Open Door Policy: What To Do When a Cyclist Hits Your Car Door
For cyclists, car doors can be one of the most dangerous threats on the road. An open door can mean flipping over the bike (and the car door) at twenty miles per hour. Serious injuries can occur to the cyclist, and at times, the vehicle passenger if he or she steps out of the car as the bike hits the door.
So who is at fault and how does each person recover the costs caused by the accident? Generally, both parties will need to hire an attorney if the medical costs are high for one or both parties.
Car insurance won’t cover this kind of accident. Car insurance is only meant to cover costs while the vehicle is in operation. Homeowner’s insurance might cover some of the costs, however, homeowner’s insurance generally comes with a high deductible (like $2,500). If the medical costs associated with accident are less than $2,500, the money will have to come out of pocket.
Fault is also an important issue when dealing with a bike rider running into a car door.
• Was the vehicle in place for more than a few minutes before the door opened?
• Should the cyclist have known the car was newly parked in the space?
• Was the car parked near a designated bike lane?
• Was either person on the phone when the accident occurred?
Feelings of guilt, anger, and frustration are very common when a cyclist runs into an open car door. However, unless there are significant medical costs, each party might be better by simply covering his or her own expenses.