motorists. When possible, bicyclists may travel just outside of the “door zone,” even if it means slightly obstructing traffic — bicyclists have the right of way. If this is not possible, bicyclists should make a habit of checking and watching to see if there is someone getting ready to exit their vehicle. If you see someone one in the driver’s seat, be prepared to stop if they should open the door in front of you — maybe even slow down as you approach the vehicle if needed.

It is the responsibility of the driver to check and make sure that opening the door will not injure any passing pedestrians or bicyclists. If they seriously injure someone in doing so, it may very well be considered an act of negligence.

CONTACT TAMPA BAY AREA BICYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS DOLMAN LAW GROUP

If you, a loved one, or someone you know has suffered an injury as a result of a dooring accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced bicycle accident attorneys of Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at 727-451-6900 today for a free and confidential consultation. Our attorneys will do everything in their power to get you the compensation you deserve.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/practice-area/bicycle-accidents/