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Car Door Bicycle Accidents

On crowded city streets, getting “doored” is a pervasive fear, and a common experience, for many Atlanta bicyclists. This strange-sounding term refers to a situation when a cyclist collides with a parked car door which is suddenly opened into the rider’s path. Even at low speeds, such an accident can cause the rider to be thrown from the bike, resulting in serious damage to the bike as well as severe injury to the rider. When a driver or occupant of a car is negligent in opening a door and it causes such a bicycle accident, the injured victim can seek compensation from the responsible party.

Effect of Georgia Law on “Dooring” Collisions

Drivers are required by Georgia law to use care before opening a door into traffic. Specifically, Georgia code section 40-6-243 states:

No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other 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.

In a personal injury lawsuit brought by an injured cyclist after a “dooring” accident, the injured cyclist will have to prove that the driver was negligent or behaved unreasonably in opening the door into traffic. If the driver was cited by the police for a violation of the above code section 40-6-243, this citation can be used as evidence by the injured plaintiff to prove the defendant driver’s negligence. A citation is not required, however, and an experienced bicycle accident attorney can find other ways to establish the defendant driver’s liability to the injured victim.

Driver May Blame Victim for Bicycle Accident

A driver may try to blame the cyclist for not paying enough attention and not taking steps in time to avoid the accident, or for riding too close to a lane of parked cars. Bicycles riders are actually required by Georgia law to ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, although they are allowed to ride more toward the left of the lane when passing a parked car with due care. It is essential to fight back strongly against any false or unfounded claims that you, as the cyclist, were partially to blame, as any amount of fault attributed to you can reduce your recovery amount. Even more, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident, you could be prevented from recovering any compensation at all.

Seek Compassionate and Dedicated Help after a Serious Georgia Bicycle Accident

If you were the victim of a car versus bicycle accident or other serious injury in Atlanta or elsewhere, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation today at 404-460-0100 or 888-426-2100 regarding your claims for compensation.

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