Cyclists are one of the most vulnerable types of road users because of the lack of protection they have if they’re involved in a Road Traffic Accident (RTA). One common accident is where a cyclist is hit by a car door (known as a dooring accident) when the driver opens it without spotting the cyclist nearby. If you’ve been hit by a car door while riding your bicycle, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries.
This guide on dooring accident claims will look into when you could claim damages for any injuries sustained in such an accident and how much compensation a cyclist hit by a car door might be able to claim.
Our team can help if you believe that you or a loved one should be compensated. We provide free advice as part of a no-obligation telephone consultation. Your advisor will review everything in detail and answer your questions. Where there’s a fair chance that you should be compensated, a personal injury solicitor on our team may offer to take on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
To learn more on cyclists hit by car door injury claims, please read on. Alternatively, call 0800 6524 881 to speak to a specialist right away.
Table of contents
- How The Highway Code Protects Cyclists
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For A Dooring Accident?
- Common Cyclist Injuries After Being Hit By A Car Door
- How Much Compensation Will I Get For A Dooring Accident?
- Evidence To Support A Dooring Accident Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Dooring Accident Compensation
- Starting The Dooring Accident Claims Process
In January 2022, the Highway Code in England, Scotland and Wales was modified to provide more protection to vulnerable road users. As a result, motorists must leave more space when passing cyclists and give way to cyclists at junctions and in other situations.
Additionally, rule 239 of the Highway Code states that “you MUST ensure you do not hit anyone when you open your door. Check for cyclists or other traffic by looking all around and using your mirrors”. The code also suggests drivers should open their car doors with the opposite hand so that their head automatically turns and provides better visibility of other road users. This is known as the ‘Dutch reach’ system.
Legally, all road users need to protect each other from harm by proceeding carefully and following the rules of the highway code. This is a legal duty of care established by the Road Traffic Act 1988.
One of our personal injury solicitors could therefore help you to claim if:
- A car driver breached their duty of care by opening their car door negligently; and
- You were knocked off your bicycle as a result; and
- You sustained injuries or an injury in the dooring accident.
If you’ve been knocked off your bike by a car door, you might be eligible to claim compensation against the driver’s motor insurance policy. Of course, you’ll need evidence to show what happened so we’ll explain what steps you could take to help later on.
Legally, if you were knocked off your bike by a car door and you were injured, the driver must stop and swap details with you. However, if they failed to do so, you might be wondering if you can still claim compensation.
Fortunately, a government scheme operated by the Motorist Insurance Bureau (MIB) could step in and compensate you for injuries caused by hit-and-run drivers. They may also be able to help with uninsured driver claims too.
You should provide as much information about the other vehicle as possible so that the MIB can pursue them but you could be compensated even if the driver is never identified.
Our solicitors could help with hit-and-run or uninsured claims against a driver who has knocked you off your bike with a car door so please call to discuss your options.
The types of injuries you might claim compensation for after being hit by a car door can vary. The extent of your injuries can be affected by factors such as your speed at the time of the collision, the force used to open the door and whether other vehicles were involved.
Some of the most common injuries that can occur include:
- Severe bruising and soft tissue injuries.
- Road rash (grazes and superficial skin injuries).
- Head injuries (even if a cycle helmet was worn).
- Dislocated elbows, wrists, knees, shoulders and hips.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Psychological injuries.
Whether we’ve included your injury in the list or not, please feel free to call us if you’d like to check whether you could receive compensation for your suffering.
Where a claim is viable, to help determine how much compensation for a dooring accident a victim should get, the claimant’s solicitor will typically book an independent medical assessment on their behalf. The report that follows the meeting will help the solicitor to fully understand how the claimant has suffered. They’ll then use figures advised by the Judicial College to work out how much should be paid for the injuries.
Our compensation can be utilised in the meantime as a guide to what various injuries may be worth.
On top of the compensation for bodily injuries, you might receive additional damages for:
- Mental health injuries such as PTSD after a car accident.
- Replacing items damaged in the dooring accident.
- Care costs and travel expenses linked to your injuries.
- Medical expenses such as the cost of private physiotherapy.
- Short-term and future loss of earnings.
- Accessibility improvements at home or to your vehicle if the dooring accident resulted in catastrophic injuries.
Your solicitor will do all they can to try and make sure that you receive a fair settlement. Therefore, they’ll try to get a full understanding of how you’ve suffered before your claim is processed.
When a cyclist is hit by a car door, the accident scene can become quite frantic and confusing. However, if you are able to compose yourself and can do so without risk of further injury, it’s a good idea to think about collecting evidence to help prove fault for a car accident if you do go on to claim compensation. You can do this by:
- Writing down details about the accident. You should make a record of the car’s number plate, make, model and colour. Also, record the date and time plus the contact details of the driver.
- Take photographs. To help reduce any doubt about who was involved in the dooring accident, try to take pictures of the accident scene before your bicycle or the car is moved.
- Go to a hospital. If you don’t go by ambulance, make your way to A&E or another medical practice. Having your injuries treated should help you to recover faster and means there will be medical records to prove your injuries.
- Report the dooring accident. Legally, any RTA that causes injuries to somebody else must be reported to the police. Obviously, you can call 999 if anybody is in danger, otherwise, you can report the incident online or in person at a police station within 24 hours.
- Speak to witnesses. Your solicitor may need witness statements to corroborate what happened. Therefore, ask anybody who stopped at the scene for their contact details.
- Secure dashcam footage. Finally, if any vehicles that stopped at the accident scene have dashcams fitted, ask the owner to forward you any relevant footage.
Don’t worry if you haven’t yet all the evidence listed. One of our solicitors may still agree to help and will help to secure any further evidence if they do so.
If you have been knocked off your bike in a dooring accident, you’ll usually have 3 years to begin a personal injury claim. Generally, the limitation period will start on the date of the dooring accident. However, if a child was injured in such an accident, the 3 years won’t start until their 18th birthday which means a parent could claim before then on the child’s behalf as their litigation friend.
Realistically, it’s a good idea to not wait too long to begin your claim. Firstly, if you start early, any compensation you’re entitled to should be paid sooner and, secondly, your solicitor will appreciate the extra time as it should make it easier for them to secure medical records and evidence to support the dooring accident claim.
We can help cyclists who’ve been injured by a car door during a free initial consultation. To begin, simply call 0800 6524 881 and let us do the rest. A member of our team will review your options with you and you’ll receive free legal advice about your next steps.
One of our personal injury solicitors could agree to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis if a dooring accident claim is viable and you decide to proceed. If that happens, you won’t be asked to pay legal fees in advance and there will be none to pay if you’re not compensated.
You can find out more about dooring accident claims and how much compensation you may be eligible to claim by connecting to our free online chat system.