Bicycle safety may not always seem like a priority for legislators, but in Virginia, they just passed a new law that would fine drivers that “doored” bicyclists. “Dooring” a bicyclist is when a driver opens their car door in front of a biker, causing the bicyclist to crash into the door and injure themselves. Many bicyclists have been severely injured because of this. Even though most car drivers do not intentionally mean to open their door so that a bicyclist will run into it, oftentimes they open their door without even checking to see if someone is coming up from behind.
Assuming Virginia’s governor signs the bill into law, this will certainly make things safer for cyclists. The fine is currently set at $50 for anyone who opens their door into the path of an oncoming cyclist, or any other vehicle, which hits that door. In addition, liability would be assigned to the driver that opens their door and causes another person’s injury. This means that the car driver would be responsible for all medical bills of the injured cyclist. In 2015, Virginia had about 250 car-door crashes. Virginia is lagging behind other nearby states, such as Maryland and Washington, D.C., who already have similar laws on the books to protect bicyclists.
Since car drivers will be held liable for any injuries sustained by a bicyclist that is “doored,” the same complicated issues that apply in a regular car accident will apply here as well. Most crash victims do not understand that an accident entails complicated issues, including:
- What should never be discussed with the Adjuster;
- The two critical guidelines to follow when seeking medical treatment;
- The one document always needed for your lost wage recovery, and other critical accident related proof;
- The three essentials for building and evaluating the case for pain and suffering compensation.
If you or a family member has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident in Virginia caused by the fault or negligence of another person and would like to consult an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney for free, contact us at (855) 954-4141 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Manassas or throughout Virginia or visit us online.