Who Is At Fault When It Comes to "Dooring"?

Representing Victims of Dooring in New Orleans



New Orleans has one of the highest bicycle accident rates in the nation. This means that laws and codes have been put into place to create order between motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians as they maneuver around the city. If you or someone you know has been the victim of New Orleans bicycle accident, keep reading to find out what you should do to handle the situation properly with the help of a dooring attorney in New Orleans.

What Louisiana laws say about dooring

Louisiana laws were constructed in favor of preventing these common bicycle accidents from happening. This was done by giving motor vehicle drivers the responsibility of making sure that the area is safe before they open their door. The law also provides that no one inside of the motor vehicle should leave the car door open for longer than necessary.

§283. Improper opening or leaving open of vehicle doors
A. No person shall open any door of a motor vehicle located on a highway without first taking due precaution to ensure that his act shall not interfere with the movement of traffic or endanger any other person or vehicle.
B. No person shall leave open any door of a motor vehicle located on a highway for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Different types of dooring accidents

These accidents usually consist of drivers or passengers of a motor vehicle opening a door just in time for a bicyclist to crash into it. These types of accidents can happen on both sides of the car. They can also happen if the car is still moving.

Facts that could affect your case

Most drivers and passengers of the motor vehicle will be held responsible and found at fault for causing the incident. However, there are facts that could affect the amount of responsibility that the person at fault ends up bearing.


If there are certain laws pertaining to cyclists within a designated area, they must be followed. If an accident happens, cyclists may be held responsible if they did not. This could happen if cyclists did not wear proper safety gear during certain times of the day. This could also happen if they didn’t follow applicable traffic rules.


Bicyclists who are proven to be riding under the influence may be found to be at fault for the accident. In 2017, 48% of bicyclist fatalities were due to alcohol.


Bicyclists who are distracted while they are riding are more likely to be involved in a dooring accident. This is a fact that could make the bicyclist at least partially responsible for their losses.



What to do when you are a victim of dooring

  • Convince the driver to stay at the scene. This is one of the most important steps. You must try to keep the driver there so that he or she can be identified and questioned when the police arrive at the scene. You may also want to gather their license and insurance information.On some occasions, the driver might try to flee from the scene. This is hindering part of the case that could leave you empty-handed with no help. You should be sure to get the license plate number of the vehicle and other forms of identification that might help the police identify the driver once they have arrived at the scene.
  • Call 911 so that a police officer can arrive to help you. Calling 911 will allow the appropriate help to arrive at the scene so that you can be treated respectfully according to the law. Failing to do so within a reasonable amount of time could allow the driver to leave the scene without proper identification from the police. This could cause your claim to fail.
  • As soon as you talk to the police, request an incident report and a formal citation for the person that hit you. This is information that will allow you to document the incident so that your accident can be given a fair trial. These documents can also be reliable sources for the insurance company.
  • Identify and communicate with all of your witnesses. Try to get them to stay at the scene. Witnesses are a critical component to these types of accidents. They will be able to add extra details that might help the police and other authorities decide on the fate of your case. This is why you and the police should document the witnesses’ names and information so that they can be used as critical evidence for your case. A lawyer from Lavis Law can use this gathered information to help your case.
  • Go to the hospital as soon as possible. Lots of accidents induce the release of adrenaline throughout the body. This prevents the victim from feeling any pain. The pain from the accident could show up later during the day. That is why you should go to the hospital immediately after the accident happens. Your body could be undergoing traumatic amounts of stress because of the accident without you even feeling it.

Contact a New Orleans attorney who can help

No matter how simple your case may seem to be, it is always smart to consult with a dooring lawyer in Louisiana. The law is designed to work in favor of the cyclist. However, there are contributing factors that can cause you to receive less than you actually deserve.

You should contact Lavis Law by phone or online as soon as possible so that you can request a consultation. This could help you get dooring legal help in Louisiana so that your case gets resolved in a favorable manner.

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