Many people in Illinois depend on bicycles as their primary form of transportation, while others just enjoy the sport. Come rain or shine, it is common to see cyclists out and about daily. Unfortunately, motorists often fail to be on the lookout for them, causing numerous individuals to suffer injury or worse in auto versus bicycle accidents. Victims or — in the event of fatality — their surviving family members may be entitled to seek compensation for any resulting losses.
Dooring is just one type of bicycle accident that is seen far too often in Illinois and elsewhere. This is where a motorist in a parked car opens his or her door just before a cyclist is passing. The cyclist has no time to react, hits the door at full speed and, typically, suffers significant injury. Some dooring accidents have resulted in death.
There is some debate about who is responsible when a dooring occurs. Many people are quick to blame cyclists. The truth is, though, motorists have a responsibility to keep an eye out for cyclists, even if their vehicles are in a parked position. As such, they may be held accountable when a dooring occurs.
Following a dooring, it is recommended that the victim — if he or she is able — call the police, and get the driver’s information, witness information and insurance information, among other things, just as in a typical car accident. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible is also advised. If a cyclist is fatally injured, his or her family may access the police report in order to get this information. Legal counsel will have the ability to investigate the incident further, and, under the right circumstances, it may be possible to pursue civil actions against the driver in order to seek maximum compensation for one’s losses. Personal injury or wrongful death claims may be resolved through settlement negotiations or litigation if it comes to that.