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Dooring Accidents in Philadelphia

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Motorcycle riders try to avoid the unpredictable moves of distracted drivers every time they ride, but it’s the parked cars they might not notice that can also create a dangerous hazard.

Someone in a parked car can look back to make sure traffic has died down before they swing the door open. What they don’t realize is they’ve somehow missed the motorcycle traveling along in the right lane. The door opens and the unsuspecting motorcyclist is suddenly heading straight into a wall of metal and glass.

Support for Motorcycle Accident Victims in Philadelphia

A trip through Center City or up Roosevelt Boulevard shouldn’t mean motorcyclists have to give up their rights to a safe ride. At The Pearce Law Firm of Philadelphia, we fully support a motorcyclist’s right to the road. We also want to protect riders injured due to the carelessness of other motorists. And when insurance agents try to blame a rider for a crash without even knowing the facts, our attorneys can be there to make sure the truth wins out and the victim receives compensation to make a full recovery.  Contact us for a free consultation so we can discuss your best options after an accident.

Dooring Motorcycle Accidents In Philadelphia

A dooring accident can occur when a car door suddenly opens up in front of a motorcycle in motion. The car doesn’t have to be parked. These dangerous hazards can appear while a motorcyclist is practicing lane-splitting or lane-filtering where the rider is traveling between lanes while vehicle traffic is slowed or stopped. For whatever reason, drivers or passengers can open their doors while stopped at a light and present a potentially harmful hazard to a rider in the same lane.

Dooring injury numbers are hard to pin down because the term isn’t always used on accident reports, and many collisions occur when a motorcyclist swerves to avoid a car door in front of them and winds up in an accident with another car passing by. That type of dangerous collision can sometimes be attributed to some other cause.

It’s safe to say that dooring accidents happen every year in Philadelphia and add to the astonishing numbers of motorcycle injuries and deaths each year in Pennsylvania. PennDOT reported that across the state in 2017 there were just over three thousand motorcyclists injured in accidents along with 185 tragic deaths. In that same year, Philadelphia was the scene of 259 motorcycle accidents.

Common Injuries in Motorcycle Dooring Accidents

The severity of motorcycle injuries in dooring accidents will depend on the speed the rider was traveling and where the victim ends up as a result of the crash. Dooring accidents can send a rider under the door and vehicle, or off the bike and over the door resulting in another collision with the ground or road surface. And as mentioned, a successful swerve to miss a door may unfortunately just lead to a collision with a moving vehicle nearby.

  • Blunt Force Trauma – Caused by the impact and the extreme forces absorbed by the body due to rapid deceleration. Can lead to a rupture or other injury to internal organs. These injuries may not be outwardly visible.
  • Concussion/Brain Injury – Involve TBI or traumatic brain injury and can lead to dizziness, headaches, and even permanent memory loss.
  • Broken Bones – The hands and arms may be first to take an impact as riders try to cushion a blow. The neck, skull, and face may also take severe damage and see broken bones and damaged teeth.
  • Road Rash – Severe abrasions and scarring may appear anywhere on the skin.
  • Chest Injuries — A blow to the chest can break ribs and cause immediate breathing problems. An impact on the sternum can damage the heart and esophagus. A blow to the back can injure kidneys. An impact on the side of the chest can damage the liver or spleen.

Comparative Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents

A motorcyclist may not be wearing a helmet or might be lane-splitting at the time of the accident and may feel that they can’t win a claim for damages to help with their financial hardships after an injury. That is simply not true.

Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state and that means more than one person can be held liable in an accident. You might have been lane-splitting (illegal in Pennsylvania as of 2020) and found to be 25% to blame for your own injuries, but the person in the car involved may face 75% of the blame because they were not paying proper attention when they opened a door or were also disobeying a traffic law. In this case, the motorcyclist could still win compensation, but their 25% of liability would be subtracted from the award.

It’s important to note that victims in Pennsylvania can’t be found over 50% responsible for their accidents and still expect compensation from the other driver. If a victim is found 51%  or more at fault in his or her accident a claim for damages is generally not allowed to move forward.

Contact a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney

In Pennsylvania, an injured motorcycle accident victim is given up to two years to file a claim for damages. The attorneys with The Pearce Law Firm do not recommend waiting long to file this civil lawsuit. If a lot of time is allowed to pass it will be harder to collect evidence, locate witnesses, and request important documents. An attorney working for you can help gather these important details for your case.

After any accident involving a serious injury, contact a highly rated Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.

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