Who is liable when a car door opens and causes a motorcycle crash?

Illinois law makes drivers and passengers responsible for opening car doors safely. Specifically, 625 ILCS 5/11-1407 provides:

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.

If you were riding your motorcycle and you were hurt in an open door crash, then this law may be useful in your recovery.

You Still Must Prove That the Door Opener Was Negligent

Before you can recover damages, you must prove that the person who opened the door:

  • Owed you a duty of care. All motorists owe all other motorists a duty of care. This element of negligence is typically easy to establish.
  • Breached the duty of care by failing to act reasonably. You must prove that the way the person opened the door was not reasonably safe. For example, if the person failed to look before opening the door or opened the door in a way that made you stop short or otherwise interfered with traffic, then the person could have breached the duty of care.
  • Caused your injury. The negligent opening of the door must have caused your injury.
  • Is legally responsible for your injuries. You must be able to recover damages pursuant to Illinois law.

You should expect the door opener to argue that you were the cause of the crash. The door opener could argue, for example, that you were driving too fast.

Start Protecting Your Recovery Today

Now is the time to protect your rights and pursue compensation for all of your injuries. Please contact us directly to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers as soon as possible.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham