Bicyclists: What to Do if You Are “Doored” by a Car in Ontario
The term “doored” is used to describe an incident that occurs when a car door opens in the path of a travelling cyclist, causing a collision. These vehicle-bicycle accidents can cause significant injuries for cyclists, and unfortunately, local laws may be of little help.
Dooring Laws in Ontario
Officials do not consider dooring a moving violation; therefore, they do not keep records of dooring incidents. Not only does this make helpful statistical information an impossibility, but it also represents the general disregard for the scores of cyclists in Toronto and throughout Ontario.
An article in The Star from June 2013 quotes Jared Kolb, executive director of Cycle Toronto, who succinctly states the plight: “If we don’t have a proper handle on the extent of the problem — if we’re not even tracking the number of door prizes — how can we adequately deal with it?”
On a hopeful note, the Liberal government recently proposed a new bill, the Keeping Ontario’s Roads Safe Act, which will increase penalties for drivers who door cyclists.
Penalties for the offense would include:
- a fine of up to $1,000 instead of up to $500; and
- three driver’s license demerit points instead of two.
These proposed penalties may serve as way to promote safe driving.
What to Do after a Dooring Incident
After the incident, move out of harm’s way and call the authorities. Obtain prompt medical care. If you’re able, call the police and provide a report to the authorities so that the incident is on record. Explain how the accident occurred and briefly describe your injuries.
Because the local law enforcement will not keep statistical information regarding your accident, you might also consider reporting your accident on the online database, Doored.ca. Created by Toronto-based Web developer Justin Bull, the website allows cyclists to post information about when and where they were doored in Toronto, as well as details about the incident.
The Grid explains the reasoning for the foundation of Doored.ca: “Bull hopes it will stimulate discussion about doorings, help to identify poor cycling infrastructure in certain areas and potentially encourage police to restart formal tracking.”
Speaking to a Lawyer about Compensation for Damages
Dooring injuries aren’t minor incidents. The Star’s June 2013 report covered a dooring incident that necessitated 25 x-rays for the injured cyclist, who had to spend two weeks out of work.
If you were injured, consult a local injury lawyer about your options. You will be able to file a claim with your an auto insurance company. If you do not have a policy of motor vehicle insurance, you can still make a claim through the driver’s insurance company.
These benefits are referred to as no-fault benefits or Accident Benefits and may include coverage for damages such as:
- income replacement for wages you lost while you were injured;
- attendant care;
- medical expenses; and
- physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses.
If the injuries were severe enough, in addition to an accident benefits claim, you can discuss other compensation options such as a tort claim with an injury lawyer.
For Legal Counsel in Ontario, Contact Preszler Injury Lawyers
If you’ve been injured in a dooring incident in Ontario, contact the lawyers at the Preszler Injury Lawyers. Call us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at your convenience: 1-800-JUSTICE®.