How a Bike Dooring Accident Occurs in Houston
If you ride your bicycle around Houston, you know that you are nearly invisible to cars. Despite the city’s efforts to create safe routes for bicyclists throughout the city, as a cyclist, you are always in danger of being hit by a careless driver. One unfortunately common cause of bicycle accidents is a parked driver opening his door into the path of a cyclist. This is known as a dooring accident and it leaves many bikers injured every year.
Why Do Dooring Accidents Occur?
Drivers are often oblivious to bicycles around them. Bikes are small and often disappear into a driver’s blind spot, making it dangerous for bikes to ride next to moving cars. Cars cut bicycles off, especially when turning at intersections. But cyclists may be in even more danger when passing parked cars, even when riding in a bike lane. Drivers and passengers rarely think to check their mirrors for an oncoming bicycle before opening a car door, making this a common incident in downtown areas. As a cyclist makes his way past parked cars, a door could swing open into his path at any moment.
Whose Fault Is a Dooring Accident?
As a cyclist, you know to be cautious, even if you are riding in a designated bike lane. When you are following all of the rules of the road and a car door is opened into your path, you should not be considered at fault. While there is no Texas state statute directly addressing bicycle dooring accidents, the following statute from the Texas Transportation Code can apply in these cases:
Sec. 545.418. OPENING VEHICLE DOORS. A person may not: (1) open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic, unless the door may be opened in reasonable safety without interfering with the movement of other traffic; or (2) leave a door on the side of a vehicle next to moving traffic open for longer than is necessary to load or unload a passenger.
However, if you are passing between the car and the curb, if you are riding recklessly, or if you are intoxicated, you may be found to be partially at fault. Under the Texas modified comparative fault law, if you are determined to be 51 percent or more at fault, you will not be able to recover damages from the driver of the car.
Call Us If You Were Injured in a Dooring Accident
Because you may be accused of being partially to blame in a car dooring accident, you need the experienced representation of a Houston car accident attorney. Call us for a free review of your case. We will help you fight for the recovery you deserve.