Open Door Motorcycle Crashes, Injuries, and Recoveries

You were riding your motorcycle down the street when all of a sudden a car door opened in front of you. You didn’t have time to stop. Instead, you collided with the door and got hurt. Now, you are wondering who was at fault for the accident and who may pay for your injuries.

Wisconsin Opening Motor Vehicle Door on Highway Law

Wisconsin State 346.94(20) gives people specific responsibilities when opening doors on Wisconsin highways. For purposes of this law, the term “highway” includes all public ways and thoroughfares, and private roads. According to the law:

  • No one may open a motor vehicle door on a highway without first taking precautions to ensure that opening the door will not interfere with the movement of traffic or endanger any other person or vehicle.
  • The driver of the motor vehicle has a responsibility not to allow anyone under 16 years of age to open the door of a motor vehicle without first taking precautions to ensure that opening the door will not interfere with the movement of traffic or endanger any other person or vehicle.

This law exists to prevent serious injuries to motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other others who may be hurt when a car door unexpectedly opens in front of them.

Motorcyclist Injuries in Open Door Accidents

If a car or truck door opens in front of you, then you may collide with it, collide with something else while trying to avoid the door, or fall off of your bike. As a result, you could suffer from significant injuries, including but not limited to:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones such as the pelvis, hip, ribs, legs, arms, collarbone, shoulder, and neck bones
  • Internal injuries, including organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Rider’s arm
  • Road rash
  • Chest injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Open wounds
  • Facial and dental injuries
  • Amputations

In some cases, death may occur.

What to Do After an Open Door Accident

You had no control over someone opening a door in front of you, but you do have control now. You can begin protecting your rights at the scene of the motorcycle crash and continue in the days and weeks to come by:

  • Gathering evidence at the accident scene, if possible.
  • Calling the police.
  • Referring insurance adjusters to your attorney.
  • Getting medical attention and following medical advice.
  • Calling a lawyer.

Bikers aren’t always treated fairly. Often, there is a bias against bikers that makes it especially important to take the necessary actions to get the compensation you deserve.

Your Recovery From a WI Open Door Motorcycle Crash

You need to know what you are fighting for before you begin a motorcycle accident case. Your compensation could include, but may not be limited to past and future:

  • Medical costs including hospital stays, surgeries, medical office visits, medications, assistive devices, rehabilitation therapies, and other healthcare needs
  • Lost income including wages, bonuses, benefits, and income from self-employment
  • Out-of-pocket expenses including transportation costs, modifications to your home, household help and other costs
  • Pain and suffering including your physical pain and emotional suffering

If your loved one was killed in an open door crash, then you may also recover damages for funeral costs and your family’s loss.

Even though Wisconsin has a law that gives drivers and passengers the legal responsibility to open doors safely, you may still need a lawyer if you were hurt in an open door crash. An attorney can make sure that you are treated fairly.

Our Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawyers are also bikers. We are committed to making sure that our fellow bikers are treated fairly and that they get the financial recoveries that they deserve. We have worked with insurance companies for more than half a century. Insurers know that we are not afraid to go to trial to help injured bikers, and that often makes them more willing to negotiate fair settlements.

Call us or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation where we can discuss your potential case and possible recovery.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham