Injured by a Careless Driver or Passenger?

If you or someone you love was injured in a dooring accident that was not your fault, then you may be eligible for compensation. Sadly, insurance companies are often resistant to paying out proper compensation to injured bicyclists and motorcyclists, meaning you may face an uphill battle if you do not contact a skilled and knowledgeable New York dooring accident attorney. However, the legal team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, are well-versed in advocating for injured parties throughout New York and can vigorously defend your right to compensation. To learn how we can represent you in an accident claim, schedule a free initial consultation by calling us at (212) 986-7353.

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Why Is Dooring Dangerous?

When a driver or passenger exists a car on the left side of the vehicle, they are often concerned about stepping into oncoming traffic, especially on busy roads. Most of the time, this caution means they will wait until traffic has stopped or slowed to get out and can prevent a serious pedestrian accident. However, not all vehicle occupants are that careful and many will neglect to check for oncoming vehicles before opening their door.

On the streets of New York, this is incredibly dangerous, as bicyclists and motorcyclists are often left unaware of these sudden obstacles in their paths. Bicyclists in particular understand how passenger vehicle occupants will often block bike lanes with their doors and force them into other lanes, but it can still be extremely difficult for them to avoid a collision. In addition, motorcycles are both extremely quiet when compared to surrounding traffic, meaning vehicle occupants often do not check for them before opening their doors.

In both situations, the injuries can be severe. The full force of the rider’s vehicle will be placed on their body upon collision, flinging them forward into the door. If they are traveling fast enough, they can be thrown over the door and onto the pavement or dislodge the door altogether, especially in a motorcycle accident. However, if they are traveling slow enough or are able to brake in time but still collide with the door, they might be thrown backward.

During a dooring accident, a rider can suffer traumatic injuries such as:

Depending on the nature of your accident, you may have suffered one of the above injuries or multiple, as well as significant medical bills to cover. While you may hope that the driver’s insurance policy will cover your injuries, the driver or their insurance company will likely try to place the blame on you and deny coverage. However, New York laws may be on your side.

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New York Dooring Laws

In the state of New York, opening a vehicle’s door into the path of other vehicles, including motorcycles and bicycles, is a traffic violation under NY Veh & Traf L § 1214. Drivers and occupants who are exiting a vehicle’s left side must check to see if it is safe for them to open a door and should not open it if there is the risk of obstructing traffic or injuring someone. This also includes leaving a door open once they have exited.

In addition, according to NYCRR § 4-12-(c), taxicab and rideshare drivers must also be careful when dropping off or picking up passengers. They are required to park within 12-inches of a curb or may double park if it is safe to do so. However, this law also expressly forbids them from parking bike lanes and obstructing traffic, making them liable for causing a dooring accident.

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Who Is At-Fault?

Everyone on the road is required to obey all traffic laws and avoid any negligent behaviors that could put another person in danger. These responsibilities extend to passengers just as much as drivers. In a dooring accident, you may be able to find the driver or passenger at fault if they did not properly check to see if it was safe to open their door.

However, it is important to understand what insurance policies apply in a dooring accident. Traditionally, you would file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy for your injuries, but what if the passenger caused your injury? If the passenger and driver are a part of the same household, then the driver’s liability policy may also apply to the passenger’s actions. Thus, the coverage would be the same.

In taxi and rideshare accidents, the insurance policies may vary. If the driver was the one who struck you, then you would be able to file against their commercial auto insurance policy, which can provide substantial coverage. In addition, if the driver created an unsafe condition that contributed to the dooring accident, they may also be liable even if the passenger caused your injuries. But the insurance company may try to deny coverage towards the passenger’s actions, making it difficult to file a claim. You may need to file a claim against the passenger specifically and determine what insurance policy applies.

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Pursuing an Accident Claim

While it may seem clear that a driver or passenger caused your injuries in a dooring accident, filing a claim on your own is not an easy task. You are likely still in the midst of recovering from your injuries and getting your life back together. Adding on reviewing insurance policies, collecting evidence, and negotiating with insurance adjusters can be extremely difficult for you and your loved ones. However, with the aid of the right attorney, you may be able to take a step back from the process and focus on recovering.

If you were injured in a dooring accident, reach out to a New York bicycle accident attorney at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP. With more than 50 years of experience under our belts, we can thoroughly investigate your case to determine fault and pursue compensation on your behalf. To get started on your claim, contact us at (212) 986-7353.

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Our Car Accident Case Results

$8.3 Million - New York State Record-Setting Verdict for Single Level Cervical Discectomy

Pursuant to the New York Jury Verdict Reporter, WRSH partner Frank J. Lombardo obtained the highest recorded verdict in the State of New York for a single level cervical discectomy.

