When a driver opens their door without looking to see if anyone is passing, their carelessness may result in an accident. Motorcycle riders may have to swerve to miss the car door, resulting in an accident even if they avoid hitting the open door.
Motorcycle riders can be left with devastating injuries from which they may never recover. If you are the victim of a motorcycle open-door accident, you could have the legal right to bring a claim for damages. Speak with an experienced Colorado motorcycle crash lawyer who can help.
Causes of a Motorcycle Open-Door Accident
Negligence is the primary cause of motorcycle open-door accidents. Drivers and passengers have a legal duty to check for obstacles and people before opening their doors. That includes pedestrians, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, etc. When vehicle occupants fail to check for hazards, accident victims can be left with catastrophic injuries. So why wouldn’t someone check for others before opening their car doors? Some of the most common reasons include the following.
People can be distracted by various things, such as cell phones, other passengers, or grabbing something from the seat as they hurry out of their vehicle. When someone is distracted by something else, they may forget to look before opening their door.
Visibility issues—such as fog, rain, snow, nighttime, overgrown hedges, and hazardous traffic patterns—play a role in these types of accidents as well. Reduced visibility makes it even more crucial for motorists to check before opening a vehicle door.
Illegally Parked Cars
Someone illegally parked is likely in a rush and probably not paying a lot of attention to anything other than what they are there to do. That means there is a greater chance the motorist will fling open their door without checking their surroundings for people or other hazards.
Defective Roads and Hazards
Sadly, it is not uncommon for someone to file a motorcycle open-door accident claim because of a road hazard. If there is a pothole or other defective road condition, the motorcyclist has to swerve and ends up colliding with a motorist opening their door. While the driver might have some fault, you could have a claim against the government entity that is responsible for road maintenance.
Even one drink can impair a person’s ability to judge distance accurately. Alcohol also impacts your motor skills and slows down your reaction times. Someone who has been drinking may not look out for passing motorists. Or they could misjudge the distance.
Common Types of Injuries in a Motorcycle Open-Door Accident Claim
Motorcycle riders are at risk for severe to catastrophic injuries in an accident, especially if they are thrown over the handlebars, crash into another object, or get run over by another car. Any number of injuries can occur in a motorcycle open-door accident, but we see some more often than others. Some of the most common injuries we see in these types of claims include:
- Road rash;
- Broken or fractured bones;
- Fractured skull;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis;
- Shoulder injuries;
- Serious abrasions, lacerations, and contusions;
- Internal bleeding;
- Organ damage;
- Shoulder injuries;
- Joint and knee injuries;
- Torn ligaments; and
- Severed limbs or ones that require amputation.
Even when motorcycle riders have the proper protective gear, they are not protected completely. Motorcyclists have very little protection when compared to someone riding in a car. In a motorcycle open-door accident, there’s a very good chance the motorcyclist has made a direct impact with the vehicle—a situation that almost always results in injury.
Potential Recoverable Damages in a Motorcycle Open-Door Accident Settlement
Severe injuries may require accident victims to be hospitalized for an extended period of time. Victims may require ongoing medical treatment. They may not be able to return to work either. Understandably, prospective clients want to know what compensation they are entitled to receive. Each case is unique, so your potential settlement will be different from other accident victims, even those with similar injuries. Potentially recoverable damages in a motorcycle open-door accident include:
- Medical expenses to date;
- Future expected medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Future loss of earning capacity;
- Property damage;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Other related expenses.
When you retain a Colorado motorcycle crash lawyer at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we will review your case and go over what types of damages you suffered in a motorcycle open-door accident. We are committed to protecting your rights and helping you get the compensation you deserve when someone else’s negligence results in your injuries.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Open-Door Accident
The actions you take following a motorcycle accident of any kind are vital as they can impact your claim. First and foremost, it’s crucial to remain calm after an accident. You should contact 911, especially if you sustained injuries. The police should respond and make a report of the accident.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, try to take photos of your injuries, the damage to your motorcycle, and the surrounding scene. These can be crucial pieces of evidence in a motorcycle open-door accident claim. However, you should only attempt to take photos if you can do so safely and without causing yourself further harm.
Were there any witnesses? Be sure to get their contact information. Sometimes witnesses need to leave before police arrive. It’s best if they can remain on the scene until the police. And be cautious about what you say at the scene, especially to the other party. You don’t want to inadvertently say something that the other driver’s insurance can try to use against you in a claim.
If your injuries were not severe enough that you were transported to the hospital from the scene, it’s imperative to still seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Don’t assume your injuries are not that severe, as you could have internal injuries that aren’t immediately visible. You also don’t want to wait weeks or months because the other driver’s insurance company will claim your injuries must not be severe—or that something else caused them—rather than this accident.
You should not speak to the other motorist’s insurance company or give a recorded statement without legal representation. Contacting a lawyer in the initial stages of the claim is the best course of action. The sooner you retain a legal practitioner, the sooner we can start protecting your rights.
Contact a Colorado Motorcycle Crash Attorney Today
If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle open-door accident, it’s crucial to speak with an attorney right away. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we have over 100 years of combined experience with personal injury accidents in Colorado, including motorcycle collisions. We understand the nuances of these types of claims and how insurance companies unfairly try to put more liability on the motorcycle rider. You run the risk of them denying liability outright or offering you far less than your case is worth.
Please don’t leave your case to chance; let our skilled legal team put our expertise to work for you. Contact the Colorado motorcycle crash attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.