Every so often, I encounter a case in which a parked vehicle opens a door into a pedestrian, bicycle or another vehicle causing an car accident. In one such case, a parked car negligently opened a door in front of my bicyclist client, causing her to fly off her bike causing a head injury. Most people don't know that Arizona law places the higher duty of safety on the vehicle opening the door.
Arizona Revised Statute, Section 28-905. Opening vehicle door reads as follows:
A person shall not open a door on a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic. A person shall not leave a door open on a side of a motor vehicle exposed to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload a passenger.
Whether you are a driver or passenger, look in the side view mirror or over your shoulder before opening your door safely.
Jay L. Ciulla is a Phoenix personal injury and wrongful death attorney at the Ciulla Law Firm, PLLC.