Frank Lombardo

$6.2 Million - Intersection Accident

Andrea V. Borden was able to obtain a jury verdict in the amount of $6.2 million on behalf of our client, a 60-year-old Brooklyn woman involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Andrea Borden

$5.5 Million - New York Motor Vehicle Accident

WRSH partner Bryce Moses obtained a verdict in the amount of $5,500,000 for our client who was exiting the Staten Island Expressway when her motor vehicle was struck by a Con Edison van.

Bryce Moses

$4.9 Million - NY Car Accident Injury

Our client, a man in his 30s, was standing next to the rear of a truck while working as an assistant mover, when the defendant driver struck a middle car in the rear and propelled it into our client.

Philip Russotti

$3.5 Million - Young Woman Run Over By Garbage Truck

Bryce Moses represented a young woman who was run over by a garbage truck in Brooklyn that shattered her ankle in three places.

Bryce Moses

$3.3 Million - Client Struck By Van While On a Scooter

Partner Jason Rubin obtained a large settlement for a man who was injured after being struck by a van while on a scooter.

Jason Rubin

$3 Million - NY Motor Vehicle Accident

Joseph Stoduto and Cliff Shapiro were able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $3,000,000 on behalf of a forty-five year old man from Queens who suffered injuries to his neck and lower back in a crash.

Joseph Stoduto, Clifford Shapiro

$2.9 Million - NY Access-A-Ride Van Accident

WRSH attorney settled the case of our client who was hit by an Access-A-Ride van after mediation and before trial for $2.9 million dollars.

Joseph Stoduto

$2.8 Million - Three Car Auto Accident in NY

WRSH Partner obtained a $2.8 million settlement during trial for our client who was involved in a 3 car accident. The plaintiff was struck twice from behind in a rear-end collision involving two vehicles.

WRSH LLP

$2.75 Million - NY Intersection Car Accident

Phil Russotti and Kenneth Halperin obtained a settlement for our client in the amount of $2,750,000, in this case in which the plaintiff's motor vehicle was struck in the rear.

Philip Russotti, Kenneth Halperin

$2.75 Million - Rear-end Van Accident in Queens

Douglas Milch obtained a large settlement for a group of individuals injured in a van accident in Queens on the Grand Central Parkway.

Douglas Milch

$2.5 Million - Auto vs. Pedestrian Accident in New York

Phil Russotti obtained a 2.5 million dollar settlement for a 57 year old man who was struck by a car while walking his dog on the side of a roadway that did not have sidewalks.

Philip Russotti

$2.5 Million - New York Motor Vehicle Accident

Kenneth Halperin obtained a combined settlement in the amount of $2,500,000 for a 66 year old woman and her 32 year old daughter who were injured in a motor vehicle accident.

Kenneth Halperin

$2.5 Million - Man Struck By Car Walking Dog

Phil Russotti obtained a 2.5 million dollar settlement for a 57 year old man who was struck by a car while walking his dog on the side of a roadway that did not have sidewalks.

Philip Russotti

$2.281 Million - Van Rear-Ended by Tractor-Trailer

William Hepner obtained a substantial settlement at mediation for a girl who was 8 years old when the van she was in was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer carrying a load of fuel.

William Hepner

$2.25 Million - Permanent Injuries from Rear-end Accident In The Bronx

Paul Cordella recently settled a case for a client who sustained permanent neck and back injuries after being rear-ended in the Bronx.

Paul Cordella

$2 Million - Intersection Accident in Brooklyn

WRSH attorneys Joseph Stoduto and Andrea Borden were able to obtain a recovery after trial in the amount of $2,000,000 on behalf of our client, a 60-year-old housekeeper from Kings County.

Joseph Stoduto

$2 Million - New York Rear-End Collision

WRSH attorneys Joseph Stoduto and Kenneth Halperin were able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $2,000,000 on behalf of our client, a 45-year-old man from Queens County.

Joseph Stoduto, Kenneth Halperin

$2 Million - Rear-Ended by a School Bus

WRSH attorneys Joseph Stoduto, Bryce Moses, and Nicole Gill were able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $2,000,000 on behalf of our client, a 50-year-old woman from Kings County.

Joseph Stoduto, Bryce Moses, Nicole Gill

$2 Million - NY Rear-End Accident

WRSH attorneys Joseph Stoduto and Kenneth Halperin were able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $2,000,000 on behalf of our client, a 40-year-old woman from Kings County.

Joseph Stoduto, Kenneth Halperin

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