Colorado Springs Bicycle Accident Caused by Dooring

dooring bicycle crash

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

June 15, 2022

TOP RATED LAW FIRM FOR BICYCLE ACCIDENTS IN COLORADO SPRINGS

As more and more individuals opt to live a better and more environmentally friendly lifestyle by riding a bicycle, many bicycle-related accidents are increasing. Although several safety safeguards have been implemented to protect bicycles, accidents are nevertheless unavoidable.

Among cyclists, one of their greatest fears is the possibility of a car door opening in front of them while they are riding. This is referred to as “dooring” in the industry.

According to Henry Robertshaw’s article in Cycling Weekly, “car dooring, or simply ‘dooring,’ is a type of accident in which a cyclist (or motorcyclist) is struck by the door of a parked car that has been opened by a passenger or  driver, usually after they have failed to look over their shoulder for bicycles.”

Car crashes of this kind are common in metropolitan areas when automobiles are parallel parked along the side of a highway or road.

Drivers in Colorado Springs have been confronted with the challenge of sharing the road with bikers. As the number of bikers grows, so does the incidence of accidents involving bicycles on the road. Although dooring accidents are not often recorded, the city of Colorado Springs does preserve such records.

However, these are merely the instances that have been recorded. Because bicyclists often swerve to avoid doors, some accidents may not be classified as doorings and may instead result in a motor car collision.

Because dooring collisions continue to be a problem in Colorado Springs, the city has implemented an ordinance prohibiting drivers from opening their car doors without first looking for approaching bicycle traffic. “The act of opening and shutting a car door.” says the legislation.

The door of a car on the side that is accessible to moving traffic must not be opened unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic. The door of a car on the side that is accessible to moving traffic must not be left open for some time longer than is necessary to load or unload passengers.”

According to the laws, those who violate this law by opening their door and interfering with the movement of a bicycle will be liable to a $150 fine. Id. If opening the door causes an accident between a bicycle and a motor car, violators may be subject to a $500 punishment.

When weighed against the financial and emotional losses, as well as the agony and suffering a victim of a dooring accident may undergo, these penalties seem minor.

As environmental and health concerns have grown in recent years, an increasing number of individuals have turned to alternative modes of transportation for mobility. Bicycling is one of the most popular and least costly modes of transportation.

Many cities have begun to make their highways safer for the growing number of cyclists by constructing bike lanes and safe travel routes through their downtown areas, among other measures.

These additional bicycle lanes have made commuting by bicycle safer than ever; nonetheless, they do not eliminate all potentially harmful risks and threats to the safety of bicyclists on the road. The danger of dooring is one such example.

WHEN DOES A DOORING ACCIDENT OCCUR?

When someone is riding on the right side of the road, as they should, they are said to be dooring. The “door zone” refers to the section of the road where the doors are located. When the door of a car parked along the side of the road is flung open, the “door zone” denotes the space that the door will occupy when it is opened.

When an car’s door is slammed open into the “door zone,” directly in front of a biker, the bicyclist will be catapulted off their bike when the door hits them. A dooring accident may also occur when a bicycle rider is hit by a car’s passenger-side door while riding on the highway. This happens much less often than getting hit by the driver’s side door.

HOW MUCH HARM COULD BE CAUSED BY A DOORING ACCIDENT?

It is common for dooring accidents to occur suddenly and unexpectedly, and since they are so severe, numerous serious injuries, and even death, may result. Suppose a biker is traveling at a fast rate of speed and is unable to stop in time when a door is opened in front of them.

In that case, they may suffer a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, a neck injury, shattered bones, and serious lacerations and contusions due to the collision. Furthermore, a biker may reflexively veer into oncoming traffic to avoid crashing with a door, increasing the likelihood of a deadly accident with a moving car.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ELIMINATE THE CHANCE OF A DOORING ACCIDENT?

Bicyclists must adopt protective riding practices to be as safe as possible when sharing the road with vehicles. When practicable, bikers should proceed just beyond the “door zone,” even if this means temporarily impeding traffic – bicyclists have the right of way on the road.

Whether this is not feasible, bikers should make it a practice to check and monitor to see if anybody is getting ready to depart their car while they are on the road. Consider stopping if you see someone in the driver’s seat and slowing down as you approach the car in case they open the door in front of you if that is what is required.

The driver should double-check and ensure that opening the door will not hurt any passing pedestrians or bikers before opening the door. If they cause substantial injury to another person due to their actions, they may very probably be labeled negligent.

