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Geico (Partially) Blames Cyclist for Getting Doored

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Geico (Partially) Blames Cyclist for Getting Doored

Old 03-12-13, 06:52 PM
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Geico (Partially) Blames Cyclist for Getting Doored

" in the view of Geico Car Insurance, which insures the driver who, on January 28, stopped in front of Melissa Moore in the Polk Street bike lane, opened his door, and knocked her off her bike, heís only 80 percent at fault for the crash.

Thatís right ó even after seeing video footage of the crash, Moore says Geico is putting 20 percent of the blame on her for getting doored on northbound Polk at Golden Gate Avenue, leaving her with physical pain and a taxing legal battle."

Read the full article:
https://sf.streetsblog.org/2013/03/11...etting-doored/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeHfo...layer_embedded

Last edited by 1nterceptor; 03-12-13 at 06:55 PM. Reason: added video
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Old 03-12-13, 07:29 PM
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As I drive along in my car, I accept that I may have to occassionally inconvenience myself to avoid collissions with others. If a car ahead of me were to slam on their brakes for a real or imagined threat and I were to plow into the back of them I would be the one considered to be at fault for following too closely, and, we all aknowledge that.

As a cyclist, I am happy that they view the drive to be primarily at fault. But, I also see that as cyclists we wear some responsibility to our own safety and well being. In this instance Mellissa would have had to make a decission to either move left out of the door zone of the car that had just parked ahead of her, or, if she didn't view that as safe, slow or stop in the cycle lane for the somewhat predictable action of a door opening from a car that had just parked.

80/20 doesn't seem like an unreasonable split to me. What are the legal implications of the cyclist sharing in the responsibility?
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Old 03-12-13, 07:35 PM
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She is an inexperienced rider. She had to have seen the car zoom ahead of her and park. Why she didn't take the lane is baffling to me.
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Old 03-12-13, 07:38 PM
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Would you ever pass a parked car within doors reach....ever?
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Old 03-12-13, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
As I drive along in my car, I accept that I may have to occassionally inconvenience myself to avoid collissions with others. If a car ahead of me were to slam on their brakes for a real or imagined threat and I were to plow into the back of them I would be the one considered to be at fault for following too closely, and, we all aknowledge that.

As a cyclist, I am happy that they view the drive to be primarily at fault. But, I also see that as cyclists we wear some responsibility to our own safety and well being. In this instance Mellissa would have had to make a decission to either move left out of the door zone of the car that had just parked ahead of her, or, if she didn't view that as safe, slow or stop in the cycle lane for the somewhat predictable action of a door opening from a car that had just parked.

80/20 doesn't seem like an unreasonable split to me. What are the legal implications of the cyclist sharing in the responsibility?
no I respectfully disagree the car parked in a bike lane it is for the use of bicycle only. now if it did not have the bike lane okay we can chalk it up to 80/20
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Old 03-12-13, 07:40 PM
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me? Well, I have at slower speeds than the victim in the video..but definitely not ones I just saw parking!

nice avatar, garysol, fat bottom lover you
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Old 03-12-13, 07:43 PM
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I can't imagine that legally there is any support for blaming the cyclist at all. It's easy to blame the cyclist, but when you ride out of the door zone it illicits road rage in a number of motorists.
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Old 03-12-13, 08:05 PM
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Absolutely, entirely the motorist's fault.
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Old 03-12-13, 08:07 PM
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What really ticks me off is that Geico, in determining the 20% blame, accused the cyclist of speeding! In the video it sure doesn't look like the cyclist is barrelling down a hill.
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Old 03-12-13, 08:27 PM
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They're just angry, that bicycles are not recognized in the same group classification as cars and motorcycles.....yet?
Giving them the opportunity to get legislation passed on mandating liability insurance for cyclists, thus creating another major revenue generator for the insurance companies and participating states...just a scenario.

Could this just be an excuse to get bikes insured, to cover the damages for the careless driver's vehicle? I mean, replacement doors are really expensive
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Old 03-12-13, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I can't imagine that legally there is any support for blaming the cyclist at all. It's easy to blame the cyclist, but when you ride out of the door zone it illicits road rage in a number of motorists.
true but no car was behind her at all. She could have taken the lane and avoided this accident. She was inexperienced and that is why she got doored.

I still think the driver is at 100% fault though.
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Old 03-12-13, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
Would you ever pass a parked car within doors reach....ever?
Only if I can see straight through the windows of an empty car.

