Open Car Door Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

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Open Car Door Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous for a number of reasons, but they are particularly dangerous when other motorists don’t notice them. One example of this is when a driver opens a car door in the rider’s path, causing an accident. When that happens, severe and sometimes catastrophic personal injuries can result.

What Are Dooring Accidents?

A dooring accident occurs when the driver of a vehicle — typically a car or truck — opens the door in the pathway of a passing motorcycle, potentially causing damage to the motorcycle and personal injuries to the rider. It can happen when a motorcyclist crashes into a car door that was suddenly opened without warning or when the rider attempts to avoid a suddenly opened door, swerving and getting hurt in the act. In addition to motorcycles, a dooring accident can affect passing pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers of other vehicles.

Opening a car door in the path of a motorcycle not only exposes a driver to civil liability for the accident they cause but also often means breaking the law and may result in being fined or otherwise liable for that infraction. For example, Kansas law provides the following:

“No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”

Common Causes of Open Car Door Motorcycle Accidents

Dooring accidents can happen under a number of different circumstances and for various reasons. The following are just some examples:

  • Inattentive drivers
  • Failing to check for oncoming or passing traffic
  • Poor visibility
  • Improper parking
  • Parking too close to the traffic
  • Vehicle overcrowding
  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Distractions

Are Drivers At Fault for Open Car Door Motorcycle Accidents?

In many cases, the driver of the vehicle may be found to be at fault for a dooring accident that injures a motorcycle rider. In order to prove fault liability, it’s necessary to show that the driver breached their duty of reasonable care when they opened the door in the direct path of the motorcycle.

You’ll also need to prove that the driver’s actions directly caused your injuries. The driver’s breach of duty, the causation behind your injuries, and the damages that resulted are the major elements of a negligence claim, which is typically at the crux of a motorcycle accident case.

In some cases, if there is a law that specifically requires drivers to keep their doors closed until it is reasonably safe to open them — such as the Kansas law above — you may be able to point to the driver’s violation of that law as part of establishing liability. You may also be able to point to any other reckless, unlawful, or unreasonable behavior that the driver exhibited.

On the other hand, you may need to carefully review your own conduct: If you were partially at fault for the accident or did something that was illegal or reckless, you may need to overcome that defense in order to prove liability on the other party’s side.

Because questions of liability and damages can quickly become complicated in a motorcycle accident claim, it is important that you seek a consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. They will advise you of your legal rights and options, investigate the facts of your claim, research the applicable laws, and discuss potential next steps. An experienced attorney can not only negotiate with the other party and their insurance company toward a favorable resolution but also file and represent your claim in court if a settlement is not possible.

Common Injuries During Dooring Accidents

There are lots of different personal injuries that can occur in a dooring accident. The motorcyclist who is affected may suffer a head injury, concussion, or traumatic brain injury. Injuries to the back, spine, or shoulders are possible. Broken or fractured bones, injuries to internal organs, and soft tissue injuries or whiplash are also common. In some cases, serious or even catastrophic injuries may result, including partial or full paralysis. In the most serious cases, a wrongful death is even possible.

If you have suffered personal injuries in a dooring accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for your financial damages. You may be able to recover the costs of your medical treatments, including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription costs, and the costs of medical imaging, testing, and therapies, along with nursing or home rehabilitative care.

You may also be able to recover compensation for any lost wages, as well as the costs of repairing or replacing your motorcycle. You might also claim non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and the overall decline in your quality of life.

Why Trust Bretz Injury Law with Your Motorcycle Accident Case?

Having a knowledgeable, experienced attorney by your side to help with your motorcycle accident case can make all the difference. Your attorney will investigate the facts of your case and research the applicable laws. They will help negotiate with the other party and their insurance company toward a fair resolution, and they will be ready to fight on your behalf in court if a settlement is not possible.

Throughout the process, we will be there for you every step of the way. We strive to remain accessible to our clients and attentive to their unique needs. Our compassionate team can answer your questions and address your concerns.

We provide free initial consultations and work on a contingency basis, meaning you do not owe any out-of-pocket expenses when you work with our firm. Our attorneys are only paid if you are. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Motorcycle FAQs

  • Do motorcyclists in Kansas have to wear helmets?

    Motorcyclists under 18 years old in Kansas must wear a helmet. Motorcyclists over 18 years old are not required to wear a helmet in Kansas.

  • Should I contact my insurance company after my motorcycle accident?

    Yes, but stick to the basic facts when talking to your insurance company. Tell them things like who was involved and when/where the crash happened. Do not get into issues of fault. If you say the wrong thing—even to your own insurance company—you may harm your chances of getting a fair settlement.

  • What should I do if an insurance company offers me money for my accident?

    Do not accept an offer without first discussing the details of the proposed agreement with our law firm. We can examine the proposal and help you decide if a financial offer for your motorcycle accident makes the most sense in your specific case.

  • Should I file a lawsuit if I’m injured in a motorcycle accident?

    That depends. Filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit might be the best way to recover compensation for your accident. Most cases, however, can be settled. Many victims prefer a fair settlement over going to court. To learn more about all the legal options available to you, contact Bretz Injury Law to arrange a free consultation. We are available to discuss the details of your situation over the phone, meet at our office, or set up a time to meet at your home, in the hospital, or another location that is convenient for you.

  • How Long Do You Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Kansas?

    You have a limited amount of time to take legal action after your motorcycle accident. In most situations, the statute of limitations for taking legal action in Kansas after a motorcycle accident is two years. There are some exceptions that allow you even less time to act. It is important that you act quickly so that you do not lose your right to seek compensation for your damages. Contact Bretz Injury Law in Hutchinson, Salina, Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal, or Hays right away to learn how our lawyers can help you protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation you are owed.