A motorcycle rider gets “doored” when an occupant of a car opens the car door right into the path of the motorcycle. The wreck can be violent and cause severe injury and even death. A dooring accident is one of many ways a motorcycle rider is injured while being “unseen” by those in motor vehicles.
At Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., we feel strongly that a motorcycle rider shouldn’t be penalized by the lack of awareness by others on the road. When you are injured while riding a motorcycle, we will stand with you and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Washington Dooring Law
Washington motor vehicle code says “No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side adjacent 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 adjacent to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”
Types of Dooring Accidents
There are two primary ways a motorcycle rider gets doored. First is when the rider is traveling near a parked or stopped car and an occupant of the car opens the door in the path of the motorcyclist. Most motorcycle riders choose to ride on the left side of the lane which usually gives enough room for an open door, but sometimes the rider is riding on the right side of the lane and gets doored.
The other was is when a motorcycle is “lane splitting” which is when they are riding between rows of cars in traffic. This is illegal in Washington state, but so is opening a car door in the path of a motorcycle rider even if he or she is lane splitting.
Common Dooring Injuries
Most of the time a rider has little or no time to take defensive actions or slow down when a dooring accident happens. This contributes to the severity of the accident. The impact can be significant as the rider is stopped cold when the door opens. Some common injuries that riders suffer in a dooring accident are:
- Blunt Force Trauma
- Concussion/Brain Injury
- Broken wrists
- Broken Ribs
- Broken Facial Bones
- Road Rash
Who is at fault?
In Washington state, the person who is negligent in an accident is at fault and by law is required to pay for the damages that stem from the accident. To be considered negligent, the injured person must prove that the driver didn’t use the care can caution due to the injured person, and such lack of due care led to the person’s injuries. In a dooring accident, the court will look to see if the person opened the door without making sure that there is no one traveling next to the car.
What if I’m Injured in a Dooring Accident?
Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer. Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Spokane Motorcycle Accident Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.