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Accidents Caused by Opening Car Doors


Have you been doored? You may have no idea what that means. But then a part of you may be thinking it has something to do with being injured by a door, and likely, a car door. You’re right. Dooring accidents are more common than you might think, and the usage of the term is actually well known, at least in areas where the accidents are most likely to occur.

What is Dooring?

A dooring accident is any accident that happens when someone in a parked or stationary car, opens a door, and the door injures someone else. It may be a pedestrian, but it is more often a bicyclist, because cyclists are often traveling faster than pedestrians, and often may not be able to stop the bike in time to avoid the opening door.

Dooring accidents tend to happen in more cramped areas where there may not be a lot of room for cyclists or pedestrians to walk and not a lot of room for open car doors to open and still leave room for people to pass.

Why They Happen

Even the most careful among us can end up dooring someone; we are careful when we drive, but once parked, and a safe distance from cars, people often swing out their doors, oblivious to their surroundings.

Some of the more technologically advanced cars have a warning system, telling people that there are cars or people approaching in the way of the opening car doors—but not all do, and the existence of the safety feature in the first place, is a pretty good sign than dooring accidents are becoming more and more common.

Proof in Dooring Accident Cases

One problem when doors injure people is liability—that is, the person opening the door will blame the victim for not looking or driving or cycling too fast, and the victim will blame the car operator for not looking before he or she opened her door.

For the person in the car, this can seem counterintuitive—doesn’t someone in a car, legally parked, have a right to open his or her vehicle door?

Further adding to the frustration of car operators is that in some cases, the area or lanes are too cramped and tight to safely open a door.  The person opening the door may feel that he or she had no choice but to obstruct a pathway.

Victims will feel the same way—when they see a door opening, they may be faced with the choice of either crashing into the door or swerving to avoid it and thereby subjecting themselves to greater danger from oncoming traffic.

Cyclists may have it worse than pedestrians, who are just walking. A cyclist can be thrown off a bike with even a slight glance from an opening door. But no matter who you are, injuries from an opening car door can lead to serious injury.

Injured by an opening car door? Call the Knoxville personal injury attorneys at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today.



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