It only takes a fraction of a second for a motorist to carelessly swing
open a car door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist.
Dooring accidents often result in severe and fatal injuries since bicyclists
are not prepared for the impact of swinging car door. If they happen to
avoid colliding with an open car door, bicyclists are still in danger
of being struck by vehicles on the road.
How Indiana Handles Dooring Accidents
While Indiana has made great strides to become a bicycle-friendly state,
there is still no law which addresses bicycle dooring accidents. This
means that liability is determined by a jury, if the case goes to trial.
State traffic laws require bicyclists to ride in bike lanes or to the right
of traffic, which places them dangerously close to parked vehicles. It
is mandatory for drivers and passengers to check for bicycle traffic prior
to opening a door. Hence, the door opener is often liable if a cyclist
On the other hand, if there is no traffic at the time, the motorist or
passenger could argue that the bicyclist had the opportunity to avoid
the door. They could contend that the cyclist contributed to the collision
and should be held party liable.
How to Avoid Dooring When in a Car
Before you open your door, look behind you by turning around to check traffic
and using your mirrors. Furthermore, you can also open your door with
your right hand, which forces you to look back. Once the street is clear,
slowly open your door – never swing it open or leave it open.
How to Avoid Dooring Accidents on a Bike
Ride outside of the door zone if space permits. If you are in an unprotected
bike lane, stay toward the outside of the lane and never ride next to
parked vehicles – other cyclists should pass on your left. Be aware
of parking cars and for drivers in their cars.
If you suffered a serious injury after being involved in a
bicycle accident in Indiana, it is imperative to obtain legal counsel from an experienced
lawyer to recover your entitled compensation.
Contact our South Bend personal injury lawyers at
Wruble Law Group today.