What Are Dooring Accidents?

A dooring accident occurs when the door of a stationary motor vehicle opens in the path of an unwary pedestrian, cyclist, or motorcyclist, causing them to flip over, fall down, or swerve into oncoming traffic as they try to avoid being hit. Most dooring accidents are non-fatal, but they can still cause severe injuries.

Traffic laws commonly require motor vehicle drivers and passengers to check for pedestrians and cyclists in the vicinity before entering or exiting their vehicles. However, it’s not uncommon 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, exposing 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 within which a pedestrian or cyclist faces the highest likelihood of being hit.

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

Typical Injuries in 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 classified, according to the American Medical Association, as catastrophic, such as:

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

Compensation in Dooring Accidents

As a victim of a dooring accident, if you can establish the negligence of a motorist or passenger in opening a vehicle door, you can be legally eligible 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

Comparative Negligence in Dooring Accidents

Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state; with the provision that you as a victim can collect damages after a deduction equivalent to your share of the fault. In a dooring accident, the other party whose negligence or misconduct caused the accident may argue that you were partially responsible for the crash.

In such cases, there is always an attempt to lessen the financial liability of the defendant’s insurance company by assigning some blame for the accident to the victim. The court will then likely reduce the damages by the percentage of fault attributed to the victim.

Georgia’s Laws for the Safety of Bicyclists

Under Georgia law, dooring, or negligently opening your car door, is a crime. The specific circumstances at the time of the accident, including timing and traffic, determine negligence. The police may cite a motorist at the time of the accident for negligent actions and use the police reports or eyewitness accounts to prove negligence, if necessary when seeking compensation.

The law protects pedestrians, runners, bicyclists, skateboarders, motorcyclists, and scooter riders, with stiff fines against motorists who threaten their safety. Penalties for violating the law include up to six months in jail or probation, and up to a $1,000 fine.

How an Experienced Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help?

We understand that cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and are here to help if you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a dooring accident. The attorneys at Stein & Fox, LLC can help you seek and recover compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering if your claim is viable.

It can be more challenging to prove a motorist’s negligence in dooring accidents when compared to other types of bicycle accidents. It requires a skillful and committed personal injury attorney with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the state’s laws to be able to identify and assign liability, and then pursue the case diligently to recover the rightful compensation.

Our personal injury lawyers are committed, accomplished, and ready to fight to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation. Do not wait until it is too late to pursue damages. Contact a Georgia personal injury attorney immediately after the accident so they can start working on your case.

At Stein & Fox Accident Attorneys, our dedicated attorneys and support staff offer high-level personal attention that is hard to find at larger firms. Do not allow insurance companies to intimidate you. Our legal team has years of experience in negotiating with insurance companies and we know all of their scare tactics. Call us today at (770) 961-1700 or contact us online to get your case started.

Can a Georgia Employer Be Liable For Their Employee Drinking And Driving?

When an employee causes an accident or injury while they are on their job, carrying out their company’s business, or acting on behalf of their employer; the employer is likely to be held liable.

This rule usually holds employers responsible for the negligence and misconduct of their employees. By making the employee’s negligence a cost of business to the employer, the Georgia law pushes employers toward making careful hiring decisions and exercising caution at the time of choosing the people who will represent their business.

However, if an employee is engaged in executing some personal business or working out of personal motives at the time of the accident, the law is less likely to hold the employer liable. If the employee was acting in self-interest and not at the employer’s direction, then that gives rise to plausible arguments in favor of the employee being held personally responsible for their actions.

Respondeat Superior or the Law of Vicarious Liability

The legal theory or doctrine under which the employers can be held liable for their employees’ acts is known as respondeat superior which in Latin translates to let the superior answer. Under this legal doctrine, it is irrelevant whether or not the employer had prior knowledge of the harm that the employee might cause.

The general rule states that, for an employer to be held liable, the employee must be deemed to be acting within the scope and course of employment. There are, nonetheless, certain exceptions to the rule and employers are not responsible for all of their employees’ acts.

As a victim of an employee who causes an accident because of drinking and driving while on the job, you need not prove that the employer of the negligent individual did something wrong. Employer liability is automatically established by hiring a person who caused harm while on the job.

Under Georgia’s respondeat superior doctrine, in most cases, unless there are special circumstances, an employee commuting to and from work in a car is acting out of only their own reasons and not for their employer.

The Purpose of Vicarious Liability

While under vicarious liability, an employee cannot be held liable for damages they caused while doing their job, even if otherwise found negligent. The onus is on the employer to be vigilant while hiring. If the employee’s activities were being carried out at the instructions of their employer, the law considers the employer to be at fault because they could have been more vigilant while hiring or training the employee.

Vicarious liability also protects the victims, as suing an employee may not be in their best interest as that person may simply not have adequate resources in the form of an insurance policy to cover your injuries and damages. On the other hand, the employer is likely to have liability insurance coverage and other resources to handle your claim.

