A man was fatally injured in a bicycle accident in Brooklyn after hitting a taxi door that was opened, hurling him into the path of another passing car. According to a report in the New York Post, the 26-year-old man was riding a pedal-assist e-bike north on Third Avenue near 28th Street in Greenwood Heights the morning of Jan. 1. A parked cab swung open its door in his path, police said.
The cyclist, who reportedly lives just over a block from where the accident occurred, was catapulted over the door into the path of oncoming traffic where a passing car driven by a 53-year-old man rammed into him. The bicyclist was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Both the cab driver and the other driver remained at the scene and no arrests were made. Pedal-assist eBikes became legal in New York City over the summer. However, faster throttle-powered bikes remain illegal.
Bicycle Dooring Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, there were 840 bicyclists killed in car accidents in the United States. As you might expect, when a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bike, it’s the cyclist who is most likely to be injured. Dooring is one of the most common causes of bicycle accident injuries. This often occurs when occupants of vehicles on the roadway fail to look out for bicyclists around them.
Doorings occur when a vehicle occupant opens his or her car door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist. This type of accident causes severe injuries to the cyclist. The injuries happen not just from the impact of striking the door, but also because bicyclists tend to get thrown into the roadway. When the victim is in the path of an oncoming vehicle, they may be fatally injured.
Bicycle Dooring Laws in New York
New York law requires drivers and passengers to exercise caution while opening car doors. Section 1214 of the New York Vehicle & Traffic law states: “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 and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall a 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.”
In addition New York City Code, Rules & Regulations Section 4-12-(c) states that no person shall get out of a vehicle from the side facing the traveled part of the street in a manner as to interfere with the right of an approaching vehicle or bicycle. There is no question that the best way to avoid dooring accidents is for motorists etc. to look behind their vehicles before opening a door. Slowly open the door only when the path is clear. Once you exit, close the door as quickly at possible. Never fling your door or leave it open.
Rights of Injured Bicyclists
A bicyclist who has been injured in a dooring accident may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative therapy, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families that have lost loved ones in bicycle accidents may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages as well.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 47 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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