Most people understand that there is an element of risk involved in any kind of travel. Getting into a motor vehicle comes with the risk of getting into a collision or experiencing mechanical failure while driving. Choosing to ride a motorcycle can mean a crash caused by someone who doesn't look for smaller vehicles. Bicyclists, especially those that bike in big cities, face particular risks and dangers.
One of the most serious and unique risks that bicyclists must watch out for is dooring. Dooring happens when a person in a motor vehicle opens the door of the vehicle into the path of an oncoming bicyclist, causing a collision. In some cases, it happens accidentally, but there have also been reports of people intentionally opening doors into oncoming bicycle traffic.
Chicago is striving for bike safety
The City of Chicago wants to make itself as bike-friendly as possible, and there has been a lot of progress in recent years. More drivers understand that they share the roads with bikes, and more bike lanes are installed on public roads every year. Bike lanes provide both a safer space for those on bikes and a constant reminder to motor vehicle drivers to be on the look out for bikes.
The city has also invested in the construction of off-street bike paths and more than 13,000 bike racks to provide safe storage to bike enthusiasts around town. There is also a plan in place to expand bike lanes and trails to more than 600 miles by 2020. The idea is to both make biking safer for those who already do it and to encourage others to try it out for commuting and healthier living.
Door accidents may lead to catastrophic injuries
If you've ever seen a dooring captured on film, you know how dramatic these accidents can be. The person on the bike may flip over the door or even end up thrown into traffic. Injuries can include head and brain injuries, broken bones, spinal damage, severe contusions, internal bleeding and even death.
Even if you carefully follow the laws and best practices for safety, you may not be able to stop in time when someone opens a door into the bike lane without checking first.
A helmet could save your life or reduce your injuries, but you may still wind up in the hospital. Depending on how serious the collision was and how fast you were going, you could end up missing many days or even weeks of work. That combined with serious and ongoing medical bills can quickly create financial issues for you and your family. Before you settle with an insurance carrier or start paying for medical bills out of pocket, you should consider all of your options for compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can advise you regarding those options.