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Shadow of unrecognizable cyclist riding a bike on bicycle lane
Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
(833) 997-1774

In the intricate dance between vehicles and cyclists on congested Virginia Beach streets, a peril lurks unsuspected: the dooring accident. It’s a scene too familiar for many cyclists: a car door swings open abruptly, leading to potentially catastrophic collisions. The consequences are dire — severe injuries, medical bills, and shattered lives. Yet, amidst the chaos, a glimmer of hope emerges: the pursuit of legal action with the help of a Virginia Beach bike accident lawyer.

What Are Dooring Accidents?

Dooring accidents occur when a parked or stopped motor vehicle suddenly opens its door into the path of an oncoming cyclist, leaving the cyclist with minimal time to react. The impact can throw the cyclist off balance, leading to falls, collisions with other vehicles, or even into oncoming traffic. The injuries sustained can range from minor bruises to catastrophic head injuries or fatalities.

Navigating the legal landscape following a dooring accident can be as treacherous as the accident itself. Determining liability often hinges on various factors, including local traffic laws, the actions of the parties involved, and the presence (or absence) of bike lanes or designated cycling areas. In Virginia, the law places the responsibility squarely on the person opening the door – they must ensure it is safe to do so and yield to any oncoming traffic, including cyclists.

Pursuing Legal Action

Despite legal protections, cyclists frequently find themselves in uphill battles when seeking compensation for their injuries. Insurance companies may attempt to shift blame onto the cyclist or downplay the severity of their injuries to minimize payouts. Furthermore, the lack of concrete evidence, such as video footage or witness testimony, can complicate matters, often devolving into a “he said, she said” scenario.

However, armed with determination and a skilled bike accident lawyer, cyclists can pursue justice. Documentation becomes paramount – photographs of the accident scene, medical records detailing injuries, and eyewitness statements can bolster a cyclist’s case. Understanding local traffic laws and precedents regarding dooring accidents empowers cyclists to assert their rights effectively.

In recent years, advocacy groups and lawmakers have taken steps to address the prevalence of dooring accidents. Many states have implemented “Dutch Reach” education campaigns, promoting a technique where motorists open doors with their far hand, forcing them to turn and check for cyclists before swinging the door open. Cities and towns throughout the United States have introduced protected bike lanes and infrastructure improvements aimed at reducing the risk of dooring incidents.

Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm Today

If you are a cyclist who was injured in a bike accident, do not delay contacting Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to find out what legal options you may have to pursue damages for your losses. We will work aggressively to get you the financial compensation you deserve, like the $450,000 insurance settlement we recently obtained for one client, a UVA student who suffered a nasty fracture in her foot and various traumatic injuries when a driver who was attempting to take a left turn slammed their vehicle into her.

Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated Virginia Beach bike accident attorneys.



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