How To Claim For Bike/Car Dooring Accidents

How To Claim As A Cyclist Hit By Opening A Car Door

Bike/car dooring accidents may be more common than you would think. If motorists do not take proper care to look around them before opening a car door, it could easily cause injuries to a cyclist who is passing at the time. But who could the cyclist hold responsible for such an accident? Would it be their own fault for not giving a stationery vehicle a wide berth? Or could a driver or passenger be at fault for not checking whether a cyclist was passing? We answer these questions and more within this guide.

Bike/car dooring accident claims guide

Bike/car dooring accident claims guide

In the sections below, we discuss bike/car dooring accidents in detail. We explain how to calculate compensation payouts for such accidents and offer guidance on who could be held responsible for a cycling accident involving a car door opening into someone on a bike. In addition to this, we provide guidance on the claims process, explaining how long you could have to claim and how to get help from a personal injury solicitor. If you’d like to benefit from free legal advice pertaining to your own case, or you feel ready to start a claim, we could assist you. You can reach our team on 0161 696 9685 at any time.

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A Guide To Bike/Car Dooring Accidents

Bike/car dooring accidents could cause significant injuries to cyclists. If a cyclist is passing a car and the door is suddenly opened, they could swerve out of the way into traffic, or they could sustain injuries from the car door itself.

Either way, these injuries could range from minor to severe and could lead to damage to both bike and car, as well as the parties involved in the accident. They could also cause financial expense, particularly if the injured party isn’t able to work for some time because of their injuries.

If you sustain injuries in a dooring bike crash as a cyclist, you may be wondering who is at fault when a car door is opened on a cyclist. This guide aims to explain who could be at fault in a number of different situations, so injured parties could ascertain whether they could claim compensation.

In the sections below, you will find guidance on what constitutes a car dooring accident. We look at who could be liable for injuries victims sustain in such accidents, and what evidence may be needed to make a claim for compensation.

In addition to this, we discuss what types of compensation victims could claim, and how claimants could get help from a personal injury lawyer without paying their fees until their claim ends.

We hope you find this guide useful. If you’d like further information on any of the information within this guide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Calculate Compensation For Bike/Car Dooring Accidents

Before we look at who is at fault when a bike hits a car door, let us discuss compensation amounts for injuries cyclists could sustain in bike/car dooring accidents.

If a cyclist is hit by an opening car door, they could sustain injuries including broken bones, soft tissue injuries and even head and back injuries. But how do you work out how much such injuries could be worth?

While some claimants turn to a personal injury claims calculator for guidance on this, it can only provide a rough estimate, as it cannot assess the severity and impact of your injury. It can’t take into account the specifics of your case, either.

How Courts And Lawyers Calculate Compensation

When processing a personal injury claim, courts and lawyers must assess all the facts and circumstances of the case, as well as the evidence. One vital piece of evidence that could significantly impact the compensation you receive would be your medical report.

When claiming compensation for a dooring bike accident, you would need to visit an independent medic, who would examine you and put together a medical report, giving their professional opinion on your injuries and your prognosis.

Courts and lawyers could use this, alongside a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), to come to an appropriate compensation payout for you. (The JCG is a publication that is regularly updated and solicitors may use it to help them value injuries.)

We have put together a table showing what payout amounts could be appropriate for specific injuries. The figures in the table come from the JCG. If you don’t see your injury on the table, please don’t hesitate to call us. We could offer further information on other injuries over the phone.

Type of injuriesSeverity of injuriesGuideline Compensation Bracket
Head or brain injury - MinorAny brain damage would be minimal – the compensation award would be impacted by how severe the injuries were, how long it took to recover and the absence/presence of continuing symptoms such as headaches.£2,070 to £11,980
Chest injuries (c)Damage to lungs and chest causing continuing disability.£29,380 to £51,460
Chest injuries (g)Soft tissue injuries or rib fractures that lead to serious levels of pain and disability for a period of weeks.Up to £3,710
Neck injuries – Moderate (ii)Wrench-type injuries or soft tissue injuries as well as lesions to discs that cause cervical spondylosis, serious limitations on movement, recurring or permanent pain.£12,900 to £23,460
Back injuries – Moderate (ii)Many commonly encountered back injuries could fall into this bracket. They could include disturbed ligaments/muscles causing backache and soft tissue injuries that accelerate/exacerbate previous conditions for 5 or more years, for example.£11,730 to £26,050
Shoulder injuries – Moderate (c)Damage to soft tissues that cause more than minimal symptoms continuing past 2 years, or frozen shoulder injuries that persist for around 2 years.£7,410 to £11,980
Clavicle fracturesThe extent of the fracture, the level of disablement, any continuing symptoms and the displacement of the union would be assessed for injuries within this bracket.£4,830 to £11,490
Arm injuries – less severeCausing significant disability, but a substantial recovery would be expected or would have taken place.£18,020 to £36,770

