Car ‘Dooring’ and Cyclists: How To Claim For Personal Injuries

Car dooring injury

As a cyclist, you have to be aware of everything that is happening on the road around you. You are always paying attention to drivers, other cyclists, pedestrians, and any other road users. People on the road can be unpredictable, and as a cyclist, you are extra vulnerable to other road users.

One of the biggest and most significant threats to cyclists comes from the risk of dooring. Dooring is an accident in which the driver of a parked or stopped car opens their door into the oncoming path of a cyclist. Anyone who happens to be riding along at the same time as the door opening will have the highly unfortunate experience of clipping the door or running into it full pelt. Of course, the alternative is that the cyclist swerves out of instinct and into traffic, being hit by another vehicle. Whatever the outcome, a dooring usually results in some form of personal injury.

What should you do if you have been doored?

Bike broken from car dooring

Being involved in any kind of accident can be traumatising. We have provided some tips for you in case you have been doored so you can stay safe and also protect your rights. While getting information might not be the first thing on your mind, you may have sustained injuries so it is important to get as much information as possible to protect your rights to a claim for personal injury.

  • Immediately following the accident it is important to get yourself out of the way if it is possible and safe to do so. If you suspect that you have a spinal injury, do not move in any way - moving may make any injury you have suffered worse.
  • If you need medical attention, call an ambulance or ask someone to do it for you.
  • Call the police to report your accident even if you have only suffered minor injuries.

When the police arrive you will need to recount to them what has happened in as much detail as possible. You will also need to get a copy of the police report.

Injured? Get expert advice now: Smith's are Queensland's only 100% risk-free injury compensation lawyers. Insist on our 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch' ® promise. Check your rights with no risk or obligations now and talk direct to our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith. Call 1800 266 801 OR  check if you can claim

Gather the other party’s details

Drivers licence

Get the details of the person who owns the car, and the person who has been responsible for opening the door onto you. You should get as much information as you can, including their name, address, phone number, identification details (a photo of both sides is helpful if you do not have a pen handy), as well as any insurance information.

  • If you have witnesses to the accident you should get their details, including a name and phone number so that they can provide evidence for you at a later date if needed.
  • Take some pictures of the accident and be sure to note down any critical information such as slippery patches on the road, or any blind spots.

Take pictures of the damage which has been caused to your bike and/or the vehicle, and take photos of your injuries if you have any visible wounds.

Seek medical treatment and get your bike fixed (or valued for repairs)

Once you have made a report to police, exchanged details with the other driver and left the scene of the accident you will need to get medical attention for your injuries. Make sure you get a medical report of your injuries. You will also need to get an estimate for repairs to your bike if it has been damaged in your dooring accident.

  • You may well be shaken up after a dooring accident has taken place. Dooring accidents are sudden and usually result in injuries and damage to bikes and/or cars.
  • Take care of yourself and be sure to ride with caution until you feel confident on the road again.

Be aware that unexpected things happen on the roads every day and it is important to ride defensively and be prepared for anything to happen.

Example: Gracie was riding home from a friend’s house at night. She had bike lights on and was cycling in the bike lane. Gavin was racing to get to the supermarket before it closed and he went to leap out of his car without looking in his wing mirror. He threw open his door just as Gracie rode past. She clipped the door and the impact broke her wrist. Gracie works in a cafe as a barista and cannot work for two months while she recovers. Gavin is saying it wasn’t his fault, even though a witness states she clearly saw Gavin not looking in his mirror. Gracie would benefit from legal advice in making a claim for personal injury.
Injured? Get expert advice now: Smith's are Queensland's only 100% risk-free injury compensation lawyers. Insist on our 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch' ® promise. Check your rights with no risk or obligations now and talk direct to our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith. Call 1800 266 801 OR  check if you can claim

What can you do after your accident to recover the costs of your medical treatment and bike repairs?

If you have suffered injuries for which you have required medical treatment, time off work, and other costs then you may be able to seek compensation from the party who was at fault.

  • Injuries may not immediately be apparent, so it is important to report your accident to the police no matter how serious you think it was.
  • You can choose to recover the costs directly from the person who was involved in the accident and if they are willing to accept liability and cover the costs you will likely not need to go any further with legal advice.

In some cases, people refuse to accept liability for dooring accidents. They might say that it was the cyclist’s fault, or that it wasn’t their fault, it just happened. If this is the case, you may benefit from legal advice in seeking compensation and making a claim for personal injury.

Next steps - get advice now

It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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Last update on:
May 29, 2018
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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