Injury claims for cyclists hit by an opening car door

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If you are a cyclist and were injured by a driver opening their car door (dooring), it should be possible to claim compensation. Here's how to go about it.

'Dooring' - a major cause of cycling accidents

'Dooring' is the term for when a cyclist is injured by a driver or passenger opening a car door directly into their path.

Dooring is of particular risk when riding on busy city streets lined with parked cars, or when filtering through traffic or overtaking vehicles (including parked vehicles).

Cycling accidents have risen in line with the increasing number of cyclists on UK roads. 100 cyclists were killed and 3,694 were seriously injured, according to the most recent 2021 UK figures supplied by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Ascertaining how many of these accidents resulted from an open car door is difficult. Figures released by the government showed that in 2011, 594 cyclists were injured when colliding with a car door. It is believed that this figure is an underestimate as many such dooring accidents are not reported.

Motorcyclists are similarly at risk of drivers opening car doors.

Who is responsible for the safety of cyclists?

According to The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 section 105:

"No person shall open, or cause or permit to be opened, any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger any person."

It is therefore the duty of the car or vehicle driver to look out for any approaching cyclists before opening a car door. Passengers must also check for cyclists before opening their door. Cyclist may be overtaking or undertaking a line of stationary traffic.

Could I (as a cyclist) be held liable if I collided with an open car door?

It is not uncommon for a defendant's insurance company to argue that a cyclist (the claimant) contributed to their accident by cycling too close to a parked vehicle.

However, the courts tend to take the view that the driver should take care to check whether a cyclist is approaching before opening their door.

The fact that the cyclist might be closer than the width of the open car door is not considered relevant. The cyclist would have no way of knowing the profile width of a specific car door. Giving a parked car an excessively wide berth would be impractical and possibly dangerous.

Expecting a cyclist to be constantly predicting when a driver might open a door would be too high a burden to place on the cyclist.

What can I claim for?

If you were injured when a car door was opened into your path, you may claim for any loss or injury you have sustained.

A claim can be made against the driver's insurance company, even if it was the car passenger who caused the accident.

Compensation claims may be brought for

  • The pain, suffering, and loss of amenity.
  • Lost earnings from time off work.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Travel expenses to and from appointments.
  • Care and assistance claims from family and friends who are assisting the claimant.

Read more:

How do I claim injury compensation for a cycling accident?

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning cycling accident claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director