A “dooring” accident occurs when a motorist opens a car door in the path of a cyclist. The cyclist rams into the door and suffers from severe injuries such as strains, sprains, fractures, cuts, abrasions, and head injuries.
Dooring accounts for roughly 20% of all cycling injuries. Roughly 7% of those injuries end in the death of the cyclist.
Some cyclists suffer even worse injuries because they swerve into oncoming traffic, instinctively in an attempt to avoid the door.
Opening a door into oncoming traffic is illegal under Section 1214 of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Code.
Who pays for a dooring accident?
If you have your own auto policy, your own personal injury protection may cover it. The same is true if you have a non-driver’s policy. The driver’s own PIP coverage may pay if you don’t have insurance. You may sometimes seek compensation under the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation.
You can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit if your injuries meet the severe injury threshold.
What complicates dooring accident claims?
Insurance companies representing the driver often try to shift blame for dooring accidents onto cyclists. Often, they’ll allege the cyclist was driving too fast or could have swerved safely to avoid an accident.
New York’s comparative negligence laws assign a percentage of fault to each party involved. Any award you receive gets reduced by that settlement. It’s vital that you work with a personal injury attorney who can help make the case that the bulk of the fault, if not 100% of the fault, lies with the negligent motorist.
If your loved one was killed in a dooring accident, you can expect the insurance company to pull the same tricks. They don’t care that your loved one is dead. They only want to hold on to as much money as possible. Nevertheless, winning a dooring wrongful death suit in New York City is possible.
Get Help Today
Retaining a personal injury lawyer early improves your chances of proving your case effectively. We can gather additional evidence, interview witnesses, protect you from insurance company dirty tricks, and work hard to counter the insurance company’s defense.
If you’ve experienced a dooring accident or have lost a loved one to a dooring accident, call RLF to schedule a free case review today.
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Meet Mr. Richman
SCOTT B. RICHMAN, ESQ.
Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines.