Bicycling is a great mode of transportation in Connecticut. It’s good for the environment and your health, but it can also be dangerous. The biggest threat that cyclists face is dooring. Therefore, let us Connecticut laws regarding dooring, how to avoid injuries, and what to do in case you get hit by an opened car door.
Dooring in Connecticut
Dooring occurs when a cyclist is hit by an open car door. This can happen when the driver or passenger opens their door to get out or when a cyclist moves out of the way to avoid an opened door and then gets hit by another vehicle on the road.
Since cyclists’ only protection is their helmet, knee, and elbow guard, hitting a door at high speeds could lead to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or even death. Thus doorings are considered one of the most dangerous bicycle accidents on the road today.
What should you do when you get doored?
The first thing you should do is stop and assess the situation. If you are injured, call 911. If you are not injured, try to get the driver’s information. You will need their insurance information in case you need to file a claim. You should also take pictures of the damage to your bicycle and the car.
Determining liability for dooring accidents
If you sustain serious injuries, you should sue the at-fault driver for causing the accident. Connecticut is a fault auto insurance state, meaning the person the court finds to be at fault will compensate everyone involved in the accident for their injuries, property damages, and lost wages while receiving treatment.
Usually, the driver of the vehicle is held liable for dooring accidents, but there are a few exceptions. For instance, if the cyclist was riding in an unsafe manner or traveling too fast for the conditions. Keep in mind that Connecticut uses modified comparative negligence, meaning your compensation will reduce according to the percentage of your fault in the accident.
Dooring accidents are very dangerous. Take steps to avoid getting into one if you can. But, if you do get into an accident, file a claim within two years from the date it happened to avoid missing out on compensation.