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Proving Liability Open Door Accident Cases

Massachusetts Attorney Representing Victims of Motorcycle Crashes

Although motorcycles provide an excellent way to commute due to their small size, fuel economy, and ability to avoid traffic while fitting into small parking spots, motorcycle riders face some of the most serious dangers on the road. One of the most common accident types that threaten motorcyclists is an open door accident. This is a situation where someone opening the door in a passenger car does not first check to make sure that the way is clear. As the person opens the door, the motorcyclist doesn’t have time to avoid the open door, leading to a devastating collision. This is also known as dooring in some areas. At our firm, a knowledgeable Massachusetts motorcycle accident lawyer is available to provide compassionate and responsive legal counsel to motorcycle riders who need assistance in proving liability after an open door accident.

Open Door Accidents in Massachusetts

Most dooring accidents involve the driver’s side door because it opens to the left into the lane of traffic, but there are some instances where a rear passenger seated on the driver’s side of the vehicle may be involved in a dooring accident. There are certain instances under Massachusetts law where someone will be presumed to be at fault for an injury accident, and dooring is one of them. If your car door is open, or if you are in the process of opening it, and a collision occurs, then there will be a presumption that you are responsible for the injuries and damages that result. This is true regardless of whether the person who opened the door was the driver of the vehicle or a passenger. If there was a defect in the door that hit the rider, there is also a chance that the manufacturer of the vehicle could be liable.

Proving Liability in an Open Door Accident Case

In a negligence lawsuit arising from an open door accident, the plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to act with the same reasonable care and skill that a prudent person would use when faced with a similar situation. This is referred to as the standard of care. Because open door accidents presume that the person who opened the door is at fault according to Massachusetts law, the plaintiff has an easier burden in a dooring case. However, the defendant may be able to point to some other factor as a cause of the collision, including evidence that the motorcyclist was also acting negligently by failing to pay attention, speeding, or driving in areas that are not meant for vehicle traffic. As long as the plaintiff can show that he or she was operating his or her motorcycle in a lawful fashion, the defendant will have the burden of proof. Law enforcement may issue a citation against the passenger vehicle driver for a dooring accident, which can help establish that dooring was the cause of the accident. You may also be able to gather statements from eyewitnesses in support of your claims. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you assemble all pertinent evidence for your case.

Damages in an Open Door Accident Case

If you are successful in proving liability in an open door accident case, the next step is a determination of the damages that you are owed. There are many different categories of damages available to injured motorcyclists. The most common examples are compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, reduced future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Injuries in dooring accidents can be devastating. If the motorcyclist hits the door, he or she can be thrown from the motorcycle or suffer debilitating crushing injuries if the motorcycle tips over and pins his or her limbs to the ground. There are even some instances in which a dooring accident can be fatal.

Speak With a Concerned Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Massachusetts

If you were involved in a dooring accident or some other type of motorcycle crash in Massachusetts, you deserve to meet with a dedicated and knowledgeable accident lawyer to help you explore your legal rights. Our lead attorney is available to serve clients in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Waltham, Dedham, Norwood, Quincy, Brookline, and Peabody. Call us today at  (800) 262-9200 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

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