Dooring incidents, a common urban hazard, occur when a parked car’s door opens in the path of a cyclist. In Portland, with its thriving cycling culture, these incidents have become increasingly prevalent, often resulting in serious injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured in a dooring accident in Portland, you may be entitled to substantial compensation to cover your injuries and related losses. Contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, to find out if you have a claim.
The Dangers of Dooring Incidents
Dooring incidents pose significant risks to cyclists. The sudden, unexpected nature of a vehicle’s door being opened in their path can leave cyclists with little time to react, often resulting in severe injuries.
Common injuries resulting from dooring accidents include:
- Head and Brain Injuries: Even with a helmet, the impact involved in the accident can cause concussions or more serious traumatic brain injuries.
- Spinal Injuries: The abrupt stop or fall resulting from a dooring incident can lead to spinal damage, potentially causing long-term disability.
- Bone Fractures: Cyclists often suffer from broken bones due to the force of hitting a door or the ground.
- Cuts and Abrasions: Skin lacerations and road rash are common, varying in severity based on the speed and nature of the fall.
What’s more, the psychological impact of such accidents shouldn’t be underestimated. Cyclists may also experience anxiety and trauma, affecting their ability to cycle confidently in the future.
The Legal Framework Governing Dooring Accident Claims in Oregon
Understanding the legal framework surrounding dooring incidents is crucial for injured cyclists in Portland. Oregon law places specific duties on both drivers and cyclists, which are pivotal in determining liability in these cases.
- Driver’s Responsibility: Under Oregon law, drivers must ensure it is safe to open their car door without interfering with the movement of traffic, including cyclists. This responsibility is outlined in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 811.490, which states that no person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is safe to do so.
- Cyclist’s Rights: Cyclists have the same rights and duties as drivers of motor vehicles, with specific rules tailored for bicycles. Under Oregon law, a cyclist riding on the roadway is entitled to the same protections and is subject to the same rules as a motor vehicle. This means that in a dooring incident, if a cyclist is operating their bicycle in a lawful manner, the liability often falls on the person opening the car door.
- Fault and Negligence: Determining fault for a dooring incident involves assessing negligence. If a driver opens their door without checking for oncoming cyclists, they may be considered to have acted negligently. However, if a cyclist is riding recklessly or not adhering to road rules, comparative negligence might come into play, potentially reducing the compensation they can claim.
- Compensation and Damages: In cases where the driver is found liable, injured cyclists may be entitled to compensation for a variety of damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Other losses resulting from the accident
The specific amounts of these damages will depend on the extent of the injuries and the impact on the cyclist’s life.
- The Statute of Limitations: It’s important to note that there is a time limit for filing a bicycle accident claim in Oregon. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including dooring incidents, is generally two years from the date of the accident.
Understanding these aspects is essential for anyone involved in a dooring accident in Portland. Legal representation by an experienced Portland bicycle accident lawyer can be invaluable in navigating these complexities and ensuring that you secure fair compensation for your injuries and other damages.
How Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC Can Help
At Paulson Coletti, our approach to helping victims of dooring incidents involves:
- Experienced Legal Representation: Our experienced attorneys specialize in bicycle law, offering our clients in-depth knowledge of Oregon’s traffic regulations and cyclists’ rights.
- Case Evaluation: We conduct a thorough evaluation of each case we handle, considering the specifics of the incident to develop a strong legal strategy.
- Negotiation with Insurance Companies: Our team adeptly handles communications and negotiations with liable insurance companies, ensuring our clients receive fair compensation.
- Litigation Support: If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to represent our clients in court, advocating strongly on their behalf.
Contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC to Consult with an Experienced Portland Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dooring incident in Portland, don’t hesitate to contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC for a free consultation with an experienced Portland bicycle accident lawyer.
Our deep understanding of Oregon bicycle law can help safeguard your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. The sooner you get us involved, the better. Call us today at 503) 862-8712 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.