A cyclist hit when a taxi’s rear door opened into her path
Levenes Solicitors have settled a claim for a cyclist who was knocked off her bicycle when the door of a taxi was opened into her path.
On the day in question, Miss G was riding home after attending a yoga class. Ahead of her was a black cab which was stationary in traffic. As she was passing the taxi, suddenly and without warning the rear door opened and she was struck and knocked off her bike suffering a fractured finger and a haematoma of the left hip that resulted in a chronic ischial bursitis.
Are taxi drivers or their passengers liable for ’’dooring accidents’’ with cyclists
Levenes submitted the claim to the insurers of the taxi.
They denied liability on the unusual ground that they do not insure for liability resulting from the actions of fare paying passengers.
We did not accept that argument, which in our view missed the point for two reasons. Firstly, the injury occurred because of the use of a vehicle on the highway and the insurer should not be able to escape liability on a technicality. Furthermore, the rear doors of black cabs are controlled by the driver, so if the passenger wanted to alight in traffic, he or she would have to tell the driver who could have kept the doors locked until it was safe to open them.
Levenes also submitted the claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) who are the body responsible for compensating the victims of uninsured drivers in case the taxi insurers argument would succeed.
The MIB investigated the claim themselves and gave their view that the taxi driver was liable and said that the claim should be dealt with by the taxi driver’s insurers.
We were about to issue proceedings where the taxi driver, the insurer and the MIB would have been all named as Defendants so that the court could determine the issue. Thankfully, the insurers realised that they were likely to lose the argument and at that point they admitted liability. Proceedings were issued nevertheless because settlement could not then be agreed, despite the admission.
Settlement for cyclist Injured by “dooring”
Subsequently, having obtained the necessary updated medical evidence, settlement was agreed.
This case illustrates the tactics of insurers who will often look for reasons for not agreeing settlement but with tenacity, their arguments are frequently defeated.
Injuries caused by car doors being opened into the path of cyclists and motorcyclists happen quite often and sometimes have very serious and even fatal consequences.
Levenes have conducted many of these cases to a successful conclusion and although they can sometimes involve a fight, we do not recall ever losing such a case.
Miss G was represented by Solicitor, Raquel Roman and Consultant, Colin Martyr.
Cycling accident compensation claims
Our specialist lawyers can help cyclists involved in an accident recover compensation. You will need expert advice on what action you can take to obtain accident compensation. You can trust in the experience and knowledge of our team of professional cycling injury lawyers to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to.