If you were riding your bicycle in Ohio and suffered an injury by a car door being opened, you may be wondering about your legal rights. These types of bicycle accidents often occur on roadway shoulders, sidewalks, and even parking lots. Injuries are typically severe and fatal due to the unexpected nature of these collisions.
Who is Liable in a Bicycle Dooring Accident?
When a driver or a passenger quickly swings open a car door and in the direct path of a cyclist, the collision usually cannot be avoided. If the cyclist attempts to avoid the car door, they may either ride into traffic or crash into the pavement.
In Ohio, bicyclists are obligated to ride as close to the right side of the road as they possibly can, along with the vehicles traveling the same direction as they are traveling. In the event of a dooring accident, the person who opened the door and the car owner can be held liable for the injuries they caused.
If you are in your car, here are a few tips to avoid dooring accidents:
- Look behind you by using your mirrors or turning around to check for traffic before opening your door
- Open your door using your right hand, which forces you to look back
- Open your door slowing and never swing or leave it open
The following are ways to avoid dooring accidents while riding your bicycle:
- If space permits, ride outside the door zone
- If you are in an unprotected bike lane, stay toward the outside of the lane
- Never ride near parked vehicles
- Stay aware of drivers and passengers in their cars
If you suffered a serious injury in a dooring accident caused by a negligent party in Ohio, contact our Columbus personal injury lawyers at Rourke & Blumenthal and request a free case evaluation today.