Cycling in the busy city can be very dangerous and cyclists run the risk of being hit by cars, crashing into pedestrians, or being “doored”. When a cyclist is “doored”, this means they collided with an open car door while riding down a line of parked cars. Injuries sustained can range from scraped knees to traumatic brain injuries depending on the severity of the accident. It is possible to file a personal injury claim against the owner of the vehicle, but are they responsible for the accident?
Cyclists are usually required under the law to ride in bike lanes or to the right of traffic. This means that cyclists are going to be riding very close to parked cars. Before opening their car door, drivers and passengers are required to check and make sure there are no oncoming cyclists. In most cases, the person who opened the door is liable if they door a cyclist. It is possible for the person who opened the door to argue that the cyclist should have avoided the door, but the argument does not hold much strength unless the cyclist had plenty of time and space. It has also been reported that cyclists who swerve to avoid car doors were more likely to be struck by other cars and sustain severe injuries.
When a cyclist files a personal injury claim against the driver or passenger, the cyclist will be responsible for proving that the driver or passenger failed to act in a careful manner before opening their door. As mentioned before, drivers and passengers are required to make sure that no cyclist is approaching or riding by before opening their door. The cyclist will then be required to prove that the driver or passenger’s conduct led to damages.
If you’ve been injured due to being “doored” during your bike ride, your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering could be covered. Contact an experienced lawyer at Needham Kepner and Fish, LLP to help you navigate cycling and personal injury laws to strengthen your case. Schedule a consultation today.