Biking in New York City has become a preferred and modern mode of transportation both in the country setting and along the busy streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The benefits of this mode of transportation cannot be overstated. It provides exercise, convenience, and in many cases, speed. Yet, riding a bike in heavy New York City traffic can at times be hazardous.
There are various relatively common types of bike accidents. One such accident type often seen in the City settings is known as “doorings.” This type of accident occurs when a driver or passenger in a parked car or truck, suddenly opens a door of a vehicle into the path of a cyclist.
Section 1214 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York addresses the issue of the opening and closing of vehicle doors as follows:
“No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic and 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.”
This is a New York State statute that applies throughout all the counties of the State. New York City has an additional protective law NYCCRR Section 4-12- ( c ) which provides that “no person shall get out of any vehicle from the side facing on the traveled part of the street in such manner as to interfere with the right of the operator of an approaching vehicle or bicycle.”
This law protects the cyclist and sets out the legal responsibility of the driver of a motor vehicle and cyclist. Each case is very different and nuances in facts can result in differing legal situations. The selection of knowledgeable counsel is at times critical to vindicating your legal rights. It is also very important to consult and retain counsel as soon as possible so as to assemble and preserve evidence when it is still available and to obtain information when the event is still fresh in the minds of witnesses.
In some cases this is not possible or just overlooked for one reason or the other. Counsel should still be consulted in order to evaluate your prospective case.
Please feel free to call the Frankel Law Firm located at 275 Madison Avenue, New York, New York at (212) 888-5100 in order to discuss any case (new or old) involving a serious personal injury. The consultation is free. We practice throughout the State of New York including in the courts located in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Manhattan.