That time when my friend Alex got doored..

london-alexIn my first few months of cycling in London, I always remember an incident with my friend Alex. We were pedalling along King William Street, on route to London Bridge, about 5 minutes from our house at the time.

With Alex about 5 metres ahead of me, a passenger opened the car door in to Alex’s path and sent him flying off the handlebars. I feared for the worse. Fortunately, Alex, stood up, seemingly unscathed. He had a few cuts and bruises, but nothing was broken.

The passenger apologised nonchalantly, like it wasn’t his fault, quickly glanced at the car door and walked off. I sat with Alex for a moment and we decided to walk the rest of the way home. He was clearly shaken up.

We could immediately see the front wheel would need replacing and when we got home we also discovered the frame was cracked. Alex would be needing a new bike.

Alex was lucky, things could have been much worse. However, I always look back at the moment and think, if that was a car accident, we’d be exchanging details with the driver. Their insurance company would be paying for the repairs to the bike and any other bills that would have arisen from their carelessness. There was something about being on a bicycle that made us think “oh well, my bad luck”.

Little did I know at the time, the passenger had broken the law by hitting Alex with his car door and the driver would have been liable.

Alex could have made a claim on the drivers insurance company and received compensation to buy a new bike. In the end, he had to pay for it, out of his own wages. He could even have had a replacement bike, while he searches for a new one.

Most cyclists don’t realise this. Most people would react in the same way: “oh well, my fault, guess I better fork out for a new bike”.

When I met Hanry who runs the Lunar Cycles bike shop near Camden, he relayed many similar stories to me. He explained that cyclists can actually get a replacement bike while they repair or replace their bike, they can get any medical bills paid for and they can get the driver’s insurance company to cover the cost of replacing their bike or getting it repaired.

I asked about which company he recommends to his customers and he spoke highly of CAMS, who work with cyclists after an accident.

I thought about that passenger, checking his door before he even checked my friend who was lying in front of his bike and decided that I should offer London Cyclist readers this service.

If you’d like to have Hanry call you back to discuss your accident, along with any damage to your bike and see whether you’d like to take it further, simply fill in the form below.

It’s worth noting that you can ask about any accidents that you’ve been in during the past 3 years.

To get Hanry to call you back simply fill in this online form.

Notes:

  • Even if there is no injury, you can still claim for your bike repairs.
  • CAMS is regulated by the Ministry of Justice in respect of regulated claims management activities, authorisation number: CRM2490