Bicycling around New York City is often dangerous. Even though there is a large biking community here, people seem to think that anything goes and that bicyclists don’t matter.
For the men and women who do bicycle, having to deal with inconsiderate and unsafe motorists is often a challenge. Dooring is one of the potentially dangerous things that can happen when bicyclists and motor vehicles have to share a space. Just because it does happen doesn’t mean that it is right. Here are some things to know about dooring.
What is dooring?
Dooring occurs when a motor vehicle occupant opens their door and the door either hits a bicyclist or the bicyclist slams into the door. This can lead to very serious injuries that can land the bicyclist in the hospital, unable to work and racking up costly medical bills. Around 80 percent of bicyclists who are the victims of dooring are injured in the accident.
Who is liable for dooring incidents?
In almost all cases, the occupant of the vehicle is liable for these dooring accidents. This is because the occupants of a vehicle are required to check the area around them before they open the door. Since bicyclists are required to ride in either bike lanes or as far to the right as possible, they often come well within the area that a car door would open. People in vehicles can’t expect that a cyclist would be watching the interior of each parked car or that the cyclist could stop in time to prevent an accident.
What should dooring victims do?
Dooring victims need to seek medical care if they are injured. Calling 911 to get the medics and the police to the scene might be necessary. This could help the injured bicyclist to get a police report that shows what happened in the accident. Getting medical care right away can help to tie the injuries to the accident.
When the injuries from the dooring accident are serious, long-term medical care might be necessary. This means that you might need to have continuing doctor’s visits, physical therapy appointments and other similar medical treatments. As you can imagine, these can be costly.
Seeking compensation is one way that you might be able to reduce the financial impact that the dooring accident has on your life. You could include claims for damages related to the medical bills, pain and suffering, and time you had to miss from work.