You may be able to sue for a motorcycle dooring accident due to someone else’s negligence if you or someone you love was injured. Depending on the circumstances, you may be awarded compensation for your economic damages to cover medical expenses, or noneconomic damages to cover pain and suffering. A motorcycle accident lawyer can examine your individual situation and guide you through the legal process to help get you the settlement you deserve.
How Dooring Accidents Happen
Dooring accidents happen when a person in a parked car opens the car door into the path of a motorcycle, which then causes them to run into an open door. These accidents often occur in high-traffic areas when there is a line of parallel-parked cars next to an active lane of traffic and the person opening the door first fails to check if any vehicles are approaching.
Injuries From Dooring Accidents
Dooring accidents can cause serious injuries, especially if motorcyclists are ejected over the handlebars and crash into something or are run over by another vehicle. These accidents may even be fatal.
Some severe injuries that can result from dooring accidents include:
- Paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Concussions and other brain injuries
- Cuts, bruises, burns and road rash skin injuries
- Amputation of a limb
- Internal bleeding
- Fractures and broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries
Severe injuries may require hospitalization and ongoing medical and rehabilitative treatment and lead to massive lifestyle changes. This may be compensated in a successful lawsuit.
Georgia Dooring Accident Law
Georgia has a specific law relating to dooring accidents. O.C.G.A. 40-6-243 (2010)
40-6-243, states that: “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.” The law also says that the door should not be left open longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
As a result of the law, if a motorcycle dooring accident occurs, car occupants must show that they exercised due caution when opening the door to make sure this would not interfere with oncoming traffic. In a dooring accident lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the car occupant to show that they checked for approaching traffic before opening the door.
Compensation That May Be Available
Compensation for your accident depends on the types, severity, and costs of damages you suffered. In a successful lawsuit, you may be compensated for monetary losses that may include:
- Current and future medical costs from the injury, such as doctor visits, hospital and ambulance bills, rehabilitative equipment, medications, therapy, and transportation to and from the doctor.
- Property damage. Compensation may cover repairs to your motorcycle or replacement value.
- Lost wages, if you cannot do your job or you miss work to receive medical care. If your injuries are severe enough to keep you from working in the future, you can be compensated for loss of future earnings capacity.
You may also be eligible to receive damages to cover noneconomic losses that do not have a monetary value, such as physical and emotional pain and suffering and loss of life’s pleasures.
Obtaining Compensation Beyond Insurance
In some cases, insurance may cover the costs of your damages. Georgia has a tort-liability law that places the financial responsibility for damages that occurred in the crash on the at-fault driver.
Georgia law requires drivers to carry the following insurance:
- Bodily injury liability – a minimum of $25,000 to cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
- Property damage liability – a minimum of $25,000, which would pay for damage to your vehicle.
When injuries and damage are not covered by insurance, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits are not limited by the amount of insurance coverage either party has and allow you to pursue forms of compensation that might not be available to you in the event that you file an insurance claim, such as pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages.
Get Legal Help With Your Case
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle dooring accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Georgia has a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time you have to pursue compensation to two years from the accident. If your claim is not filed within that time, you may lose the right to sue.
The sooner you contact your attorney, the sooner they can get to work building your case through negotiating with insurance companies, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and filing legal paperwork before the statutes of limitations expire.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle dooring accident, contact the legal team at S. Burke Law for a free consultation. We give you intimate personalized service and legal support. Set up your consultation by calling S. Burke Law at (404) 842-7838 today.