I Was A Cyclist Hit By A Car Door, Could I Claim Compensation? – Knocked Off Bicycle By Car Door, What To Do?

By Jo Jeffries. Last Updated 26th January 2023. Welcome to our guide, which explains how to make a claim as a cyclist hit by a car door. In it, we look in detail at accidents caused by open car doors, and whether you can claim for an accident where you and your bicycle are damaged by a car door. If you want to make a cyclist accident claim as a cyclist knocked off your bike by someone opening a car door, this cyclist accident claims resource is for you. If someone has hit a cyclist with their car, and it is the driver’s fault, it is only right that the victim should seek compensation.

Man kneeing over a knocked over bicycle with the helmet on the ground

According to the most recent figures from the Department of Transport, the number of pedal cyclists killed, or seriously injured in Great Britain was 14,750. A common cycling accident is where a cyclist hit by a car door is injured.

The accidents responsible for some of these casualties can vary greatly but one possible cause could be an accident commonly referred to as dooring. You may ask, “What is dooring a cyclist?” This is when a cyclist collides with a car door that was opened by a passenger or driver who failed to check to see if the road was clear.

Our Guide To Dooring Claims

Below, you will find guidance on claiming if you’ve been hit by a car door while cycling. We offer an explanation of what car dooring is, and discuss who could make a cyclist accident claim for such an incident. Further to this, we explain how much compensation you could receive as a cyclist knocked off a bike. 

Should you wish to make a claim or have questions that aren’t covered in this guide, you can call on 0800 073 8801. Alternatively, you could fill out the online contact form, and we will call you back.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Claims For Cyclists Hit By A Car Door
  2. What Are Dooring Accidents?
  3. Who Is At Fault If A Bicycle Is Hit By A Vehicle Door?
  4. Liability When A Cyclist Is Hit By A Car Door
  5. Cycling Accident Statistics
  6. Cycle Accident Compensation
  7. Special Damages Which Could Be Claimed By A Cyclist Hit By A Car Door
  8. No Win No Fee Dooring Accident And Cyclist Injury Claims
  9. Why Select Our Road Traffic Accident Claims Team?
  10. Start Your Dooring Accident Claim
  11. Essential References

A Guide To Claims For Cyclists Hit By A Car Door

It is common for people to ask, “What is dooring a cyclist?” When a cyclist is hit by a car door because a passenger, or driver fails to check if the way is clear, this is referred to as dooring. It is possible to claim for injuries resulting from this type of accident if there is evidence that your injuries were caused by the negligence of the passenger, or driver who opened the door.

If a cyclist comes into contact with a car door that is suddenly opened, they could sustain injuries of varying severity, depending on the speed they were travelling, and nature of the impact. Injuries can also be caused if a cyclist is forced to avoid a car door that opens ahead of them, which results in them facing oncoming traffic, or it could cause a collision with a stationary object. A cyclist may even off their bike.

Opening The Car Door – Can I Claim If I Was Hit By A Car Door When Cycling?

The Road Traffic Act 1988 sets out the duty of care for people using the road. Road users are required by law to obey the rules of the road, including the Highway Code. They must act with due diligence and not put other road users at risk of harm.

If a motorist is opening a car door, they need to be aware of any potential hazards or other road users. If you were injured by someone opening their door onto you, you could potentially claim compensation.

What Are Dooring Accidents?

What is dooring a cyclist? As we have outlined above, a dooring accident happens when a passenger, or driver of a vehicle fail to check if the road is clear before getting out of a vehicle which results in a person on a bike being hit by a car door, or swerving to avoid it which leads them into harm’s way.

There is a section in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 that states that a road user should not injure, or endanger other road users by opening the door of a vehicle on a road.

For example, a dooring accident could involve the following:

  • A cyclist could be undertaking on the left-hand side of the road when a passenger of a vehicle opens a door without looking. The cyclist could collide with the door, or be forced to move aside, causing them to collide with the kerb or another object, which results in them sustaining an injury
  • A cyclist could be travelling down a road alongside parked cars when a driver opens a door without warning. This could result in a collision with the door, or force the cyclist out onto the other side of the road into on-coming traffic, resulting in a collision and serious injury or even death

Should any of the above occur, the driver or passenger has committed an offence by endangering the cyclist, or any other road users by negligently opening a door onto a road. The penalties for this include a £1000 fine if they are found guilty of endangering another road user. It may be possible to claim against the negligent third party if you have been hit by a car door, or forced to swerve to avoid one while cycling, which caused you harm.

Who Is At Fault If A Bicycle Is Hit By A Vehicle Door?

Although the concept of what dooring a cyclist is recognised by many road users, there are some people who may question who might be responsible for the accident. The question around dooring in the UK asks if the cyclist is at fault for an accident involving a collision with an open door, or if the person who opened the door could be held liable.

It may be possible in some cases for there to be split liability if a cyclist is hit by a car door. This means that both the cyclist and the person who opened the door could be held responsible for what happened. Even in cases of split liability, it is still possible to make a claim. If you were hit by a car door while cycling and developed injuries as result, contact us today and we could help determine if you have valid grounds to proceed with a claim against a negligent third party.

