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Bicycle vs. Car Door Accidents

Work with Our Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer

One of the most common causes of injury to urban bicycle riders is a collision with a car door. Usually this is caused by the vehicle’s occupant not checking to make sure that it is clear before opening the door. This type of collision is frequently called being “car-doored.”

This can be one of the most difficult accidents for a bicyclist to avoid. Frequently, if you turn right, you are going to go directly into the car. If you turn left you would go into traffic. Also the doors can swing open within just a fraction of a second making braking or otherwise avoiding the collision impossible.

If you have suffered injury in an accident of this sort, make sure to reach out to our Columbia personal injury attorneys today at (803) 359-3301 to schedule your free case evaluation.

What the South Carolina Statutes Say

South Carolina law is very clear that when a vehicle occupant opens a car door that they can only do so when it is safe. In fact the legislature even enacted specific legislation on this topic back in 1978. S.C. Code § 56-5-3822 makes it a misdemeanor crime to negligently open up a car door. When someone is injured as a result of a car door accident, this law can be used to clearly establish liability (legally called negligence per se), and can also be used as a basis for punitive damages.

So what type of compensation is a cyclist who is “car-doored” entitled to? When the accident is substantial, the legal compensation can include:

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Disfigurement \ Scar Compensation
  • Permanent Impairment
  • Punitive Damages

Compensation would be the responsibility of the insurance company for the owner of the vehicle. The law is also very clear that even in the event a car door is opened by a small child, or just purely “accidentally”, the insurance company still has legal payment obligations.

If you or a loved one has been injured in any bicycle accident, including being “car-doored” contact our Columbia injury lawyers today for a free, no obligation consultation.

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