What is a dooring accident in Pennsylvania?

If you were injured in a dooring accident in Pennsylvania, continue reading and give our skilled legal team a call today to learn more about how our personal injury attorneys can help you.

What is a dooring accident?

A dooring accident happens when the door of a standing motor vehicle opens in the path of an unwary pedestrian, cyclist, or motorcyclist, resulting in them flipping over, falling down, or swerving into oncoming traffic as they try to dodge being hit. Most dooring accidents are non-fatal, but they can still cause serious injuries.

Traffic laws generally require motor vehicle drivers and passengers to scan for pedestrians and cyclists in the area before entering or exiting their vehicles. However, it’s not unusual for busy people to swing their vehicle doors open without thinking and without checking whether someone is in their path.

Sometimes poor road engineering results in bike lanes that are built within the door zone, revealing cyclists to dangerous obstacles in their path. The door zone of a parked motor vehicle may be defined as the roughly 5 feet of space where a pedestrian or cyclist faces the highest likelihood of being hit.

The size of the door zone can differ depending on the size of the parked motor vehicle. Even the most skillful of cyclists might find it challenging to react sufficiently quickly to evade being hit by the sudden door movement. Many cyclists run the risk of clashing with the oncoming traffic while trying to dodge a car door suddenly opening in front of them.

What kinds of injuries can be endured because of a dooring accident?

On one-way streets, dooring can involve a front or rear car passenger suddenly opening a door. Although all city cyclists are aware and fearful of these accidents, getting doored even at relatively low speeds can cause a cyclist to be flipped over their bicycle’s handlebars and may result in serious injuries.

Dooring accidents can cause injuries that are deemed catastrophic, including the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Multiple fractures that may need surgery
  • Organ damage

What compensation can be recovered from a dooring accident?

As a victim of a dooring accident, if you can demonstrate the negligence of a motorist or passenger in opening a vehicle door, you can be lawfully qualified for damages, including:

  • Current medical treatment bills and medical treatment expenses you may reasonably expect to incur in the future
  • Current lost earnings and earnings you may reasonably expect to lose in the future
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral and burial expenses in case the accident results in a wrongful death


Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. Contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.

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