Motorcyclists in Fresno, California, are often injured in dooring accidents—when a driver or a passenger opens a door into traffic. For a motorcycle rider, an open car door can be a nightmare. There isn’t much time to react when a door appears in front of your motorcycle. It’s challenging to avoid swerving into traffic and stay upright to prevent injuries.
Although no state or national statistics are available on motorcycle dooring, there are still many cases where motorcyclists have been severely injured or even killed due to a negligent passenger or driver who opens their door in front of the motorcycle. If you suffered injuries resulting from a motorcycle dooring accident in Fresno, speaking with a personal injury attorney from Grossman Law Offices is advisable.
California Dooring Laws
Under California law, § 31-21-14, “No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the roadways, or highways of this state, available to moving traffic, unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so.” You are also expected to keep doors open for only as long as it takes to load and unload cargo and passengers.
Moreover, in 2018, California became the first U.S state to legalize lane splitting, allowing motorcycles to ride between or alongside cards in undivided and divided streets and highways. The law was designed to make the roads safer for motorcyclists and to reduce the hostility between motorists stuck in traffic and the lane-splitting motorcycle riders altogether.
The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Dooring Accidents
Dooring accidents can occur on any roadway, especially in the heavy traffic of Fresno. One thing is sure: when the road is crowded with pedestrians, moving cars, parked cars, and trolleys, the place gets dangerous for motorcycle riders. The most common causes of dooring accidents include:
- Failure to look: passengers and drivers fail to look for oncoming motorcycles
- Illegally-parked cars: drivers that park illegally in active traffic lanes or along driveways tend to dash in and out and forget to check for oncoming motorcyclists before they open their doors
- Poor visibility: poor weather conditions may obstruct the view of drivers and motorcyclists
- Poor road conditions: road defects or debris can force motorcyclists to maneuver around them and veer into an open car door. At this stage, a municipal liability lawsuit may be brought against the entities responsible for the road maintenance.
Who Is at Fault in a Motorcycle Dooring Accident?
Motorcycle dooring accidents are generally caused by the negligence of a motorist, motorcyclist, or even a third party. If the accident occurred in a construction zone due to debris, a private company or the city government could share some responsibility, too.
California is a comparative negligence state. This means that if you share a percentage of the blame, you can still seek reduced compensation based on negligence. However, determining who is liable in a motorcycle dooring accident may be complicated. Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Grossman Law Offices can help.
Our legal team has the necessary knowledge and skills to prove that another party was responsible for the open car door accident and your injuries. We work to get the best possible results in your settlement negotiations or trial. Moreover, we will fight aggressively against the insurance companies to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Grossman Law Offices?
When you work with Grossman Law Offices, you can rest assured that we will fight tirelessly to obtain meaningful compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and future medical needs. If one of your family members has been killed in a Fresno, CA, motorcycle dooring accident, we can help you seek justice in a wrongful death lawsuit.
We know that insurance companies will try to place the blame on you, attempting to minimize your compensation. But don’t worry. We believe you should not be forced to handle all the consequences following the accident. We work hard to hold the responsible parties accountable.
You can trust our legal team to seek the compensation you deserve. We are here to help 24/7, and we will listen to your case and advise you of your legal options. After a motorcycle accident, contact the Grossman Law Offices to schedule a free initial consultation and evaluation of your motorcycle accident case.