“Dooring” accidents are some of the most common accidents between cyclists and passenger vehicles in NYC. They account for about 20% of all accidents between pedestrians and motor vehicles.
These accidents happen when a car door gets opened, without warning, in the path of a cyclist’s travel. This can result in strains, sprains, fractures, cuts, abrasions, head injuries, and other severe injuries. Those injuries can be even worse when cyclists instinctively swerve into oncoming traffic in order to avoid the door.
This happens with alarming frequency here in New York, despite the fact that Section 1214 of the Vehicle and Traffic code states that it’s against the law to open a vehicle door into moving traffic. Motorists are supposed to make sure that opening their car door will not interfere with other traffic, including bicycles.
Yes, You Can Sue for Dooring Accidents
The existence of these laws helps to determine that the occupants of passenger vehicles have a duty of care towards cyclists harmed in dooring accidents. The establishment of duty of care helps to create grounds for a personal injury suit if your injuries meet New York’s personal injury threshold or if you don’t have an auto insurance policy that will cover your own injury (because you don’t own a car). New York is a no-fault state, and if both parties have car insurance than your own PIP policy should pay your expenses.
None of this means your case will be open and shut. You can expect the driver’s insurance company will try to blame you for the accident. They might claim you were riding too fast, that you could have swerved safely, or any number of other points in the hopes of reducing your personal injury award. They can do this thanks to New York’s comparative injury laws, which typically assign some percentage of blame to each party in an accident or injury case.
This is why it’s so important to reach out to an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as quickly as possible. The earlier you involve a lawyer the more successful we generally are at proving your claim and your case. We can generally find more evidence, talk to a greater number of witnesses, and do more to counter the insurance company’s case.
Get Help Today
If you have been injured in a dooring accident, give yourself your best chance at pursuing your case successfully. Contact our offices to schedule a free case review.