New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Bicycle Accident Cases are sometimes Challenging  

Posted on Mar 14, 2015 in Bicycle Accidents

A woman carelessly opens the door of her car in the street, which causes a bicyclist to ram right into the door, fly over the handlebars, and land in the street.

Cyclist Crashes onto the Street

Personal Injury 5

Bicycle accident cases are complicated and difficult to try much of the time. 

The cyclist had just finished a twelve-mile ride and was heading back home. The woman had just parked into a parking spot, and carelessly flings open her door without realizing that the bicyclist was right there. Due to the door suddenly appearing in front of him, the bicyclist has no way of avoiding it. He hits the door, goes flying over the handlebars of his cycle, and lands in the middle of the street. Fortunately, for the bicyclist there were no vehicles passing in the street that time; otherwise, he would have been run over, and most probably ended up dead.

The woman should have been careful, and should have glanced behind her to see if there were any approaching cars or bicyclists. However, she was careless and did not bother to check the road before opening her car door. Fortunately, according to witnesses, the light at the intersection was red, and there were no approaching vehicles. This saved the life of the bicyclist; otherwise, he would not have been able to avoid being run over when he landed in the middle of the street.

Proving Negligence

According to law, this carelessness is referred to as negligence, and because of this negligence, this woman caused a whole sequence of events to occur that resulted in significant injury to the bicyclist. The bicyclist was severely bruised, his cycle was destroyed, and he had just managed to escape death. Even though the woman had caused all this, she was unrepentant, asked the bicyclist to show his leg, and wanted to know if he was really injured.

The witnesses at the scene told the woman that she was not a doctor to evaluate the bicyclist’s leg or tell what injuries he had suffered. The woman then offered some money to the bicyclist with the hope of buying him off, before the police or ambulance could arrive at the scene. However, the bicyclist took down the woman’s contact information, so that he could contact the women’s insurance company, which was the right thing to do under the circumstances.

Many such bicycle accidents cases occur, where people are riding a little too close to the cars, along the side of the streets. It is usually a dilemma for bicycle riders. Should they ride in the middle of the street and block traffic, where cars behind them cannot go past them. Alternatively, should they ride close to the parked cars and risk someone carelessly opening their car door without looking? It is quite a fine balancing line and bicyclists have to be very careful.

Parking lots are one thing but bicycle lanes are another. The cyclist certainly has more legal say if a car door is opened in front of them while they are riding in the bike lane.

Build Your Case from the Outset; Just as if You were in a Car Accident

In this case, the negligence of the woman was obvious, and luckily, there were witnesses on the scene who could testify about what had happened. However, in the absence of witnesses, bicycle accident cases can be challenging and it is often difficult to prove who was negligent. But this can be the case with cars as well.

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