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I just got ‘doored’ while riding my bike in Boston – who is at fault?

Cycling is among the most popular ways to get around within the city, especially on the highly bike populated streets of Cambridge and the surrounding Greater Boston Area. However, cyclists must share the roads with motorists at all times, even if they are safely biking in bike lanes. Sometimes, when a motorist isn’t paying attention, they may open their car door right in the path of an oncoming cyclist. These incidents are known as “dooring” or being “doored,” which can result in horrendous injuries to cyclists. If you have been involved in a dooring incident, contact the Cambridge personal injury attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP right away to see if you may be able to file a personal injury claim.

Being doored is more common than you may think. One study of Cambridge bicycle accidents found that being doored accounted for about one in five cycling accidents, and the injuries sustained from these incidents can be quite severe, since they often involve high speeds and harsh impacts. Injuries from dooring incidents can include:

  • Deep skin lacerations
  • Road rash
  • Broken bones or teeth
  • Concussions or other brain injuries
  • Coma and death

Who is responsible for a dooring incident?

Massachusetts, along with many other states, has specific laws that are intended to protect cyclists from dooring incidents. In Massachusetts, passengers and drivers in automobiles are required to check their surroundings before opening their doors, and should not be distracted (for example, by a cell phone) when they do open their door.

These laws mean that, in the vast majority of dooring cases, the individual who opens the door without first adequately checking their surroundings will be at fault for any injuries that occur as a result. However, there are some important factors to keep in mind after being injured in a dooring incident in Massachusetts, due to how the state handles injuries from events that are covered by mandated personal insurance.

In Massachusetts, such incidents may first have to be covered by the “no fault” provision of insurance, which means a minimum of up to $8,000 of medical expenses can be covered by the at fault individual’s insurance. However, this provision may not always apply, especially if the dooring incident caused especially damaging injuries – like permanent scarring or debilitation. An experienced personal injury attorney from Altman & Altman LLP will be able to assess whether it makes more sense to go through personal insurance claim or to pursue a separate personal injury claim following your dooring incident.

Cyclists can count on Altman & Altman

Operating for over 50 years in the heart of Cambridge, and advocating for cyclists throughout Boston and Massachusetts, our attorneys take great care to provide cyclists with the best possible representation and legal advice, since we know how vulnerable cyclists are in our compact and hectic city. We have forged a reputation on providing unparalleled service to our clients and for personally tailoring our legal strategies to their specific situations.

Being doored can lead to debilitating injuries that require thousands of dollars of medical procedures to address, which can also mean you’re spending weeks or even months in a hospital unable to work and collect a paycheck. In these cases, you need a personal injury attorney to have your back and help you with insurance processes, disability claims and workers’ compensation claims if applicable – especially in cases where you were injured by someone without insurance or with inadequate insurance, or if the insurance company tries to deny coverage.

There is no disadvantage to inquiring about how we may help you following a dooring incident, since we provide 100 percent free consultations and do not collect a penny in payments or fees unless we achieve a satisfactory result for you.

Contact us online or call for a free consultation to go over the details of your case today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available

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