I hope my insurance company does not read this. If I get doored at least half the blame goes to me IMO.
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Old 03-12-13, 08:33 PM
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I think the driver should be 100% responsible in determining if the coast is clear before opening the door. Failure to do so translates into 100% at fault IMO.
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Old 03-12-13, 08:41 PM
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A couple questions:

1. For those familiar with the location of the accident. Is parallel parking in that location legal?

2. If this happened on a public road, how does Geico become responsible for assigning blame/responsibility instead of the local police?

3. Was either the cyclist or the auto driver sited for any infractions? If only one was, then I would assume they hold 100% of the responsibility. Only in cases of both or neither can I see responsibility being shared or proportioned.
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Old 03-12-13, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
A couple questions:

1. For those familiar with the location of the accident. Is parallel parking in that location legal?

2. If this happened on a public road, how does Geico become responsible for assigning blame/responsibility instead of the local police?

3. Was either the cyclist or the auto driver sited for any infractions? If only one was, then I would assume they hold 100% of the responsibility. Only in cases of both or neither can I see responsibility being shared or proportioned.
I just used Street View in Google Maps. As far as I can tell, when traveling on Polk approaching Golden Gate, I spotted a couple of signs. One was a 25 m.p.h./ a no left turn sharing a post and I saw a red and white square sign that looks to state no parking any time. That may be for along the solid white stripe segment, as it becomes a broken line closer to the intersection.
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Old 03-12-13, 09:55 PM
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The insurer wants to minimize their liability of course. They'd rather it was a higher percentage liability to the cyclist I'm sure. I don't know where that is but there shouldn't be any legal parking in a bicycle lane so it should be 100% car.
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Old 03-12-13, 10:11 PM
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people don't realize exactly how far you have to be from a door to avoid it. It was hard to see the cyclist's lane position, but it didn't seem all that close to the car.
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Old 03-12-13, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
people don't realize exactly how far you have to be from a door to avoid it. It was hard to see the cyclist's lane position, but it didn't seem all that close to the car.
All you have to do is just catch the tip of your handle grip, and down you go. The door of my personal car extends over 3 ft from the side of the car when opened fully.

Geico says the cyclist was traveling too fast. Put a Geico agent in a car behind a cyclist going the same speed as the cyclist in the video, and I'll wager the agent's comments will not be to the tune of the cyclist going too fast.
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Old 03-13-13, 02:24 AM
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easily avoidable. inattentive cyclist.

some of our bike lanes are always in the door area so you always scan to ensure that doors are not coming.

bike lanes in the door area in FFM:


i'd also have a few "words" with the driver.

Last edited by acidfast7; 03-13-13 at 02:43 AM. Reason: my English has turned to crap today :(
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Old 03-13-13, 02:44 AM
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"mental anguish"

"restored my faith in humanity"



no broken bones even.

you guys can really sue for anything, eh?
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Old 03-13-13, 03:12 AM
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Driving 101 - the driver must check to see if there's an approaching vehicle before opening the door; not by the side mirror but by physically looking back.
Except for common sense, it's the law.

Hmmm...
"On top of the driver’s dooring violation (CVC 22517), Moore pointed out that he also violated CVC 21211, which prohibits parking in a bike lane."

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Old 03-13-13, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
She is an inexperienced rider. She had to have seen the car zoom ahead of her and park. Why she didn't take the lane is baffling to me.
Inexperienced? She says she's been commuting in Boston and SF for eight years. That's probably more than 90% of bike commuters in the U.S.
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Old 03-13-13, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
She is an inexperienced rider. She had to have seen the car zoom ahead of her and park. Why she didn't take the lane is baffling to me.
He is an inexperienced (ignorant) driver. He should have remembered that he just passed a cyclist and not open his door on her. Why he parked in a bike lane and didn't shoulder check before opening the door is baffling to me.

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Old 03-13-13, 08:10 AM
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While this point out why you should never ride in the door zone, it is still the drivers full responsibility. I think Geico knows this but are posturing. If they can intimidate her into paying for part they save money. I can't imagine them winning in court. But I don't think that is their intention.

Hopefully this will lead to a big backlash in public opinion and Geico will regret starting this. But I'm not holding my breath. This is the first time I've seen it.
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Old 03-13-13, 08:14 AM
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If the driver opened his/her door into the path of an oncoming car and it got knocked off....Would the passing vehicle be blamed? Or would the driver who opened their door into traffic be blamed?
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