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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to report road hazards to the appropriate authorities to minimise risk and prevent damage or injury. Get advice now and report road hazards.
Information on your rights after a motorcycle accident in Queensland including rights for injured pillion riders.