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"Dooring" Accidents in New York City


Due to constant, heavy traffic and crowded subways, many New York City residents opt to ride their bicycles in order to get to work, conduct daily activities, as well as exercise. However, there are instances where a motorist or their passenger suddenly opens their door in the direct path of a cyclist, causing him or her to slam into it.

According to several studies, approximately 10% of bicycle-motor vehicle incidents consist of “dooring” accidents. So when it comes to determining liability, who is at fault?

New York Traffic & Bicycle Laws

New York law states that no person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic until it is reasonably safe to do so, without any sort of interference with the movement of traffic. An individual cannot leave a door open on the side of a vehicle to moving traffic for longer than the amount of time it takes to load or unload passengers.

In addition, no person should exit any motor vehicle from the side facing the traveled section of the street, in a way as to disrupt with the right of a driver of an approaching vehicle or a bicyclist. Hence, an individual who opens their door is often responsible in the event of a dooring accident involving a bicyclist.

On the other hand, if there was no traffic at the time of the accident, the person who opened the car door could argue that the bicyclist had a chance to avoid hitting the door. He or she can contend that the bicyclist was partial at fault for the collision.

If you have suffered an injury while riding a bicycle due to the negligent actions of another party in New York, contact our Brooklyn personal injury lawyer at Belushin Law Firm, P.C. today.

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