Because blame is often hard to assign in open car door motorcycle accidents, if you have been seriously injured in such an accident it is critical to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. In Philadelphia, Cooper Schall & Levy is the place to call. We will investigate your case to determine if the other party’s negligence was to blame for your injuries.
We will provide you with excellent legal representation and have a fine track record of successful outcomes in cases like yours. Contact us today to have your personal injury claim professionally evaluated and to discuss your options. We will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we recover damages for you.
Why Open Car Door Motorcycle Accidents Are So Dangerous
As a motorcyclist, you are well aware that you are at increased risk of injury on the road compared to drivers of other vehicles. While you may be willing to take the risk of not being protected by the metal frame of a car in exchange for the exhilaration of riding free in the open air, some of the dangers you encounter could be avoided if other drivers were more mindful of your presence.
One of these is open car door accidents that may be fender-benders to other drivers but can be life-threatening to bikers who are trying to maintain balance on only two wheels and who have no enclosure to protect them from the pavement. Motorists often don’t think about the impact their car door may have on a motorcyclist or stop to check approaching traffic in the adjacent lane. They also don’t consider that their action is invisible and unpredictable to passing vehicles who usually can’t even tell if the parked car is occupied.
Reasons Open-Door Motorcycle Accidents Are Challenging to Litigate
A number of factors make open-door motorcycle accidents difficult, including:
- Cultural prejudice against bikers that characterizes them as reckless
- The assumption that the moving vehicle must be at fault
Insurance adjusters may presume the motorcyclist to be at fault without taking all the facts into account. Our savvy motorcycle accident attorneys, however, have the knowledge and skill to be strong negotiators, both in and out of the courtroom.
How Occupants of Parked Cars Cause Open-Door Motorcycle Accidents
Inattentive drivers or passengers of parked cars may endanger themselves and other drivers, especially motorcyclists, by:
- Failing to look or failing to notice a motorcycle
- Double-parking or otherwise parking illegally for a “short” time and then making a dash without checking for adjacent traffic
- Being distracted as they open the car door by a cranky child, a text message, etc.
The Pennsylvania Vehicle Code states that: “No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”
Nonetheless, there are situations in which the motorist or motorcyclist may be partially at fault.
When Both Parties Bear Partial Blame for the Accident
Both drivers and motorcycles can be negatively impacted by bad weather conditions that worsen visibility, large trucks or buses that obscure line of sight, or road defects or obstacles. It is also sometimes difficult for a biker to avoid an opening door because they must swerve to avoid a collision with another car that is endangering them. This often occurs when the motorcyclist is making a right-hand turn and is therefore forced to be too close to parked vehicles.
It is also possible that although the occupant of the car was not careful, the biker was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly. In such a case, both parties may be at fault.
If you have been in an open car door motorcycle accident in which fault is shared by both parties, Cooper Shall & Levy can still assist you in recovering compensation for your injuries.
Pennsylvania works under the principle of modified comparative negligence according to which you can collect compensation for personal injuries even if you bear partial responsibility for the collision as long as you are less than 51 percent at fault.
This means that the court, after listening to evidence presented in court, will assign each driver a percentage of fault. As long as you are deemed to be less than 51 percent at fault, you will be able to receive awarded damages. The only catch is that your percentage of fault will be deducted from the amount you receive. So, if you are found 25 percent responsible and awarded $100,000, you will receive $75,000.
Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Car Door Accidents
Whether the rider collides with the car door, is knocked over and trapped under their bike or swerves to avoid the open door and hits another vehicle, injuries from such accidents may be severe or even fatal. Possible motorcycle car door accidents include:
- Fractures, lacerations, road rash
- Spinal cord injuries that may result in paralysis
- Other neurological damage
- Head and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal bleeding, organ damage, or loss
- Loss of limb
Psychological injuries can also be serious, including PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) with its disturbing symptoms of heightened anxiety, nightmares, and immobilizing fear.
Compensation Our Lawyers Will Fight to Win
We understand how a motorcycle accident, open car door or otherwise, can turn your life upside down and we will fight vigorously to bring you the damages you need to cover:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological counseling
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you have lost a loved one to wrongful death in an open car door motorcycle accident, our lawyers will fight tirelessly to bring you the compensation you are entitled to for final medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of financial and emotional support.
Contact Our Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Now
The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner you will feel the relief that comes of putting your
legal problems in caring, capable hands. We will take over all communications with opposing attorneys and insurance adjusters, investigate the site of the accident and all pertinent evidence, including police and medical reports, and interview any witnesses.
Most importantly, we will come up with a strong strategy to defend your right to just compensation. Contact us now so you can gain the peace of mind you need to relax and recuperate.
Cooper Schall & Levy open door motorcycle accident lawyers serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as neighboring counties such as Montgomery County and Delaware County and cover neighborhoods such as Norristown and Drexel Hill.