18 September 2012

A simple "dooring" cycle accident

  Bob was riding his bike  to a dentist appointment in Dalston on a Friday morning in March 2012. Knowing his route would be busy, he opted to take the back streets as they would be quieter.

  While  cycling  about 10 miles an hour, a driver suddenly opened a parked car door on his left hand side just as he was passing. His bike collided with the open door and the top edge of the  door cut into his left arm and shoulder. Thrown to the ground by the collision, he was fortunately able to get up quickly and remove himself from oncoming traffic.

  Bob was taken to hospital  and the laceration on his left arm was  glued and dressed to stop the bleeding. He  developed bruising to his left arm which lasted for several weeks, and experienced moderate pain and stiffness in his left knee and shoulder, which slowly improved but continued to cause him intermittent problems.

  The injuries while luckily fairly minor had detrimental effects on his social life. He began to experience discomfort when riding his bike and his ability to go walking was  restricted, which clearly affected his ability to travel. Fortunately this  improved  quickly, however he was unable to continue playing football and this has still not improved since his accident.  

  Liability in this case was  clear: the driver had acted negligently by opening his door without looking to check that it was safe to do so. Since he had come to the aid of our client and given his details, settling compensation through his insurers was fairly simple. Our solicitors were able to recover £2,265 for our client, along with the costs of his physiotherapy and our legal costs. This matter was handled with  speed and skill, and Bob received his compensation just 4 months after the accident, allowing him to focus on his recovery. 

High Vis tops will reduce risk of "dooring"

When cycling, it is important to be wary of both moving and parked vehicles and drivers should take the same care. This accident took place on a bright and sunny day, however since winter is coming along with its gloomy light and shorter days, wearing bright and reflective clothing- as recommended in the Highway Code-  will improve your chances of being seen on the road and prevent “dooring” accidents  occurring. Also always try and keep a safe distance from parked cars as you pass: easier said than done in London's crowded streets.