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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 04-26-06, 05:34 PM   #1
jakecohen100
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Mass Legal Question regarding passing through traffic

Today I got into an accident. I was riding through stopped traffic with cars on both sides of me, when a lady opened her door and I ate it. I flew over my handlebars and dented another car. After I got up, the first car which doored me drove off.

I exchanged information with the car that I dented. It turns out that the police are saying it was my fault, and I should have to pay for the damages.

I live in Massachussettes. Does anyone know the bike laws regarding passing through traffic in Mass?
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Old 04-26-06, 05:41 PM   #2
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Did anyone get any info on the woman that caused the accident by opening her door? Does the other car concede that there was a car that opened a door, thus sending you flying so much that you dent that car? Without that door-opening car, it's probably your fault entirely. Sadly. Hopefully you aren't injured too badly, and you won't have to pay much. Do the cops realize that the accident was caused by a driver who opened a door, and then fled? That makes it a criminal thing, I believe -- causing an accident and then leaving the scene is totally illegal.
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Old 04-26-06, 05:41 PM   #3
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Fight it. At the very least you can say you were going to turn left, in which case you were in the proper spot.
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Old 04-26-06, 05:42 PM   #4
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Ps

PS: I am a messenger and I was injured while working. I don't know if that will affect anything.
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Old 04-26-06, 05:50 PM   #5
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this might be a stupid question, but does your company carry some sort of insurance against this? and, if you are hurt, i hope you have some good medical benefits too.

you have to be able to pass in traffic, i can't imagine how that could be illegal. motorcycles do it all the time. if a motorcycle had gotten doored, and then damaged another vehicle, it would for sure be the person that did the dooring who has to pay, or is considered "at fault".
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Old 04-26-06, 05:51 PM   #6
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the car that doored you, was it in traffic too, or parking/parked? if it was "in traffic", i'd think that opening a door to let a passenger either in or out would be totally unsafe, from a legal perspective at least.
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Old 04-26-06, 05:54 PM   #7
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i just did a quick google search and came up with the massbike link. i'm also in law school, so if you need any help sorting through the jargon or whatever, pm me and i'll give you my contact info.

http://www.massbike.org/bikelaw/
http://www.jasonandfischer.com/bikelaw.php (advertises in new england cycling magazine)

all the best
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Old 04-26-06, 05:57 PM   #8
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The car that doored me was definitely in traffic as well. It was not parked. Also, I am not sure whether my company has insurance regarding this type of thing.

But I still want to know whether riding through traffic is legal or illegal. In my case I was on Huntington Ave. (if anyone here is from Boston) riding between two lanes of traffic. The car that doored me was to the right and the car that I dented was to my left.
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Old 04-26-06, 06:06 PM   #9
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The car that doored me was definitely in traffic as well. It was not parked. Also, I am not sure whether my company has insurance regarding this type of thing.

But I still want to know whether riding through traffic is legal or illegal. In my case I was on Huntington Ave. (if anyone here is from Boston) riding between two lanes of traffic. The car that doored me was to the right and the car that I dented was to my left.
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Old 04-26-06, 06:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by drac_vamp
you have to be able to pass in traffic, i can't imagine how that could be illegal. motorcycles do it all the time.
Only in california and a handful of other states. its called lane sharing and it is illegal for motorcycles or bikes to do it most places. I'm not sure about Mass. You should have at least filed a hit-and-run against the woman whose door you hit. If you didn't, you may be out of luck.
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Old 04-26-06, 06:36 PM   #11
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Well, if it helps any, I've never looked at Mass/ Law before, cept to learn from the first time that their methods are the suck.
Insurance companies in Mass. determine fault for opening a door into traffic causing damage or harm as the operator > 50%. Means there is a law against opening the door into trafic I gues, or at least people there think it's a bad idea and get other people to pay for their door dings when it happens.
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Old 04-26-06, 10:26 PM   #12
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Hope everything works out and I hope you're not injured. I have no idea about the laws, but riding in traffic seems almost inevitable on Huntington. I don't think I've ever ridden on Huntington without being in between cars and in some places it can be a real tight squeeze.

My buddy got doored on Comm Ave. pretty bad while on a skateboard the other day. He's all cut up and bruised. Getting doored is scerrrrry. for realz.

Good luck bro.
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