“Dooring” occurs when someone opens their car door right into the path of a motorcycle or bicycle. Although, with bicycles, dooring usually occurs when parked cars “door” a passing bike rider; motorcycle dooring typically occurs when motorcyclists are lane splitting. Some New Jersey motorcycle riders have been severely injured or killed as the result of a negligent driver or passenger opening their door.
If you were injured as the result of a dooring accident, contact the motorcycle accident lawyers at Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP today for a free consultation. As both a former motorcyclist and an experienced personal injury attorney, Richard Goldstein, Esq., understands how and why motorcycle dooring accidents occur in NJ.
Motorcycle Dooring Causes
Typically, when New Jersey motorcyclists get doored, they don’t have an opportunity to avoid the collision because the door more than likely is opened just as the motorcycle approaches the vehicle. These are some of the factors that contribute to dooring:
- Speed is a factor in more than a third of motorcycle accidents. The speed of the motorcycle will play a big part in whether the opening of the door causes a collision. However, dooring can occur even when motorcyclists aren’t riding above the speed limit.
- Stopped traffic often raises the odds that vehicle operators could open their doors to assess what’s going on. Stopped vehicles in traffic and passing motorcycles can be the perfect storm for dooring accidents to occur.
- Impaired driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can be very dangerous. Intoxication can negatively affect awareness and reaction times for car, truck, and motorcycle drivers.
- Distracted driving can be dangerous for everyone. Distracted vehicle operators may miss approaching motorcyclists and vice versa.
- Intentional dooring has occurred in some documented cases with frustrated drivers in instances of road rage. This occurs when a driver purposefully opens their door in the path of a motorcycle to create an accident.
When a person has suffered harm to their body or mind because of a dooring accident, they should seek a legal remedy for their losses. They need a dedicated, seasoned, professional New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer to help them recover their damages from the liable party.
Common Motorcycle Dooring Accident Injuries
When a dooring accident happens there is very little time to react because the motorcycle rider doesn’t have time to reduce their speed. When the motorcycle stops suddenly because of the collision with the door, the rider could be thrown forward. Some common dooring injuries are:
- Blunt Force Trauma
- Broken Bones
- Internal bleeding
- Friction burns (road rash)
- Loss of limb or organ
- Scarring or other permanent disfigurements
- Spinal cord injury or other neurological damage
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
Any of these injuries can be life-altering and could lead to permanent disability. So if you’re involved in an open-door motorcycle accident in Newark, NJ, it’s imperative to find a motorcycle accident attorney that understands the laws governing your claim.
New Jersey Dooring Laws
According to New Jersey Dooring Laws, “No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side of the vehicle that is facing the street or highway and is available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so, and the door can be opened without interfering with or obstructing the movement of traffic.”
Determining fault in open-door motorcycle accidents can be quite complicated. This is one of the reasons why it’s vital to choose an experienced and savvy NJ personal injury lawyer to protect your rights.
In many cases, the car driver is considered liable for dooring, but speeding and reckless driving at the time of the incident could lead to you being partially responsible. If you are found to bear some of the blame, New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence law states that you can collect compensatory damages. As long as the portion of fault assigned to you by the court does not exceed 50 percent.
Contact A Newark Motorcycle Accident Attorney
As Newark personal injury lawyers, Goldstein & Goldstein can help you examine all of the details regarding your motorcycle dooring accident injury and determine the best legal course of action to help you get the settlement you deserve.
Contact us if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey and need legal representation. The personal injury lawyers of Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP, have over 30 years of combined legal experience and will do everything they can to get you the compensation you deserve.