Liability When A Cyclist Is Hit By A Car Door

As detailed above, determining liability for who is responsible for a collision with an open car door in the UK, can vary from case to case. Despite this, the law on opening a car door, section 105 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations states:

  •  ‘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’

This creates the precedence that liability could lie with a driver or passenger who was negligent when opening a door that caused injury, or harm to a cyclist, or another road user. A driver is responsible for their passenger as well as themselves and is legally required to ensure that the way is clear. If they fail to do this and cause harm to a road user, they could be charged with committing an offence.

From this perspective, you could pursue a claim against them. As mentioned above, if there is partial blame on both sides, your compensation amount would be adjusted to reflect this but you could still make a valid claim to compensate you for your injuries.

If you are unsure who may be at fault for your dooring accident, we recommend that you contact our advisers today. They have the necessary expertise and could help you decide if your circumstances justify making a claim.

Cycling Accident Statistics

According to the figures released by the Department of Transport in 2018, there was an increase in the number of people pedal cycling on the road in recent years which rose by 17% between 2008 and 2018. The department states that this may have a link to the increase of 29% in casualties on British roads between 2008 and 2018.

Vehicle doors being opened or closed negligently were also a contributing factor to accidents on the road involving all road users, and in the RAS50001 Data Set, it stated there were a total of 297 casualties caused as a result of vehicles doors opened into a road. Of these causalities, there were 214 minor injuries, 81 serious injuries and 2 deaths.

Even though there was a 4% decrease in cyclist casualties between 2017 and 2018, the number of cyclists injured, or killed on British roads is still be regarded as quite high.

Recent Accident Statistics

More recent statistics outlined in the Department Of Transport Report, the overall casualties for 2020 stood at 14,750 reported cases. These casualties include deaths and injuries of varying severity. You can see from the graph below how this compared to other road users in the same period.

Road casualties by road user type during 2020 in the UK

Cycle Accident Compensation

If you have been involved in a cycle accident, compensation could be awarded to you for your physical injuries, as well as any mental harm you may have suffered. The suffering caused would be compensated under general damages.

Using the compensation brackets listed for various injuries in the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), we have created the following table. The JCG is a document many legal professionals use to help value various claims.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide the average compensation for being knocked off of a bike. The compensation you would be awarded in a successful claim would be affected by the individual circumstances. As such, this table should only be used as a guide.

Compensation table

Injury Severity Comment on Severity Amount
Brain and Head Injury Very Severe This bracket covers injuries that result in the person losing the ability to respond to their environment or communicate and requires full-time care. This bracket can also include cases of quadriplegic cerebral palsy that causes a significant impairment to cognitive and physical abilities. £282,010 to £403,990
Neck Injuries Moderate (ii) This bracket covers injuries caused by a wrenching type movement resulting in soft tissue damage and damage to the vertebral discs or cervical spondylosis. These cases may experience symptoms of seriously impaired mobility, permanent pain, stiffness, and a potential future need for corrective surgery. £13,740 to £24,990
Back Injury Minor (i) This bracket covers back injuries that are mainly soft tissue damage, or fractures that heal without the need for surgical intervention. Recovery for this bracket is expected within two to five years. £7,890 to £12,510
Arm Injuries (other) Severe An injury in this bracket will usually leave the person’s arm of no use and leave them in a similar position as if the arm had been amputated altogether. £96,160 to £130,930
Leg Injuries Severe (iv) Moderate This bracket covers injures that consist of complicated or multiple fractures, or severe crushing injuries. This bracket may be influenced by severity of symptoms and effect on quality of life, such as future employability, instability in the joints, or future possible need for corrective surgery. £27,760 to £39,200
Shoulder Injuries Minor (i) Injuries in this bracket include significant soft tissue damage, accompanied by serious pain, but which may achieve a full recovery. This bracket is awarded for injuries where persisting symptoms recover within two years. £4,350 to £7,890
Knee Injuries Severe (i) This bracket includes serious disruption of the joint, soft tissue damage including ligament rupture resulting significant pain and mobility loss. Injuries in this bracket may also result the need for surgical replacement or fusion of the joint. £69,730 to £96,210
Wrist Injuries Less Severe (c) This bracket covers less severe injuries to the wrist that can include permanent symptoms causing disability such as persistent pain and stiffness. £12,590 to £24,500
Ankle Injuries Modest (d) This bracket can vary greatly depending on how long it takes to recover and if there might be any future instability or persisting symptoms. Generally, it will cover injuries including non-displaced fractures and soft tissue damage. Up to £13,740
Hand injury (fractured fingers) Severe (f) This includes fractures that may possibly result in amputation, or fractures that cause severe deformity, loss of mobility and function, as well as a loss of grip function. Up to £36,740

Contact our advisors today for some free legal advice concerning your potential claim.

What Special Damages Could Be Claimed?

