Stephen Hasner | Bicycle Accidents | September 14, 2018
With summer in full swing, more people are taking their bicycles out to enjoy the summer weather. Savannah’s warm weather and flat roads make it the perfect spot for cycling. While biking is a healthy means of transportation for most individuals, it is not without risk of injury. One type of accident—dooring—is particularly relevant in lively cities like Savannah. Dooring occurs when someone suddenly opens the door of a parked car and strikes an incoming cyclist.
It can result in serious injuries to the cyclist. A cyclist could sustain an injury by colliding with the door, falling on the pavement, or swerving into traffic. It is a driver’s responsibility to check for cyclists before opening any vehicle’s doors, but distracted drivers often skip this step prior to exiting their vehicle. This negligence can result in a costly collision with a bicycle.
Biking in Savannah
With 2.6 percent of Savannah’s commuters riding bicycles as their primary mode of transportation, the city ranks first in Georgia for bike commuting. Furthermore, the League of American Bicyclists has recognized Savannah as a bicycle friendly community. Despite these accolades, accidents can and do still occur. In 2015, 98 collisions were reported to police, resulting in 60 injuries and four deaths; in 2016, 99 collisions were reported, with 71 injuries and one death.
Under Georgia law, it is a crime to negligently open your car door. A determination of negligence depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the accident, including traffic and timing. A driver may be cited by the police at the time of the collision for any negligent actions; and any police report or eyewitness account can be used to establish negligence if necessary when seeking compensation.
Injuries sustained in a dooring-related accident can be severe and may include broken bones, lacerations, and/or brain injuries. Furthermore, the emotional impact from an accident may result in psychological distress to an injured victim. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle-related accident in Georgia, including dooring, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Personal injury claims can be complex and prolonged. An injured cyclist must prove that a driver acted negligently and that the driver’s negligence caused the cyclist’s injuries. If a case goes to trial, the driver will have the opportunity to defend the allegations. Drivers often attempt to prove that a cyclist’s negligence caused his or her injuries, which can affect liability and the overall outcome of the case. It is essential to provide a strong argument and fight back against any defense to ensure full compensation for the hospital bills, lost wages, and personal suffering that may have accrued due to the driver’s negligence.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a dooring accident in Savannah or the surrounding area, contact Hasner Law online today or call us at 912-234-2334 to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Let us handle your legal claim while you focus on recovering from your injuries.