Suing for Motorcycle Car Door Crashes in California

Motorcyclist driving through heavy traffic while the sun sets. Motorcyclists are vulnerable on the streets, especially when it comes to collisions with other vehicles. One specific type of accident that motorcyclists face is the dreaded car door crash.

These accidents may make up about 16 percent of all motorcycle or bicyclist accidents in California. This number could be significantly higher in more urban areas.

If you were injured in a car door crash due to a negligent driver’s actions, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. Call our motorcycle collision attorneys in Sacramento today to discuss your legal options. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.

How Do Motorcycle Car Door Crashes Occur?

Motorcycle car door crashes, commonly referred to as “dooring” accidents, are a type of collision that occurs when a driver or occupant of a parked vehicle opens their car door without checking for oncoming traffic, leading to a direct impact with an approaching motorcyclist.

These accidents often happen in urban settings where parked cars are prevalent, such as in city streets, residential neighborhoods or parking lots. In some instances, a dooring accident can occur while a motorcyclist is lane splitting, which is legal in California.

The inherent danger in motorcycle car door crashes is because of how unexpectedly they can occur. Motorcyclists may not anticipate that a parked car’s door will suddenly open, making it difficult to take avoid a collision.

What Are Some Common Injuries From Motorcycle Car Door Crashes?

Motorcycle car door crashes can result in a wide range of injuries, varying from minor to life-threatening. Some common injuries include the following:

  • Cuts and abrasions
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries and organ damage
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Dislocations and sprains

The severity of injuries often depends on various factors, including the speed of the motorcycle, the angle of impact and the use of protective gear by the motorcyclist.

Who May Be Liable for a Motorcycle Car Door Crash?

When determining liability for a motorcycle car door crash it is important to establish whether the person opening the car door did so in compliance with state law.

According to California Vehicle Code Section 22517, individuals are responsible for ensuring it is safe to open a vehicle’s door, especially when the vehicle is parked on the side of moving traffic. The law explicitly states that no person should open a vehicle door unless it can be done safely and without interfering with the movement of other vehicles on the road.

Individuals who fail to adhere to state law may be liable for any damages that result from an accident that occurs.

What if the Action is Done With Malicious Intent?

In some rare cases, a car door crash may not be an accident but a deliberate act of aggression.

Road rage incidents can escalate to dangerous levels, and a malicious driver might intentionally open his or her door to collide with a passing motorcyclist. Such actions are not only reckless but also criminal.

If you can prove the driver acted with malicious intent, he or she could face criminal charges in addition to civil liability for the injuries and damages caused.

The challenge for cases involving injuries caused by malicious intent is whether the liability insurance will cover damages. Unfortunately, many insurance companies have clauses in their policies stating that intentional actions are not covered.

You may be able to push back against the insurance company by proving the intentional act was not done in a way the individual believed an injury would occur. However, this is incredibly challenging. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to work with an experienced attorney.

Call Us Today

Our attorneys have decades of combined experience negotiating favorable settlements. If the insurance company refuses to cooperate, our attorneys are also prepared to file a lawsuit on behalf of an accident victim.

We do not charge any hourly fees for our services, as we work on a contingency basis. This means we do not get paid unless we successfully recover compensation for you. There are no risks for you.

Schedule your free consultation. Call 916-777-7777 today.