If someone has hit a cyclist with their car, the cyclist might not only sustain personal injuries. They could also need to pay for treatment in some cases. Their injuries may even lead to them losing out on funds. For example, if you are a cyclist knocked off your bike, and you suffer a broken wrist, this could mean you need to take time off work to recover. Should you do so, you might not receive full pay from your employer. Therefore, you could lose out on some of the income you would have received had the accident not happened. 

As part of the cyclist accident claims process, successful claimants should be compensated for their pain and suffering under general damages. However, they should also, if appropriate, receive compensation for the out-of-pocket expenses caused by the injuries they sustain under special damages.

As well as loss of earnings, special damages could compensate for travel expenses, medical expenses and care costs, for example. To include special damages within a claim, evidence would be needed. Documents such as bank statements, bills, payslips and credit card statements could be useful in proving these losses.

If you would like to talk to us about the special damages that might be appropriate in your own claim, please call us. We would be happy to talk this over with you. We could answer any questions you might have about the evidence you’d need to provide to claim for such damages too. 

No Win No Fee Dooring Accident And Cyclist Injury Claims

No Win No Fee essentially means that if your case is not successful, you won’t pay the solicitor’s fees. A No Win No Fee claim is made under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a legally binding contract between you and your solicitor. It states that the claimant does not have to pay the bill for the solicitor’s fees (success fee), but if the case is won, then the fees for the solicitor are taken from the awarded settlement with the remainder being paid to the claimant.

If you choose to make your personal injury claim with us, your claim would be handled on a No Win No Fee basis. If you would like to know more about making a No Win No Fee claim, contact us today.

Why Select Our Road Traffic Accident Claims Team?

Choosing to work with a personal injury solicitor from our team means that you get a combined 30 years’ experience in handling personal injury and accident claims. If you were on your bicycle and were hit by a car door that caused you harm, our team could help you secure the highest possible compensation award for your injuries.

Our advice team offers free no-obligation legal advice to help you decide if you would like to pursue a No Win No Fee claim for your injuries. We are happy to answer all your questions, and give you open, accurate legal advice, Should you decide to work with us, we will keep you updated on the progress of your claim throughout the process.

Start Your Dooring Accident Claim

Contact us today for advice regarding personal injuries caused when you were hit by an open car door. Our advisers are ready and waiting to take your call. You can reach us on 0800 073 8801. If you would like to schedule a call back from us, you can use our online contact form and enter a time of your choosing.

Cyclist hit by a car – FAQs

What happens if a cyclist gets hit by a car?

If the cyclist is injured, the emergency services could be called. Following treatment, the cyclist could claim compensation for any injuries if the car driver was negligent. Examples of this include driving without attention, driving too fast, drink driving or pulling out of a junction when there wasn’t enough space.

How long do you have to claim for road traffic accidents?

In most cases, the claims time limit is 3-years. This will begin from the date of the road traffic accident. One exception to this rule is where a child is injured. In this scenario, a parent or responsible adult can claim on the child’s behalf. This can happen at any time before the child turns 18-years old.

How long do cycling accident claims take to process?

Claims for cycling injuries can be resolved in as little as 6-months if the defendant (or their insurer) admits liability for a) the accident and b) the extent of your injuries. Where these details are contested, claims could take much longer and exceed a year or more.

What evidence can support a cyclist hit by a car?

Evidence in cycling accident claims can help speed up the claims process. You could use photographs, witness statements, hospital records, dashcam footage and police reports to support your claim.

Can I Claim As A Cyclist Hit By A Car Door If I Was Partly At Fault?

In some cases, you could claim as a cyclist hit by a car door if you were partly at fault. When it comes to claiming for a road traffic accident, you would need to prove your injuries were caused by another road user’s negligence.

If someone else is more at fault than you were for an accident, you could still claim compensation. The amount you could receive would be reduced, however. This would be done to reflect your contribution to the incident.

Can I Claim For The Cost Of Your Bicycle Damaged By A Car?

You could claim for the cost of your bicycle if it was damaged by a car, so long as you could prove the negligent party caused the damage. The compensation you could receive for a damaged bike would depend on the damage itself.

If the bike could be repaired, you could claim reasonable costs for repair. If your bicycle was so badly damaged it could not be repaired, you could receive compensation for the bike’s perceived value at the time of the accident.

What Injuries Could I Receive In Accidents Caused By Open Car Doors?

There are lots of injuries you could receive in accidents caused by open car doors. You could suffer soft tissue injuries, broken bones, head injuries or back injuries, for example. The type and severity of injuries you suffer could dictate how much you receive in general damages.

Essential References

This is a guide for cyclists hit by car doors that are wishing to make a claim for compensation. To give you some extra information we have included some links below that you may find useful.

Cycling Accident Claims – This is our online guide to making cycling accident injury claims.

Road Traffic Accident Claims – See this guide to making a claim for road traffic accidents.

Accident Claims And Compensation Guide Specialists – See our main website a selection of other guides on accident claims you could make.

Staying Safe On The Roads

THINK! – See the THINK! Site for more information road safety.

The Highway Code – See this government article for information on the rules for cyclists.

Learn about the supermarket accident claims process with our helpful guide.

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