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Dooring Bicycle Accidents and Pursuing Legal Action

 Posted on December 11, 2023 in Bicycle Accidents

IL injury lawyerBicyclists face a host of dangers when sharing the road with motor vehicles. Some of these dangers include distracted drivers, adverse road conditions, and vehicles passing too closely. Such threats are enough to make a pedalcyclist never want to mount their bike again.

In a recent year, the United States was home to 966 bicyclist deaths, with 41,615 cyclists suffering injuries. Presently, a growing issue is dooring accidents. A dooring accident takes place when a parked motorist opens his or her vehicle door directly in the pathway of a bicyclist. 

If you have been injured in a “dooring” accident, you deserve trustworthy representation that can only be found in a Waukegan bike accident attorney.

Reasons Dooring Accidents Occur

It is well-known that motorists do not spot bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians as easily as other motorists. Moreover, once a vehicle is parked, the driver is less apt to pay attention to his or her surroundings. 

In one year, dooring accidents comprised almost 20% of bike crashes. Bicyclists who are driving alongside parked vehicles are in danger of suffering serious injuries if a driver or passenger opens the door unexpectedly. Even though the car is not in motion, the bicyclist’s speed usually makes it impossible to stop in time.

A dooring accident does not always happen with parked vehicles. It can take place if a vehicle operator drifts into a bike lane. A bicyclist is usually thrown off guard, typically swerving to attempt a collision, but often running into the side of the vehicle.

Tips for Bicyclists to Avoid a Dooring Accident

Here are some tips for bicyclists to avoid being victim of a dooring accident:

  • Ride at least three feet away from parked vehicles
  • If you are in an unprotected or narrow bike lane, stay toward the outside of the lane
  • Pay attention to parking vehicles
  • Keep your eye out for any drivers or other vehicle occupants in parked cars
  • If you must ride close to parked vehicles, significantly reduce your speed as you approach these vehicles

“Dutch Reach”

The Illinois Department of Transportation recommends that a vehicle driver open the door with his or her right hand, known as a “Dutch Reach.” This allows the motorist to get a view of oncoming traffic and cyclists before exiting the vehicle.

Compensatory Damages

Bicyclists who have physical, mental, or emotional injuries as a result of an accident may be eligible to receive compensation in the form of damages. Damages are designed to make an injured party “whole” again through financial reimbursement.

Compensatory damages come in two forms: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages are any out-of-pocket expenses that have created a financial strain, such as:

  • Lost income
  • Surgeries
  • Rehabilitative equipment
  • Physical therapy
  • Bicycle repairs 
  • Future expenses

 In contrast, noneconomic damages are intangible losses that impact your life but do not take money directly out of your pocket. Noneconomic damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Emotional anguish
  • Negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED)
  • Disfigurement or scarring

 If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, a Lake County bike accident attorney will be able to help you file a personal injury claim to recover for your injuries and other losses.

 Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Contact a Waukegan, IL, Bike Accident Attorney Today

Even taking all precautions, sometimes it is impossible to avoid an accident. If you have been the victim of a bike accident, you need a Lake County, IL, bike accident attorney who can hold the liable party responsible. Contact Salvi & Maher, LLP today online or by phone at 847-662-3303 to schedule your free consultation. 


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Contact a Lake County Vehicle Accident Attorney Who is Ready to Help You

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 to set up a free initial consultation at one of our four convenient locations. There is no risk because we only collect fees if you collect compensation. With offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, and Chicago, we represent clients in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, and McHenry County.

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