When people riding bicycles do not wear protective gear, they are more likely to be involved in the most deadly accidents. Running into open doors, moving automobiles, and other objects are among the most common accidents. When an accident occurs due to an open car door, it is critical to determine who is to blame for the accident.

When riding a bicycle in a city, another cyclist’s likelihood of being injured or killed increases. The fact that these persons are riding about in public requires them to be aware of and careful of pedestrians, bikers, automobiles, and any other risks they may encounter. When a door is left open or opened abruptly, and the danger is not immediately apparent, someone may be injured due to the situation.

Because injuries caused by open doors on cars sometimes include other parties, it is critical to ascertain who is at blame as soon as possible. The person that made the negligent errors may be held accountable for the damages incurred as a result of their actions. It may be required to speak with an attorney to assess whether or not a claim is viable.

An attorney may need to submit information about the state, the circumstances at play, and any other criteria that must be met to determine who is responsible in a particular case. If there are any additional difficulties involved, they must be taken into consideration and explored.

These might include scenarios involving premises responsibility, a third-party issue, and other comparable circumstances.

GETTING SNATCHED AT THE DOOR

Bikers traveling through metropolitan areas may come into contact with the risks of open doors, which may result in serious harm. This has been dubbed “being doored” because it occurs when a car collides with a car door that has been left open. A person on a bicycle may be cruising down the road when these doors open without realizing it.

In these instances, many people might be at blame, including the driver, passengers, or someone else. For the injuries incurred due to these activities, it is necessary to determine who is responsible for giving compensation and if the biker is liable for paying for his or her medical care. To determine how to proceed in certain situations, further information may be required.

ROAD RULES AND REGULATIONS

Cyclists are subject to a wide range of traffic rules and regulations. A common one of these is that persons riding bicycles must stay in bike lanes or on the right of all traffic to avoid getting in the path of other vehicles. In many cases, they are going dangerously near automobiles parked on the side of the road, which is unfortunate.

The fact that drivers and passengers in cars parked where bicycles may be riding are expected to look for these individuals does not exclude the possibility that a car door may be opened, resulting in harm. This typically implies that persons who open these doors are accountable for any damages that occur as a result of their actions.

MAKING A CASE FOR A DEFENSE

When an injury necessitates medical care, there is a method that may be used to defend against compensation claims. However, if there is no traffic on either side of the door when it is opened, the defense may claim that there was at least a likelihood that the opened door might have been avoided.

In specific scenarios, it is possible to argue that the cyclist is partly responsible for the accident. In other words, he or she may not get any or all of the compensation requested.

When a lawyer is hired to aid the defending side, various techniques may be used to minimize monetary compensation being awarded. When the cyclist is found to be partly at blame for an accident, he or she may be unable to recover damages if the evidence of this is shown in court.

DANGERS OF DOORING

An estimated one in every ten accidents between bicycles and automobiles that result in a collision is caused by a door being opened in the path of an oncoming bike. These accidents may cause mild to significant injuries in some situations, but they can also be deadly in certain circumstances in rare instances.

Unfortunately, when the door is opened too quickly or too near the rider, it is almost always inevitable. While accidents with doors might be dangerous, other forms of collisions can be far more difficult. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more cyclists are wounded in crashes and clashes than indoor accidents.

Persons who run into doors may suffer more severe repercussions if they swerve to avoid being struck by an car instead of being hit by the door itself. It is preferable to crash into a door in certain situations rather than risk moving into oncoming traffic.

ISSUES OF LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

It is essential to consult with an attorney for further information to determine whether or not compensation is available. Personal injury cases are sometimes intricate, and they frequently include extra requirements dictated by state law. It is often important to retain the services of an attorney to simplify these situations.

An accident involving bicycle dooring has serious ramifications.

Whether a bicycle dooring mishap is significant or not is determined by how quickly the rider was moving when the door was opened and how quick their responses were when the door was opened.

Unfortunately, even bicycles traveling at a leisurely pace may sustain significant injuries in a dooring mishap. When this happens, the rider is often flung off their bike or over the handlebars. Accidents that occur suddenly can result in serious injuries, such as:

  • severe bruising, road rash, and deep skin lacerations;
  • damage to the face, including teeth;
  • fractured or broken bones (most commonly the collarbone, arms, and wrists), requiring immediate
  • surgery;
  • traumatic brain injury;
  • severe spinal damage;
  • injury to any internal organs, depending on the objects struck while falling; and
  • Damage to important
  • Claiming compensation after a dooring injury

The fact that an injury has happened due to the careless and unlawful opening of a door makes it simpler to file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the harm. Damages sought in a bicycle dooring accident claim are typical as follows:

Medical bills, including projected bills in the future if surgery and treatment are expected to continue;

  • Lost wages, both current and future;
  • Compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement; and
  • Compensation for pain and suffering (if applicable).
  • Your bicycle and other personal property items damaged or destroyed will be repaired or replaced if you get
KNOWING YOUR RIGHTS AS A CYCLIST IS IMPORTANT.

