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If you ride a bicycle, you may be familiar with the term “dooring.” Dooring is when a cyclist collides with a car door as it is being opened, often into a bike lane where the cyclist is riding. If you were involved in an open door accident, you should contact a dedicated Palo Alto bicycle accident lawyer at Ziff & Cohn. We are ready to help you fight for the full extent of the compensation that you deserve after your collision.
Generally, a motorist (or a passenger of a car) will be at fault for an open door accident. California law requires people who are opening a door next to traffic to use reasonable safety precautions. The door should only be opened if it will not interfere with moving traffic, which includes bicycles. Thus, if you are injured in an open door accident while riding your bicycle, you will probably be able to recover damages for your injuries. It is rare for a cyclist to bear fault in these cases, since they cannot be expected to anticipate when someone in a car will open a door. However, each case is unique, and our attorneys will investigate your case thoroughly to counter any potential arguments made by the defense.
If you are injured in an open door accident, you will usually be able to recover money for your medical bills, as well as reasonable future medical expenses stemming from the accident. Injured cyclists may also be able to recover for their current and future loss of earnings. People injured in bicycle accidents are also often able to recover damages to compensate for pain and suffering, disability, and disfigurement. Furthermore, in the likely event that your bicycle was damaged in the accident, you should be able to recover damages to repair or replace your bicycle.
Unfortunately, sometimes these accidents can be fatal. If you have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you could be entitled to damages both on their behalf and on your own behalf. These may cover funeral expenses, medical bills, and the loss of your loved one’s consortium, companionship, and support, among other things.
Both personal injury and wrongful death cases must comply with the statute of limitations in California. This is the time period provided by law in which accident victims or people who have lost loved ones must take action to assert their legal rights. If they do not act within the appropriate time window, they probably will not be able to bring a claim, even if they would have a strong argument on the merits of the case. Taking prompt action and retaining an attorney also can be critical in preserving the evidence that you need to prove liability and damages. An attorney can help investigate what happened and consult experts to describe the mechanics of the accident and the scope of your injuries. They can also handle settlement negotiations on your behalf, advise you on whether an insurer is treating you fairly, and make sure that the insurer honors its obligations under its policy. (This is far from guaranteed in the aftermath of a serious accident, since insurance companies have a strong profit motive and tend to be reluctant to pay out fully on most claims.)
If you were hit by a car door that suddenly opened into your path while you were riding your bike, you will probably be able to recover damages. You should contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney to take legal action for you. Ziff & Cohn represents victims of crashes throughout the Bay Area, including in Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Stanford, Portola Valley, Woodside, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, San Jose, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Redwood City, Burlingame, San Mateo, San Bruno, Daly City, San Francisco, Alameda, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Fremont, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Leandro, and Union City. Call (650) 329-0851 or use our online form to set up a free appointment.