In most cases, the person who opened the door to their car before the accident happened will be held liable for the damages. However, it can be difficult to determine fault after the car door has been hit because each person will have a different version of events that must be fully examined.
If the moving motor vehicle had the right of way, then you will be held responsible for the damages. In most cases, cars have the right to stay in motion on the roadways. It is important for all drivers to take the time to carefully check their mirrors before they open their doors near oncoming traffic.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of collective experience when it comes to tackling car accident cases in the State of Florida. Our law firm has an in-depth understanding of traffic law, and we know exactly how to help you. A car accident lawyer will be ready to take your call and answer all of your questions now.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.
Determining Who Is at Fault for an Open Car Door Accident
There are a number of possibilities that can contribute to causing an open-door car accident. In this case, you will need a car accident lawyer to examine all of the factors that were involved in the accident. The main individuals who could be held liable for open car door accidents include:
The Person Who Opened the Car Door
Many of the states in America established a law that automatically assigns fault to the person who opened their car door in the event that an accident occurs. It does make sense because the person who opens the car door is not moving, which means that they have the opportunity to check the road before opening their car door.
The law in the State of Florida declares that the person who opened the car door has the following duties:
- The driver cannot open the car door unless it is considered safe, and the action can be performed without interfering with the flow of traffic.
- The driver cannot leave the car door open on the side that is available to moving traffic for longer than is necessary to load or unload passengers.
The Driver Who Hit the Open Car Door
The actions of the driver might have contributed to causing the car accident. For example, the driver was texting while driving only seconds before the accident happened, and they had plenty of time to react to the open car door. In this case, the driver can also be held partially liable because there was an opportunity to avoid causing a collision, regardless of whether the person was on a scooter, bicycle, motorcycle, car, truck, or any other type of motor vehicle.
Hitting an Open Car Door When Driving Too Fast for the Road Conditions
Every driver has a responsibility to operate their motor vehicle at a safe speed for the road conditions. The responsibility always exists, regardless of the speed limit. If the road conditions demand that you drive slower than the speed limit, then you must adjust your speed accordingly.
The driver will hold a degree of fault in the event that the road conditions warranted them to drive slower, which would have given them the opportunity to miss the open door, but they chose not to slow down, then they will be given a percentage of fault for the collision.
Hitting an Open Door After Failing to Take Necessary Steps
Every driver has a responsibility to take the necessary steps to avoid causing a car accident when they are given the opportunity to do so. For example, the driver who hit the open car door could have been able to move to the left and completely avoided hitting the car door. If they did not take the necessary steps, then they will hold some fault for the accident.
Who Is at Fault When a Bicycle Is Hit by an Open Car Door?
A bicycle accident that involves a cyclist hitting an open car door has happened so many times that this type of accident has been given its own name. The state calls it a ‘dooring accident’ because the cyclist hits the door on sudden impact.
The same rules that we have listed above can also be applied to ‘dooring accidents.’ However, there are a few special conditions when a bike is involved in an accident.
The Door Zone Is the Death Zone
The door zone is known as the width of a fully open car door. If a cyclist rides within the door zone, then they are likely to get ‘doored’ by a car door that has been opened. The door zone changes depending on the length of the car door in question. However, the area tends to range between three to five feet.
Many cyclist professionals agree that people who ride bikes should try to ride at least five feet away from cars that are parallel parked. This is known as riding in the safe zone. However, it is not always possible in some situations.
When There Is No Bike Lane
The cyclist is meant to ride as close as they can inside of the curb when there is no bike lane. This will put a cyclist very close to cars that are parallel parked, and they will face the possibility of a car door opening. It might put cyclists in the unsafe door zone because cars will try to ride next to the cyclist, which means that they have no room to move away in an attempt to avoid a car door that might suddenly open. A situation where heavy traffic is involved might even make the case more difficult for the cyclist.
When There Is a Bike Lane
There is great pressure to add bike lanes in urban areas. The government is trying to make an effort to try and make biking a safer option inside busy cities. However, the effort has also seen an increase in the number of ‘dooring accidents.’ The bike lane is always between the inside traffic lane and the space where cars tend to parallel park.
The cyclist is usually forced to ride within the door zone because the bike lane is too narrow. When a car door opens in a bike lane, it means that the bike lane is not wide enough for the cyclist to move around. In this case, the cyclist will hit the open car door because they cannot stop in time.
Who Is at Fault When a Car Hits an Open Car Door When Pulling Into a Parking Space?
There can be special circumstances when it comes to determining the person who is at fault in the event that a car hits an open car door as they are pulling into a parking space. In this case, the person who opened the car door believed that the parking space next to them was empty as they opened the door. On the other hand, the driver who was pulling into the open car space was moving slowly, which means that they would have had a lot of time to notice that the car door was opening. The person who pulled into the parking space might be given a higher percentage of fault, but this is not always necessarily the case.
In the event that a driver was already most of the way into a parking space when the door of the car opened, then there would be no way to avoid the accident. In this situation, the person who opened the car door will be more at fault.
It is not uncommon for people to have conflicting statements about the timing of the events and how the accident happened. The damage to the door of the car and the damage to the moving car will ultimately help to determine the timing of the events.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you are wondering who is at fault in an open-door accident, then you should get in contact with a car accident lawyer to bring clarity to the situation as soon as possible. We understand that an accident can affect you physically, mentally, and financially, and we want to make the legal process easier for you.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience and knowledge in fighting complicated car accident cases for people in the State of Florida. Our law firm will support and guide you through the legal system during this difficult time.
If you have any questions in regard to an open car door accident, then you can speak to one of our car accident attorneys now. We will help you to recover the compensation that you deserve for the damages that you have suffered. Our phone lines are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.