Riding close to the side of the roadway (as required by Illinois law and Chicago ordinance) increases the risk of bicyclists becoming seriously injured, not by colliding with a moving vehicle- but with the door of a vehicle being flung open as an oblivious car driver or passenger enters or exits a vehicle.
When car owners or passengers negligently open their doors in a manner that obstructs the path of a cyclist and an injury occurs, these injuries are referred to as “dooring injuries.” Most dooring injuries are the result of a person being impatient or oblivious to his or her surroundings.
New view towards bike dooring accidents in Chicago
Because lawmakers recognize the severity of injury caused to the bicyclist, (in many cases the cyclist either gets thrown over the bicycle handle bars or is forced into the lane of traffic) the City of Chicago requires car drivers to look for cyclists before opening their doors.
Chicago bicycle dooring injury claims & lawsuits
When drivers fail to adhere to this responsibility and the bicyclist sustains injuries, the cyclists are entitled to recover damages for their injuries. Just as when cars drivers collide with bicyclists, damages related to injuries suffered by a bicyclist in a dooring injury are generally recoverable under the automobile insurance policy for the driver and/or owner of the vehicle involved.
For this reason, the injuries should be assessed for the cost of medical care both at the time of the accident and any continuing care that is required for a full recovery. These costs need to be considered when speaking with an insurance company or taking a case to trial.
Chicago Bike Injury Lawyers applaud the recent modifications to the Chicago Municipal Code which now make it illegal for a driver to open their door without looking for oncoming cyclists. We have successfully used this recent piece of protective information to prosecute ‘dooring cases’ for injured riders. Before you talk to an insurance company, talk to a legal team who has your best interests in mind.
Additional Resources Regarding Bike Dooring In Illinois: