The bicyclist is a high school student who was riding southbound on Austin Avenue when she was doored by a motorist getting out of a car parked along the curb also on Austin Avenue. When the bicyclist saw the car door open, she instinctively put her right arm up for protection, but was still "doored" as the door was swung into her.
This is a classic example of a "dooring." Illinois law is very clear regarding a motorist’s duty to carefully avoid dooring a bicyclist. Great efforts have been made to educate the public so that they LOOK! prior to opening their door into traffic. Legally speaking, Illinois law is very clear on the requirement that a motorist not open their door into the path of a bicyclist.
Section 11-1407 of the Illinois Vehicle Code states:
"No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers."The statute, however, does not provide a definition of the act of opening a door into traffic AND a collision taking place. The law only talks about "interfering" with passengers. Illinois bicycle attorney Mike Keating has long argued for the following legal definition of a "dooring":
dooring. (Verb) doored. (Past Tense) doorings. (Plural)As a result of the dooring the bicyclist was thrown to the pavement where she suffered a serious arm injury that required her to be taken by ambulance to the emergency room at a nearby hospital. The arm was numb and immobile at the scene, symptoms that are often consistent with nerve damage. The bicyclist is now seeking follow-up treatment.
The act of opening the door of a motor vehicle into the path of a bicyclist and causing a collision. Examples: "The bicyclist was a victim of a dooring while riding down the bike lane." "Several bicyclists were victims of doorings while riding on the same bike lane."
The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices are the top law firm in Illinois representing victims of bicycles accidents and crashes. The firm has successfully represented numerous victims of bicycle accidents and collisions in Chicago, the suburbs, and throughout Illinois.
If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or MKeating@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.