In 2011, dooring was the cause of 20% of cyclist injuries and fatalities. However, dooring can also affect pedestrians, motorcyclists, people riding e-scooters, and even other motorists. Continue reading to learn more about dooring accidents from Bronx E-bike attorneys Glenn and Robin Herman.
What Does Dooring Mean? Dooring Definition in Traffic Law
Dooring is a common form of collision where a driver opens a door on or in the path of a cyclist. Occurring mainly when car occupants fail to check their surroundings, it often results in severe injuries or fatalities. Many cyclists have been hit by oncoming vehicles or cars approaching from behind when attempting to avoid the opened door. To prevent such accidents, it is crucial for drivers and passengers to stay alert and aware of their surroundings to avoid opening their doors into others approaching on bicycles, stand-up scooters, mopeds, e-scooters, and other micromobility devices.
What Injuries Are Caused by Dooring Accidents?
Dooring accidents can cause severe injuries to cyclists that vary according to the cyclist’s speed, direction of travel, and the force of the opened door. Common injuries include:
Whiplash and other severe neck or spinal injuries due to the force of being suddenly stopped.
Abrasions and lacerations, which may include road burn, from contact with the road.
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries, which can have a range of life-long side effects, as a result of the impact with the door or with the road.
Broken and fractured bones or crush injuries from contact with the door or from the impact of a fall.
Fatalities have occurred when cyclists have swerved out of the way and ridden into traffic.
Dooring Liability in New York State: Is the Person Who Opened the Door Always Liable?
In most cases, the person who opened the door onto an oncoming cyclist is liable for a dooring accident. This is because Section 1214 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL), states that drivers must ensure that it is safe for them to open their doors before they do so. Specifically, §1214 provides:
§ 1214. Opening and closing vehicle doors. No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
As a result, the individual who opens the door is typically responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from dooring incidents. In cases where a passenger opens the door and causes a dooring accident, the owner of the vehicle may also be held liable for the injuries caused.
How Much Compensation Are You Entitled to After a Dooring Accident?
Dooring accidents have costly ramifications beyond their medical bills. The resulting injuries can have far-reaching effects on the victim’s daily life and finances, like lost wages, impact on earning potential, future medical expenses, and pain & suffering. In personal injury cases, the liable party’s insurer may try to save money, making it important to seek help from a seasoned legal representative to obtain rightful compensation. Your lawyer will help you navigate the complexities of your individual case, help you avoid lowball offers and unjust accusations of fault from insurance companies, and guide you through the process of taking your claim to court if necessary.
About Bronx E-bike Attorneys Glenn & Robin Herman
Our Bronx E-bike attorney team takes the time to learn every aspect of your case during our initial meeting in order to properly evaluate the full extent of the damages you or a loved one have suffered. We have been representing seriously injured New Yorkers for over 35 years. Born, raised, and living in the City, we know that when you have been injured in this town, you need an attorney to protect your rights and explain the law to you in a way you can understand.
For a no-charge consultation today to discuss the details of your injury event: https://hermannyc.com/free-case-consultation/
We represent clients in all five boroughs of New York (NY): Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, along with Suffolk County & Nassau County on Long Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, and throughout the entire state of New York.