In your capacity as a cyclist, you have the same rights and obligations as drivers of all other types of motor vehicles operating on the road. If you are wounded in an accident, you have a legal right to be on the road and a legal right to be compensated for your injuries.

The first step in pursuing compensation is to submit a claim against the person’s insurance policy that was at fault. After receiving a lowball offer, you have the authority to reject the offer and renegotiate for an award that you believe more fairly compensates your losses and damages. If you are unable to achieve a settlement, you can initiate a lawsuit against the liable person.

DOORING INJURIES ARE A COMMON OCCURRENCE AMONG COLORADO CYCLISTS.

According to accident data obtained by the State of Colorado for bicycle accidents in 2017, over 83 percent of the reported dooring collisions resulted in significant damage to the biker riding in the accident. These injuries may leave the biker with medical expenditures and missed time from work, as well as with significant discomfort.

Most dooring accidents are the fault of the individual who was in the motor car that opened the door in the first place. According to the law, the motorist who was at fault shall be liable for any financial expenditures incurred due to the collision.

By statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over one-third of all cycling accidents resulting in injury included a motor car.

In the United States, 857 cyclists lost their lives in bike riding accidents during the year 2018. All of these collisions might have been avoided if either the cyclist or the car had adhered to the road or bike lane laws while sharing the roads.

When it comes to bicycling on public roads, the Colorado Department of Transportation enforces traffic regulations. Cyclists are required to follow the same traffic regulations, signals, and signs that motorists are required to follow.

Bicyclists are also obligated to adhere to the laws of the road whether riding or walking their bikes on the sidewalk or inside a crosswalk, regardless of where they are. The cyclist must give the right- of-way to anybody on the sidewalk or pedestrians crossing the street in a crosswalk if they are not wearing a helmet.

According to the Colorado motor law, every right turn must be done from the right lane, even if the cyclists are riding along the edge or curb of the highway. When making a left- or right-hand turn, or when coming to a complete stop, the bicycle must indicate with his or her arms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Accidents Caused by Doors

In the following section, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get from personal injury victims of car-dooring accidents in Colorado Springs. If you have any more concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our legal company for a free consultation with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer.

WHAT IS THE CRIME OF DOORING A CYCLIST?

Bike dooring occurs when a driver in a passenger car or other motor car opens the door into the bicyclist’s lane or stream of traffic, causing the rider to be hit. It is sometimes referred to as a collision between a bicycle and a car’s door opening.

WHO IS TO BLAME WHEN A CYCLIST IS DOORED IN THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS?

In cases when the cyclist was riding lawfully and in compliance with all Colorado laws and regulations at the time of the collision, the driver is liable for any injuries or losses sustained.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CAR COLLIDES WITH A BICYCLIST?

Riders in Colorado Springs who are struck by a motor car may file a lawsuit against the drivers and owners of the cars to receive financial compensation and monetary damages if they can demonstrate that one of them was at blame for the bicycle accident.

WHAT IS THE DUTCH REACH METHOD, AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

The Dutch Reach approach is a safety practice that drivers avoid colliding with bicycles as they open their car doors and depart their cars. They open the door with the hand that is the farthest away from the car’s door handle.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO RECOVER AFTER A COLORADO SPRINGS BIKE ACCIDENT?

Cyclists must acquire the necessary rest, nutrition, rehabilitation, medicine, and exercise after being involved in a Colorado Springs bicycle accident to heal.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON BICYCLE-RELATED INJURIES IN THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS?

Concussions and other brain injuries, shattered bones, disc aggravation, knee, and joint damage and rips, and even death are the most frequent injuries sustained in Colorado Springs bicycle accidents.

CONTACT THE WARRIOR BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS, CYCLING ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN THE COLORADO SPRINGS AREA.

Anyone who has experienced an injury due to a dooring mishap, whether they are you, a loved one, or someone you know, may be eligible for compensation. Warrior Bicycle Accident Lawyers, will assist you with your bicycle accident case by calling 719-300-1100 immediately for a free and private consultation. Our lawyers will do all in their power to ensure that you get the compensation you are entitled to receive.

 

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