Motorcycle accidents involving car doors opening unexpectedly are surprisingly common and can result in severe injuries. If you've been injured in this type of motorcycle accident, you can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your accident-related expenses.
Causes of Open Car Door Accidents
Bikers may be injured in open car door accidents caused by a number of different factors:
- Right-hand maneuvers can place a motorcycle very close to parked vehicles, since bikers are required to move to the right side of the traffic lane before a right-hand turn.
- Illegally parked vehicles can open doors too close to traffic.
- Drivers may fail to check their side and rear-view mirrors before opening a car door.
- Drivers distracted by other vehicle occupants may not see a biker approaching.
- Poor weather conditions can impede visibility.
- Road debris, other vehicles, or conditions that make a biker veer toward a parked vehicle can create the opportunity for a collision.
The force of a car door opening unexpectedly can cause very serious injuries. Types of injuries a motorcyclist may suffer include:
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Nerve damage
- Back or spinal cord injury
Injuries From Accidents With No Collision
Even if a motorcyclist is able to avoid colliding with an open car door, he may still suffer injuries from the evasive action. If he runs into a tree, curb, sign, or other object to avoid a more serious accident, this can still be the basis of a personal injury claim since the loss of control was due to the need to avoid striking an open car door.
If you've suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident caused by another party's negligence, you're entitled to compensation. Your settlement can include:
- Medical expenses, including all emergency care and follow-up appointments
- Anticipated future medical needs, if the motorcycle accident left you with a disability requiring ongoing care
- Lost wages from the time you were unable to work due to your injuries
- Anticipated loss of future earning potential, if the motorcycle accident left you with a disability
- Pain and suffering, including both physical pain from your injuries and the emotional trauma associated with the accident
How Fault Affects Compensation
Motorcyclists who are determined to be partially at fault for their injuries can still receive personal injury compensation under Louisiana law. However, their settlement will be reduced by their assigned percentage of fault to reflect their role in the accident.
Since helmets are required by law, note that failing to wear a helmet will make you partially at fault for the accident. However, if you did not suffer a head injury, your failure to wear a helmet will be considered legally irrelevant since the helmet would not have prevented your injuries.
Proving Your Claim
A personal injury claim from a motorcycle accident involves the following elements:
- The defendant had a duty to act in a way that reduced the risk of injury to others who were sharing the road.
- The defendant acted in a way that breached this duty.
- The victim suffered specific injuries.
- The injuries are the result of the defendant's actions.
Reports from law enforcement, photographs of the accident scene, witness testimony, and copies of your medical records are some of the types of evidence that can be used to support your claim. Expert witnesses can also be called to testify on specific aspects of the case such as how your injuries have affected your future earning potential and the type of medical care you might require in the future due to an accident-related disability.
Contact Neblett, Beard & Arsenault to Protect Your Rights
An experienced personal injury attorney can locate the necessary evidence to prove liability, document your damages, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. This allows you to focus your attention on recovering from your injuries and moving forward with your life.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's award-winning legal team is dedicated to advocating for the rights of injured Louisiana motorcyclists. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.