Chicago Accident Attorneys from Abels & Annes, P.C. have resolved a case for a bike rider that collided with an open car door on California Avenue on August 21, 2008. The plaintiff was riding his bicycle in a northbound direction on California and the defendant was parked on the side of California facing northbound. The at fault driver suddenly and without warning opened her door into traffic.
The defendant was negligent in that she failed to look back and ensure that it was clear and safe to open her door before doing so. The door opened so suddenly in front of our client that he did not have any time to avoid it and collided with the open door.
The law in Illinois on the issue of opening a car door into traffic is as follows: Opening and closing vehicle doors. 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.
Pursuant to this statute the defendant was negligent in opening her door when it was not reasonably safe to do so and when it would interfere with the movement of other traffic. Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway is granted all of the rights of a driver of a motorized vehicle. 625 ILCS 5/110-1502.
The defendant tried to claim that she had left her door open for an extended period of time prior to the accident and that her door did not just swing open. However, even under this possible scenario the driver was still negligent and is still at fault as under the law it is improper to leave a car door open for any period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
The defendant was issued a citation from the Chicago Police Department for violation of § 5/11-1407 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code.