Examples Of Costs You Could Claim For

For bike/car dooring accidents, claimants could receive compensation for their injuries as well as costs pertaining to the accident and their injuries. Here, we explain more about what compensation a cyclist hit by an opening car door could claim.

General Damages

The figures we included in the table above relate to general damages. These damages are designed to compensate victims for their loss of amenity, suffering and pain.

Special Damages

You could also claim for the pecuniary (financial) expenses you sustain as a direct result of your injuries. Special damages could include, but are not necessarily limited to:

Care Costs

If your injuries leave you unable to do simple things for yourself, such as dressing or washing, you may need care at home. You could include care costs within bike/car dooring accident claims.

Loss Of Income

If you have to take time off work because you need to recover from your injuries, you could lose out on some of your income. Loss of income claims could include bonuses and overtime. You could also, in some cases, claim for future loss of earnings.

Medical Costs

Costs for medical care could include prescription fees, mobility aids, counselling or physiotherapy costs, for example. You could include costs such as these within your claim.

Travel Costs

If a victim of personal injury has to pay to travel to lawyer’s meetings or hospital appointments, for example, they could include costs relating to travelling to these appointments within their claim.

What Are Bike/Car Dooring Accidents?

Bike/car dooring accidents are accidents that happen when a cyclist is struck by an opening car door. This type of accident could have a number of consequences. It could knock a cyclist into traffic, or it could knock them completely off their bicycle. According to Government statistics, in 2019, there were 248 accidents that caused injuries due to a vehicle door being opened or closed negligently. 4 of these accidents caused fatal injuries, and a further 65 caused serious injuries.

In 2017, Cycling UK wrote to the Transport Minister to highlight the dangers of dooring and called for a campaign to ask vehicle occupants to take care when opening the car door. One method of opening car doors suggested by the organisation to lower the risk of such accidents was the Dutch Reach. This is a method whereupon a vehicle occupant would use their far hand to open the door, which would force them to turn to look when opening vehicle doors. Cycling UK believes this could have a significant impact on preventing dooring accidents.

Who Is Responsible For Cyclists’ Safety?

All road users have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely on the road, so as not to endanger other road users, which includes cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. Therefore, drivers have a duty of care to look around before opening a car door to ensure they do not hit anyone.

Is Dooring A Cyclist An Offence?

Dooring a cyclist through neglect or deliberately is currently unlawful. The Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Vehicles (Constructions and Use) Regulations 1986 outline that people should not open or permit the opening of a door of vehicles on a road that could endanger or injure a person. The punishment for a dooring bike incident could include a £1,000 fine.

Whether a passenger opened a car door and hit you, or a driver opened their door negligently and injured you, we could help. Our team could provide free legal advice over the phone, as well as check your eligibility to claim. If they believe you could claim, they could put you in contact with a personal injury lawyer who could take your claim on.

Liability For Bike/Car Dooring Accidents

While some bike/car dooring accidents may be very clear-cut in who could be held liable, others may be more complex. In some cases, a driver or their insurer may dispute a claim, citing contributory negligence on the cyclist’s part.

A cyclist does have a responsibility to also operate their bike safely according to the rules of the road. If they do not do so, and they sustain injuries that are wholly or partly their fault, the other party could dispute their claim for compensation.

How Could Contributory Negligence Affect My Compensation?

The Law Reform Act 1945 means that contributory negligence is not a full defence in cases that relate to common law. Instead, it could act as a partial defence. Therefore, you could still receive compensation. If you are found to have acted negligently and contributed to an accident in which you are injured, your compensation could be reduced to reflect your negligence.

If you’re not sure whether you were partially to blame for being hit by an open car door, we could assist. You can call our experts any time for free legal advice and a free eligibility check on your case.

Are Claims Affected By Cyclists Not Wearing Reflective Clothing?

