It can happen in the blink of an eye. You’re out for your routine, relaxing bike ride when all of a sudden someone in a parked car opens their door, causing you to hit it and go flying. This event is known as “dooring,” and it is far more common than most can believe.

There may be a number of factors that contribute to a dooring accident. Perhaps the biggest culprit is the lack of protected bike lanes. This lack of protected lanes forces bicyclists to ride right next to parked cars. Driver inattentiveness can be to blame in many of these cases, too. Too often, motorists fail to check their mirrors before opening their door, and even the most experienced, defensive bicyclists may be unable to avoid a collision.

There are certain steps that can be taken to reduce or even eliminate dooring in the Oakland area. To start, bicyclists should try to ride outside of door zones. This may mean riding as far away from parked vehicles as is safe to do. Drivers, on the other hand, should open their door from the outside with their right hand. This forces them to, at the very least, glance over their shoulder to see if a bicyclist is nearby prior to opening the door.

The truth of the matter, though, is that most people neglect to follow these simple steps. The results can be tragic, leaving you with serious injuries that can have a profound impact on your life. As a result of a dooring accident, you might incur medical expenses, lose wages, and suffer a fair amount of physical and emotional pain and suffering that you don’t deserve.

So what should you do in the aftermath of a dooring accident? Try to follow these steps:

  • Get as much information from the driver as possible
  • Call the police to generate a police report
  • Obtain names and contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident
  • Document your injuries with photographs.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible
  • Keep track of your losses, such as medical expenses and days of missed work

If you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, then you’ll need to take additional action. You might need to conduct depositions to lock witnesses into their story, acquire experts to testify as to the true nature of your injuries and how they may impact your ability to work in the future, and develop strong legal arguments to support an imposition of liability and an award of compensation.

If you’ve been hurt in a dooring accident, then you have a lot on your mind. But you don’t have to deal with it all on your own. Compassionate professionals who truly want you to recover your health and return to normal life stand ready to assist.