As more and more South Florida residents use bicycles to commute, as well as for leisure activities, the greater the risk of accidents and injuries to these bicyclists is apparent. Although bike riders have the same rights to use the roads as motorists, drivers are often not looking out properly for their presence, especially when getting out of their vehicles after parking – which is when “dooring accidents” occur. These types of accidents happen when a person opens a vehicle’s door in front of an approaching bicyclist, causing that individual to either be hit by the door or move into traffic to avoid it, both situations often leading to serious injuries for the bicyclist. Miami bicycle accident attorney Robert Dixon and his staff at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon help those injured in a dooring accident seek to hold those responsible legally liable for the harm caused. We represent clients in personal injury claims, as well as families who have lost loved ones in wrongful death actions, making sure they pursue the support they need after a devastating accident. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we offer comprehensive legal services and guidance to clients throughout South Florida, in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. If you need assistance with a legal claim in the aftermath of a serious bicycle dooring accident, contact our office to set up a free consultation to speak with an attorney today.Injuries and Causes of Dooring Accidents
Under state law, those who open car doors suddenly can receive a traffic citation for creating an obstacle in the flow of traffic. Specifically, Florida statute prohibits any person from opening the doors on a vehicle unless it is safe to do so and can be done without creating traffic interference. Additionally, drivers or passengers are not allowed to leave doors open on the side of the vehicle that faces traffic for any length of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers. Although dooring accidents may not seem to be that dangerous, they often lead to some of the most devastating injuries, especially if a cyclist is moving fast when he or she collides with the door, as well as if a victim is struck by a moving vehicle after swerving out of a door’s way. These injuries can include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and may even be fatal. Motorists are supposed to check blind spots before opening a door, as well as wait for an approaching bicyclist to pass before parking. However, not all drivers take these necessary precautions, and should be held accountable when engaging in unsafe practices on the road.Holding Negligent Motorists Liable for Dooring Injuries
Most often, it is a driver who is responsible for a dooring accident, causing injuries after failing to take proper measures before opening his or her door after parking. Negligence is shown when one party, a defendant, breaches a duty owed to the victim (the plaintiff), to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under the circumstances, causing plaintiff’s injury and damages. A motorist who does not obey the law and unsafely opens a door after parking, striking a bicyclist in the bike lane or other areas of the road, has likely acted unreasonably. Once negligence is shown, a plaintiff can receive compensation for past and future medical bills, loss of income, diminished earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering damages in certain cases. Even if a bicyclist has acted partially negligently in causing his or her own injuries, compensation is still available under Florida law, but awards are just offset by each party’s degree of liability. If you’ve been involved in a dooring accident, it is advisable to contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected.Miami Attorneys Representing Victims of Bicycle Accidents
When a motorist’s unsafe actions lead to a bicyclist’s injuries, that motorist should be held liable for the harm caused. Lawyer Robert Dixon of the Law Offices of Robert Dixon is dedicated to pursuing legal action on behalf of injured victims, seeking to ensure that their financial costs are covered by those responsible. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a dooring accident and would like to know more about your legal options, please call 877.499.4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation about your potential claims. We represent clients in areas including Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.