As a bicyclist, you may have a list of situations you watch out for. ‘Dooring’ might be one of those. This is when a bicyclist is riding down the road close to cars that are parallel parked, and someone inside a car opens the car door just as the cyclist comes by, thus crashing into the door. It happens, and the injuries and property damage can be devastating. So who is liable in such a situation? The following should give you a bit of insight.
Personal Vehicle Owners
In most states, it’s the law to look over your shoulder before opening a car door. While many people don’t realize this, it can be held against personal vehicle owners if they are involved in a dooring accident. If you were doored by someone who owns the vehicle, that owner would generally be liable for the crash. Depending on his or her auto insurance policy, you could receive compensation that way. If he or she is not properly insured, you may have to file a lawsuit to receive the compensation you deserve.
Taxi Drivers and Taxi Companies
If the car involved in your dooring accident was a taxi, Lyft or Uber, the situation can get complicated. Different companies have different policies regarding dooring. You and your lawyer can look into the individual policy of the company from which you were doored. For example, one service may take care of the costs as a business, while another could require the actual driver to personally take liability for the accident. In some cases, you may be able to receive compensation from both the driver and the company the driver works for.
In most cases, you won’t be found liable in a dooring accident, but there are some attorneys out there who can present a compelling case. For example, if there was no traffic in the right lane, allowing you space to move over and away from a door that had been hanging open, you could be found responsible for the incident yourself. In that case, you could rely on your own auto insurance, PIP, or even homeowner’s or renter’s insurance coverage.
Getting Legal Help
Regardless of the situation you’re in, when you are doored by someone while riding a bike, you deserve to be compensated in one way or another. Work with a lawyer so you can find that compensation you are legally owed, no matter where it comes from. Call a bike accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN today to get started right.
Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and who is liable in a bicycle accident.