Any cyclist will tell you that there is a genuine risk of getting “doored” when you ride in city streets. Even when riders are safely – and legally – in biking lanes, they still have to watch out for drivers or passengers who suddenly open their doors toward the street without paying attention. In most situations, everything happens too fast for even experienced cyclists to avoid the collision. Just like a car, the bicycle rider cannot immediately stop or swerve into another lane of traffic.
Getting doored is more than an inconvenient accident. Many cyclists are severely injured when they crash into a person’s open door. Others have been killed due to injuries from striking the door or from being sent into traffic and being struck by another vehicle.
What to Do if You Are Doored
You should treat a collision on your bicycle like you would an accident that happened while you were in your car. If you are able, exchange information with the other individual. Seek medical attention right away.
You are probably wondering who to turn to for recovery if you were hurt by being doored. If you were another vehicle driver, you would contact the other person’s auto insurance company. You can always try this route. You can gain the driver’s or passenger’s insurance information after the incident or through the police report that should have been filed. You should notify the insurance company as soon as possible that you will be filing a claim and then you should file a formal claim for compensation due to your injuries.
However, many auto insurance companies will not settle for this type of incident. Instead, they state the cyclist is responsible for the crash.
If you are unable to settle with an insurance company, you will need to contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer right away.
A Personal Injury Claim
Your best option for recovering damages may be to file a personal injury claim against the person who opened the door stating that their behavior was negligent.
There is even a specific law in Florida to address this situation and support your case. Florida’s Motor Vehicle Statute Chapter 316, Section 2005 states that no one should open a door of a vehicle unless it is reasonable safe to do so and can be done without interfering with other traffic.
If you called the police following the accident and the individual was ticketed for a traffic infraction under this law, then you have evidence of the person’s negligence.