More and more people choose bicycles to navigate the streets of Manhattan, as they oftentimes outpace vehicular traffic and provide a great workout at the same time. The introduction of Citi Bikes has also led to more cyclists on New York City’s streets. However, navigating the City’s roadways as a Manhattan cyclist comes with many perils, such as getting “doored” by a vehicle. This involves a person in a vehicle opening their door as the bicyclist slams into it. The person in the vehicle did not bother to look before opening his door and a cyclist is left seriously injured. Taxi occupants may also open their door without noticing a cyclist coming down the street and the bicyclist gets “doored.”
Is My Bicycle Considered a Vehicle for No-Fault Insurance Purposes?
The answer is YES. The insurance of the vehicle that hit your bicycle will pay your medical bills regardless of fault. You must fill out a no-fault application within thirty (30) days of your bicycle accident. Be sure to get the police accident report from the police precinct within the jurisdiction where the accident happened. If you have a lawyer and a sufficient amount of time has gone by, your lawyer can obtain a copy of the police accident report online to identify the insurance carrier of the vehicle that you were in the bike crash with.
Of course, if the bicycle accident was not your fault, then you may be entitled to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover for your pain and suffering.
New York Law
New York Vehicle & Traffic Law Section 1214 addresses the opening and closing of vehicle doors and reads as follows: No person shall open the door of a motor 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. If the vehicle door your bicycle came into contact with was not in compliance with this law, negligence can be established.
The New York City Department of Transportation also has specific Rules of the City of New York, which reads in pertinent part, as follows: Pickup and discharge of passengers by taxis, commuter vans and for-hire vehicles: Operators of taxis, commuter vans, and for-hire vehicles may, in the course of the lawful operation of such vehicles, temporarily stop their vehicles to expeditiously pick up or discharge passengers at the curb in areas where standing or parking is prohibited. Taxis, commuter vans, and for-hire vehicles, while engaged in picking up or discharging passengers must be within 12 inches of the curb and parallel thereto, but may stop or stand to pick up or discharge passengers alongside a vehicle parked at the curb only if there is no unoccupied curb space available within 100 feet of the pickup or discharge location; however, picking up or discharging passengers shall not be made: (1)Within a pedestrian crosswalk (6) Within a bicycle lane.