As anyone who lives in New York knows, cyclists and motorists have a responsibility to share busy streets and must exercise caution at all times to avoid serious accidents. But did you know that in New York City and New York State, it is a violation of the Vehicle and Traffic law to open a vehicle door into moving traffic?
Section 1214 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law establishes that motorists should not open their vehicle doors on the side of moving traffic until it is “reasonably safe to do so.” Unfortunately, drivers and passengers alike frequently fail to watch for oncoming traffic (both vehicles and cyclists), and open their vehicle doors recklessly, potentially causing a “dooring accident.”
The Dangers of Dooring Accidents
Dooring accidents can be particularly harmful to cyclists, who have little to no protection in the event of a crash. The cyclist will often be unaware that anyone is in the vehicle as they approach it, and will usually not have time to stop before striking or being struck by an open vehicle door. Some common injuries cyclists could suffer in dooring accidents include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head and facial injuries
- Brain injury, including concussions or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spine and spinal cord injuries (including paralysis)
- Strains, sprains, and soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Road rash
In severe cases, the cyclist could be thrown or could fall into traffic and could be struck by a vehicle while on the street. The injuries suffered in these instances could be catastrophic or could prove to be fatal.
It is the responsibility of any vehicle occupant to watch for approaching cyclists before opening their door into moving traffic.
Liability for a Dooring Accident
Because it is a violation of city and state traffic laws to open your vehicle door without exercising appropriate care and caution, a cyclist who is injured in a dooring accident could have a valid injury claim against the person responsible.
Securing compensation for these claims could be challenging, however, particularly when liability is disputed. It is recommended that any cyclist who is hurt in a dooring accident in New York City or anywhere in the state seek qualified representation from an experienced injury attorney right away.
Call Finz & Finz, P.C.
When it comes to seeking justice and fair compensation for injuries sustained in a dooring accident in New York, there is one firm that stands out among the rest: Finz & Finz, P.C. Our team of car accident and bike accident attorneys have the experience necessary to help you recover the full compensation you’re entitled to. We will work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for your dooring accident case. Call us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation at 1-855-TOP-FIRM today.