The number of cyclists travelling to and from Adelaide’s CBD has roughly doubled over the last decade. Also, as roadside bicycle lanes and dedicated bicycles paths have expanded throughout South Australia in recent years, the number of cyclists who ride their bikes for recreational or commuting purposes continues to grow.
Incidences where a driver who parks their car on the side of the road and opens their door without checking for oncoming cyclists and other traffic continues to present a significant risk to cyclists and other road users, as collisions have occurred where a cyclist has struck a car door that has suddenly opened before them. This is known as a cyclist being “car-doored”.
A notable incident of this nature occurred earlier this year in Melbourne’s inner north, where a cyclist was allegedly “car-doored” and tragically killed. The cyclist hit a car door that was opened in front of them and fell to the ground, before being struck by a passing truck. The cyclist sadly died at the scene.
Can I claim motor accident compensation for injuries from a car dooring?
In the majority of cases of this nature, a cyclist would be successful in making a claim for compensation. In instances of “car-dooring”, the driver of the car and the cyclist both have a duty to look out for the welfare of others and themselves.
The most common reasons why these incidences occur include the driver failing to check, or failing to properly check for vehicles approaching them from behind (including bicycles). Whilst this is the case, cyclists also have a duty to keep a proper lookout and approach parked cars with caution. If the cyclist is able to, they should pass parked cars with sufficient space to pass safely.
If you’re a cyclist on our roads and you’ve become injured after coming into contact with another vehicle, you should promptly seek legal advice about your rights and entitlements under Motor Accident Compensation.
Today’s primary writer and researcher is PLT Law Student Milo Kuga assisted by Senior Associate in Civil Litigation, Matthew Fuss.