Exceptions to Vicarious Liability

There are exceptions to the vicarious liability in the sense that the employer is only liable if the damages were caused while carrying out duties in the nature and scope of employment.

The exceptions are the extreme cases where an employee steps outside of their work-related duties and undertakes actions, such as drinking and driving, that the employer would never ask for or approve of. However, the employer may still be held partly liable as they had a duty to exercise caution while screening, training, and supervising their workers.

Negligent Hiring and Negligent Entrustment

Just as in vicarious liability, a negligent hiring doctrine is applicable only when the employee causes an accident while carrying out duties in the usual scope of employment. However, negligent entrustment is based on the negligence of the employer in lending a vehicle with knowledge that the driver is habitually reckless, incompetent, or has a previous DUI charge.

Choose Seasoned Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys for Legal Representation

Having sustained injuries and other damages in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you should not be stuck with figuring out who is legally liable. The personal injury lawyers at Stein & Fox are here to protect your legal interests by holding the liable party responsible and getting you the maximum possible compensation for your pain and suffering.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a Georgia car accident, you should contact the attorneys at Stein & Fox LLC. Our competent attorneys can help you with their in-depth knowledge and understanding of complex Georgia tort laws. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an attorney at our firm, call Stein & Fox Accident Attorneys at (770) 961-1700 or fill out our online contact form.


Best Smartphone Apps to Keep Your Teen Safe on The Road

We live in a highly digitalized world where everyone, including kids, carries a smartphone. Having entrusted your child with a smartphone, you can also ensure their safety on the road by adding a few smartphone apps.

With the help of these apps, you can monitor their smartphone activity, help them learn safety lessons, or simply track their location to keep them out of harm’s way. Let us take a look at some smartphone safety apps that can help keep your child safe from various threats when they are on the road.

TrueMotion Family Safe Driving

If you are the parent of a teenager, reckless driving is a big concern when your child is on the road. Teen instincts veer children towards irresponsible driving, no matter how much you may try to teach them about safe driving habits.

This is where the TrueMotion safe driving smartphone app comes into the picture. This app can not only help you track your teenage child’s driving habits but also keep them motivated to inculcate safe driving habits.

Once you install the TrueMotion app on your teen’s smartphone, it will automatically start tracking all of their driving habits and also start rating all of your teen’s trips. Not only can you see your teen’s current location but also look at how they drove in order to reach there.

To rate your teen’s driving, the app records and takes into account sudden breaks, phone usage during a ride, speeding, and other similar factors. After you complete the initial signup, you will need to tell the TrueMotion app how often your teen drives in a week.

You must ensure that you and your teen input correct information, as the app will use your inputs to arrive at a safety rating. You can add as many family members as you want and start tracking their driving habits.

The TrueMotion app can track the driving habits of all members of your family, and everyone can see how the other family members are faring in terms of their safety score. This creates a healthy competition where your teen can get the motivation to start driving safely.

All in all, the TrueMotion app offers some excellent tracking features to make sure your teen, and other family members, are driving safely. The smartphone driving safety app motivates everyone in the family to drive safely by creating a sense of competition.

Family Locator by Sygic

Sygic Family Locator app keeps your children and family members safe by allowing you to check the real-time location as well as battery levels of their smartphones. With this app, you can track your children’s real-time whereabouts, or even ask them to check in at regular intervals so that you know where they are and if they have reached their destination safely.

The app also comes with an in-built messaging system that allows you to send messages to your child over an internet connection, without any charges. A unique feature of the Family Locator app allows you to set safe and unsafe zones, with the app notifying you when your child enters or leaves a particular zone.

The app also provides an SOS button that lets you send out your exact location at the tap of the button. You never know when your child might need it.

Life360: Find Family & Friends

Probably the best way to keep your child safe, especially when they are on the road, is to be able to track their location and chat with them anytime you want to. The Life360 app does an excellent job of keeping the entire family connected all the time.

It is a tracking app that keeps a complete record of your child’s whereabouts at all times, including where they are at present and where they were the entire day. The app also allows you to send personal messages as well as stay connected to all the family members in group chats.

All the family members who are registered on the Life360 app can be seen on an interactive real-time map and you can start chatting with anyone just by tapping on their profile. The app also provides an option to create separate groups for children and adults and an additional feature that allows you to track multiple families.

While the tracking and chatting on the app are completely free, you can also opt for some additional control and features that are available with the premium version of the app. Life360 Plus will cost you $50 for a year’s subscription and allows you to see the last 30 days’ tracking history, track a lost phone, create location alerts, and get roadside assistance.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Georgia

If your child is a victim of an accident due to someone else’s negligence, the competent and capable attorneys at Stein & Fox, LLC can help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve for their injuries. Our lawyers will help with a legal strategy based on the specifics of your case in order to seek and claim the maximum possible compensation for you.

Call today at (770) 961-1700 or contact us online, to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to get started.