One common area where the rights of Oregon cyclist literally collide with drivers is when a cyclist is “doored” by a driver or passenger of a vehicle that is exiting the vehicle.
“Doored” is a term used to refer to an incident where a cyclist is riding and a person suddenly opens the door of a vehicle directly into the cyclist’s path. The door instantly is in the cyclist’s path and usually the cyclist is deprived of any ability to slow down, stop, or react. As a result, the cyclist crashes into the car door. Usually the cyclist is injured, the bicycle’s front wheel and forks are damaged, and the car door is damaged. The severity of the injury and the damage to the bicycle can vary.
Usually, the driver, or their insurance company, will blame the driver for failing to stop in time. As a result, many insurance companies give cyclist that have been “doored” low ball offers or deny their claim all together. However, Oregon law is usually on the cyclist’s side.
ORS 811.490 (1) (a) mandates a person in Oregon cannot open a vehicle door “until it is reasonably safe to do so and it can be done without interference with the movement of traffic, or with pedestrians and bicycles on sidewalks or shoulders.” This imposes a duty on the driver to ensure opening the door will not interfere with the movement of traffic, so usually the driver is at fault when a cyclist has been “doored.”
If you are a cyclist or know a person that has been doored on a bicycle and want to discuss your legal remedies, contact Portland Oregon attorney Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658. Jeremiah Ross at Ross Law LLC is happy to provide a free personal injury consultation. Ross Law LLC also represents many Oregonians in small cases that are valued under $10,000.00, so don’t think your case is too small for an Oregon Attorney to represent you. (see Ross Law LLC Blog”s previous post on ORS 20.080.)
Please remember this post does not create an Attorney client relationship. Also, this post does not constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only. Your situation is unique and you should consult with an Oregon Personal Injury Attorney (call503.224.1658) to determine your rights and remedies under Oregon Law.