Who covers your medical bills can be a confusing and anxiety-inducing question if you’ve been injured in a crash. Most often, people rely on their own health insurance provider for payment in the short run. In certain circumstances, however, either the injured cyclist’s auto or bicycle insurance policy or the other driver’s insurance policy may have medical payment, or “MedPay,” coverage available to help with the bills.
Getting “doored” occurs when a driver or passenger opens a car door without checking for oncoming traffic, resulting in the cyclist crashing into the car door. These crashes happen to urban cyclists all of the time, and can cause horrific injuries. Unfortunately, many normally careful drivers just don’t think to look before throwing open a driver’s side door, even when they’ve parked on a street with a designated bike lane.
While there is an infinite combination of contributing circumstances in crashes involving cyclists and drivers, I have seen a pattern in my many years of investigating these incidents and representing injured cyclists. As a bicyclist, if you are aware of the most common problem areas on the road, and ride responsibly and defensively, many of these crashes can be avoided. Be aware of these potentially dangerous situations, and keep in mind my tips for avoiding these scenarios while riding.
Being involved in a bicycle accident can be frightening and traumatic, and what you do in the minutes and hours after the accident can make a big difference in terms of your recovery and your insurance claim. Know your rights, and should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, follow these eight steps to protect yourself.