Geoff McDonald & Associates wins the biggest settlement for Virginia in 2020 for $38.2 Million. Click for details.

Bicycle Riders in Virginia at Risk of Injuries from ‘Dooring’ Accidents

Mar 21, 2014 | Auto Accident News

With more and more Virginia workers commuting by bicycle, dooring is a growing hazard. The collisions are a cause of serious injury to cyclists.

Often, bikers are found at fault for accidents in which they can’t stop before slamming into a car door that just appeared in their path.

The legal loophole has allowed insurance companies for negligent drivers to reject claims for medical expenses filed by injured cyclists. A citation from police would assess fault for a dooring accident, thus supporting compensation for an injured bike rider.

Forty other states and the District of Columbia already make it illegal to open a door into the path of a cyclist, the Washington Post reported.

Legislation to have prohibit vehicle drivers and passengers from opening a vehicle door into the path of an oncoming cyclist failed to win approval recently in the Virginia General Assembly.

The bill would have prohibited anyone from opening the door of a motor vehicle on the side of moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so. The legislation was on its second trip through the Virginia legislature, where it passed the Senate but was rejected by the House Transportation Committee. Its sponsor, Democratic Senator Chap Petersen, is from Fairfax County in Northern Virginia, and the legislation was seen as especially helpful for cyclists in urban areas, including Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Richmond.

Petersen intended to encourage drivers and passengers to open their car doors with care to avoid bicycle wrecks. The fine for dooring would have been $50, but from the get-go the bill hit hurdles, and a Virginian-Pilot columnist skewered Petersen’s proposal as frivolous and meddlesome.

Petersen decided to present the legislation in part because of an email he got from a voter who was injured in a dooring accident on his bike. The email concluded: “To add insult to injury, I was assigned blame in the traffic incident for ‘hitting the door.’ Thus, not granting me any medical compensation and adding the possibility that I will be charged for any damage to the driver’s vehicle.”

The legislation may have made it safer to ride a bike in Virginia, where 11 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2012. For the time being, however, dooring cyclists is still legal in the state of Virginia.

If you are injured in a dooring accident, contact a Richmond injury lawyer from Geoff McDonald & Associates today for a free consultation. 

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 866-369-9051.


No Fees Unless We Win

    New distracted driving laws

    On January 21, 2021, Virginia became one of the only states in the country with a comprehensive distracted driving law. It is now illegal for drivers to hold and use a cell phone in the Old Dominion. The previous law had very limited applicability.   Hand-held...

    How Long Can It Take to Resolve a Car Accident Claim in Virginia?

    You may have heard that every car accident claim is different. This sounds cliché, sort of like when a professional athlete tells a reporter he or she is trying to take it one game at a time. However, every claim is different. That means there is no...

    Why Are Left-Turn Crashes So Common and Who is Usually at Fault?

    Left turns are some of the most dangerous traffic maneuvers you can make. You are cutting across traffic heading in the opposite direction. When you are turning right you can speed up and potentially prevent being hit from behind. However, when you are turning left,...

    What Are Your Options After a Car Insurance Claim Denial?

    There is often a lot of uncertainty and confusion after a car crash. The uncertainty and confusion are only heightened when the insurance company denies the claim. Victims often do not know what to do next. You may be unsure if you still have a chance to obtain...

    How Can an Attorney Prove an At-Fault Driver Was Distracted?

    Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous and is known to lead to significant injuries and fatal car crashes. If you were injured by a distracted driver in Virginia, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. But how can you prove that the other driver...

    Our Case Results

    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald