RIBike was approached recently by a writer from a Personal Injury Law website, with an offer to write content for us about what to do in case of a bike crash. Thanks to Deanna Power for submitting the pieces and to RIBike volunteer CJ for helping make the pieces work for Rhode Island bicyclists! The first article is here and the third and final article in the series will be published tomorrow.
Getting Doored While Riding a Bike
One of the most frightening experiences for a bicyclist can be seeing a door of a parked car open. Getting “doored” can cause some very serious injuries — even death. If you were injured when a motorist opened a door, you could have the opportunity to file a personal injury claim to help pay for your medical bills.
According to Rhode Island law, nobody can “open the door of a motor vehicle on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, 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, including pedestrians and bicycles on sidewalks, shoulders, or bicycle lanes.”
This means that it is the motorist’s responsibility to check to make sure that other cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians are out of harm’s way before opening the door of a car. However, this only applies to areas where moving traffic is expected. If a motorist opens their door on their own property in the event of a bicycle collision, they may not be responsible for the crash.
[ed: this is one of the most common causes of injury while bicycling. The number of times we’ve seen people getting out of parked cars fail to look for passing bicyclists is many! Keep an eye out for this danger, and bike safe!]
This article was not written by an attorney, and the accuracy of the content is not warranted or guaranteed. If you wish to receive legal advice about a specific problem, you should contact a licensed attorney in your area.