Cyclists should take care to ensure they are as visible as they can be on the road and that they protect their own safety. This is why The Highway Code suggests all cyclists wear a helmet, although this is not a legal requirement. The Highway Code says that cyclists should wear light coloured or fluorescent clothing that could help drivers and other road users see them in poor light. Cyclists should wear reflective clothing and accessories such as belts, armbands or ankle straps when cycling in the dark. Again, these are not legal requirements.

However, if you are not wearing reflective clothing, the defendant could argue that you contributed to the accident. A lawyer could help to counter this point, particularly if visibility was good at the time of the accident.

Can Cyclists Claim If They Were Close To The Vehicle When The Door Was Opened?

The simple answer to this is yes. A cyclist could claim for bike/car dooring accidents, even if they were riding close to the car when the door is opened. This is because the driver/passenger has a duty to look around before opening the door to ensure they do not cause harm to other road users.

If you’re unsure as to whether you could claim for a dooring bike accident, we’d be happy to provide you with free legal advice relating to your specific circumstances. All you need to do is call us.

How Do I Claim For A Bike Dooring Accident?

One common thing cyclists may wonder about bike/car dooring accidents is what to do if you are a cyclist hit by a car door opening. We have produced a simple step-by-step guide below for you. Whether you are considering claiming compensation for a parked car open door accident or not, following the steps below could be a wise idea:

Steps To Take

  1. Get medical attention. If you were severely injured, someone would likely have obtained medical aid for you. If not, and your injuries were only minor, we would still advise you to get checked out. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms until later on. It would be wise for you to obtain advice and treatment from a medical professional to get the most appropriate advice and support. This could also serve as a record of the accident.
  2. Write down what has happened. Writing a journal of what happened could be useful for you to refer back to should someone ask for a statement. Keeping a diary of how your injuries affect you could also be useful if you intend on making a claim for compensation.
  3. Take photographs/draw a diagram. It could be a good idea to get photos of the scene as well as your injuries. If you can’t, you could draw a diagram of what happened.
  4. Get witness contact details. if there were witnesses to your accident, you could try and obtain their contact details. That way, if you intend on making a claim, your lawyer could contact them for a statement.
  5. Keep relevant documents. Whether this includes a discharge summary from the hospital, a bill for physiotherapy, a receipt for prescription medicines, or payslips showing sick pay. Keeping documentary evidence in a safe place is vital because you could use it to prove injuries or costs associated with your claim.
  6. Get free legal advice. Here at Advice.co.uk, we could provide you with all the assistance you may need to claim for a bike/car dooring accident. Our advisors could answer your questions, check your eligibility, and connect you with a lawyer. They could help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

No Win No Fee Bike/Car Dooring Accidents

Those making claims for bike/car dooring accidents do not have to pay upfront legal fees to retain the services of a personal injury solicitor. No Win No Fee claims allows victims of personal injury access to professional legal assistance without having to pay any legal fees until their claim ends. But how does the process work?

  1. Your solicitor sends you a No Win No Fee agreement. This is a document you would need to read, sign and return before the lawyer starts work on your claim. It contains details of a fee (the success fee) that you’d pay your solicitor. The fee is subject to a legal cap. You only pay the success fee if your claim results in a payout.
  2. Your lawyer works on your case, building a body of evidence and negotiating a settlement for you.
  3. When your compensation comes through, they deduct the aforementioned fee, leaving the rest for your benefit.

What If A Claim Fails?

If a No Win No Fee claim fails and your lawyer doesn’t manage to get you compensation, you don’t pay their success fee. To learn more about these kinds of claims, you can read our guide. Or, if you have questions, why not call our team for answers. They’d be happy to help.

Speak To Our Experts

If you’re looking for free legal advice on making a claim for a bike/car dooring accident, we’d be glad to help you. Our advisors could even put you in contact with a personal injury lawyer to help you begin your claim. To get in touch, simply choose one of the below options:

More Information On Cycling Accident Claims

The Highway Code – You can access The Highway Code here, to find out more rules that could apply to motorists and cyclists.

The Road Traffic Act 1991 – You can read the full Act here.

Keeping Cyclists Safe – You can find out more about what powers councils have to help keep cyclists safe here.

Motorcycle Injury Claims – Here, you can find our guide for motorcyclists who have sustained injuries in accidents that weren’t their fault.

Cycling Accident Claims – We have also produced a general guide on cycling accidents and what could lead to a claim.

Concussion Claims – One injury you could sustain in an accident is a concussion. Find out about claiming for such an injury here.

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