The climate in California is ideal for those who want to walk to work or commute using open-air vehicles, like a bicycle or motorcycle. In fact, California is ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to prioritizing the safety of those not in enclosed vehicles.
The state has focused policy on the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and continues to lead the way in safe and shareable roads. Unfortunately, good laws and municipal policies don’t immediately lead to lower levels of risk for motorcyclists.
You can still get hurt anytime you go out on a ride, especially if you encounter a distracted driver or someone unfamiliar with safety practices for sharing the road. A dooring occurs when someone opens their car door immediately in front of someone on a motorcycle or bicycle. Do you have any rights if a driver or passenger in a car causes a dooring?
California law requires caution when opening vehicle doors
The risk of dooring is always there, as people may enter or exit vehicles with little consideration for the flow of traffic. State law requires that anyone getting in or out of an enclosed vehicle check for safety before opening the door. If someone opens a door into traffic and causes a dooring incident, they could very well be responsible for any injuries or property damage that they cause.
What if the during happened while the motorcyclist split lanes?
One of the reasons people love motorcycles is their ability to maneuver through dense traffic. Lane-splitting is the practice of people on motorcycles or bicycles driving in a lane already occupied by another vehicle. It allows for greater maneuverability and helps ease the congestion of traffic.
California has a law that specifically allows motorcycle drivers to safely split lanes with other vehicles. Lane-splitting will not affect your right to bring a claim against someone who opens their door in front of you and caused property damage and injuries.
You may be able to file an insurance claim against the policy of the driver if you get hurt in a dooring. Other times, you may have to pursue a personal injury claim, especially if their insurance coverage isn’t adequate to reimburse you for all of your losses.