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Dooring accidents are becoming more common in big cities like Atlanta because more residents use bicycles for transportation.

Dooring Definition

A bicycle dooring accident occurs when a vehicle’s driver or passenger opens their door, resulting in the oncoming cyclist running into it. When a bicyclist runs into a vehicle door, they can sustain serious injuries even when they’re wearing protective gear.


The Sandy Springs bicycle accident attorneys at Ashenden & Associates, P.C. are ready to represent you if you’ve sustained injuries from a dooring accident. While you may not think that this type of accident warrants legal representation, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the individual that caused your injuries. To understand more about the damages you could recover from a dooring accident, call the Ashenden & Associates legal team today at 770-394-8909.

How Many Bicycle Accidents Happen in the U.S. Every Year?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 1,000 cyclists are killed in the United States every year, and over 130,000 sustain serious injuries from accidents.

In Georgia, there were 21 cyclists fatally injured in motor vehicle accidents during 2019. Of all motor vehicle accidents, pedestrians and cyclists made up 17% of the accidents in that same year. Individuals 15 to 20 years of age are more likely to be involved in bicycle accidents.

Our Sandy Springs pedestrian accident lawyers understand the specific laws surrounding these types of accidents.

What is a Bicycle Dooring Accident?

A bicycle dooring accident is one that occurs when a parked vehicle opens their car door into a bike lane or sidewalk, causing a cyclist to ride into it. When vehicle occupants open their doors without paying attention to their surroundings, they don’t notice an oncoming cyclist. Dooring accidents can also happen when a motor vehicle pulls into a bike lane and opens its car door, which can make the cyclist swerve into oncoming traffic or other obstacles.

While the car is stationary during the time of a dooring accident, the cyclist is traveling at a speed that can make it impossible for them to stop suddenly. When the dooring accident causes the cyclist to run into the car door, they can be thrown over the door and be seriously injured.

Bicycle dooring accidents are more likely to happen when cars are parallel parked since bike lanes are usually right next to those parking areas. It can be easy for the vehicle occupant to not check their surroundings before opening their car door when it’s next to a bike lane since they aren’t looking for oncoming traffic. Evaluating your surroundings before you open your vehicle doors takes just another minute.

what is dooring

Common Causes of Bicycle Dooring Accidents

Dooring accidents are most commonly caused by a driver or vehicle occupant who opens their car door without noticing an oncoming cyclist. This may not seem like negligent behavior, but it is. When the occupants of parked cars do not consider their surroundings before opening their car doors, they can cause severe injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. Much like you check for oncoming vehicles before you open the door, you should do the same for cyclists.

Dooring accidents can also be caused by poor visibility by either fog, rain, or other weather conditions. The driver or passengers may not see the cyclists because of poor visibility, or they forget to check in a rush to get out of the weather. When there are poor weather conditions, or it’s just dark outside, cyclists must wear proper reflective gear to increase their visibility.

Common Bicycle Dooring Accident Injuries

Pedestrians and cyclists are at risk of sustaining serious injuries when they’re involved in an accident with motor vehicles. Cyclists are basically unprotected while riding their bicycles, especially when they come up against a parked car or moving vehicle. Even with protective gear, cyclists can still be seriously injured. The most common types of cyclist injuries are as follows:

  • Broken bones
  • Significant bruising, road rash, and lacerations
  • Joint dislocations
  • Skull or facial fractures
  • Amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Missing or broken teeth
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Even death

If you received injuries related to a bicycle accident, contact Sandy Springs catastrophic injury attorneys at Ashenden & Associates, P.C. today.

bicycle dooring

Is Georgia an At-Fault State?

Georgia is an at-fault state, meaning the injured party can receive damages from the other party’s insurance company. To compare, if you’re injured in a no-fault state, you must pursue damages from your insurance company regardless of whether or not you were at fault.

Modified Comparative Fault in Georgia

In addition to being an at-fault state, Georgia also observes the 50% modified comparative fault law. Also known as comparative negligence, this law states that the damages that a person receives from a personal injury case will be reduced by their percentage of fault according to Georgia Code 51-12-33. For example, if a cyclist is found to be 20% at-fault for the dooring accident, their damages will be reduced by 20%.

Under this law, if an individual is found to be more than 50% at fault for an accident, they will not receive any damages.

Can You Sue for a Bicycle Dooring Accident?

You have the right to pursue legal action against a negligent party that caused your dooring bicycle accident. An injured cyclist can face an extensive recovery period from their dooring accident since their injuries can be severe and even life-threatening.

Dooring accidents are so common that Georgia created a statute for these specific instances. According to Georgia code section 40-6-243, no person should open the door of their motor vehicle before making sure that it is safe and does not interfere with oncoming traffic, including cyclists. This statute also states that occupants cannot leave their car door open for an extended period of time, only long enough to load or unload.

Damages for a Bicycle Dooring Accident

Dooring accident injuries are usually severe and can result in extended medical treatment and more. Seeking compensation for your dooring injuries is important, especially if you’ve missed work because of your accident. Your Sandy Springs personal injury attorney from Ashenden & Associates, P.C will help you recover the following damages:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy
  • Caregiving costs if the accident resulted in injuries that require full-time care
  • Loss of earning capacity if the injured individual is unable to perform their job
  • Emotional distress
  • Counseling expenses
  • Loss of consortium
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

If the dooring accident resulted in the wrongful death of a loved one, you could be entitled to damages for funeral and burial costs. Seeking legal consultation with an experienced wrongful death attorney from Ashenden & Associates, P.C. can help you navigate through this difficult time.

How to Avoid Bicycle Dooring Accidents

Dooring accidents are usually caused by the negligence of a vehicle occupant, driver, or cyclist, so exercising extra caution can play a huge role in avoiding dooring accidents. Below are some steps that cyclists, passengers, and drivers can all adopt to prevent dooring accidents.

As a driver or passenger: Use the vehicle mirrors and turn your head before opening your car door. Once clear, you can open your door and exit the vehicle as quickly as possible. It’s important to avoid flinging your car door open and leaving it open for an extended period of time.

Drivers and passengers are also encouraged to use the “dutch reach,” which is when you use the hand farthest from the door to open it. Using this technique, you’re forced to turn your body and look behind you when opening the door. This way, you can easily check for cyclists and other vehicles.

As a cyclist: Riding your bicycle outside of the door zone is important when avoiding parked cars. The door zone is the space that goes past the parked car where the door will open. Riding your bicycle at a reasonable speed is also important because it can help you maneuver around a sudden car door opening. Also, keep your hands on or near the hand brakes when riding near cars. It’s best to always expect the unexpected when riding your bicycle near vehicles.

bicycle dooring accident

Call a Sandy Springs Bicycle Accident Lawyer at Ashenden & Associates

If you or a loved one were injured from a dooring accident, it’s important to contact a Sandy Springs personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You have the right to seek financial compensation for your injuries. A bicycle accident attorney at Ashenden & Associates, P.C. will evaluate your personal injury claim and help you throughout the legal process.

It’s common for insurance companies to try and place the blame on the cyclist, so working with an experienced Sandy Springs personal injury attorney. can help ensure that you receive proper compensation for your injuries. Schedule your bike accident consultation today by calling 770-394-8909.