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Even the most cautious drivers tend to relax and let their guard down when their cars are safely parked. Getting out of your car can seem like such an innocuous act that we only rarely consider the dangers to ourselves and others. Cyclists in particular are vulnerable to doors opening suddenly in front of them and some are injured every year. Despite wearing helmets, some are even killed by winning the door prize and others may face life altering injuries. Sadly, being doored remains one of the leading causes of cycling injuries in BC.
In BC, the Motor Vehicle Act places responsibility squarely on drivers to keep a lookout for the safety of traffic when exiting their vehicles. There are two simple rules:
1. A person must not open the door on the traffic facing side of a vehicle until it’s reasonably safe to do so.
2. A person must not leave a door open in moving traffic for longer than is necessary to load or unload passengers.
The courts in BC have been asked to consider these rules in the past because of the injuries car doors have caused to those cycling. It’s established that when a door is opened into traffic and a collision results, the fault usually lies with the driver who opened their door into traffic. The decision as to if it was reasonable to open a car door and who is responsible for any resulting collisions will always depend on the exact circumstances, but the best solution is to be aware of your surroundings and check outside your vehicle before opening your door. Letting the courts decide who is at fault for an injury (and the associated costs) is always less preferable than preventing the injury in the first place.
League and Williams is a team of experienced injury lawyers who work with their clients to ensure the best recovery and results possible. Cyclists who have been injured may be able to make an ICBC claim and can rely on our lawyers’ to ensure that they can focus on recovering from their injuries. We offer free consultations, pay for treatment when ICBC won’t, and don’t get paid if we don’t get results. If you have been injured and would like to talk to one of our lawyers about making an ICBC claim, please call us at 250-888-0002, or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.