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Ask BikePortland: Hit by a car door — help!

Posted by on February 2nd, 2010 at 2:05 pm

door zone warning stencil-10
(Photo © J. Maus)

[Note: Based on the large number of helpful responses to a reader’s request for help back in December, I thought I’d make this a more regular feature. I’ll try to do an “Ask BikePortland” post at least once a month. If you have a burning bike question — whether it has to do with product recommendations or legal advice — drop us a line. Between myself and this excellent community of readers, I’m sure we can get you an answer.]

This one comes from reader N.M., who was unfortunately the victim of a dooring on N. Williams:

This woman opened her car door on me on N. Williams last Tuesday and I fell into the street. Luckily oncoming traffic was far enough away to stop rather than run me over. I got the contact info of the lady and my friend who was with me wrote down her license plate number — but I didn’t get her insurance info on the spot.

I was dazed and in pain and it was pouring rain. Maybe these are bad excuses, but now I’ve been playing phone tag with this woman for a week and she won’t give me her insurance info over the phone. Once she said she would call me back later and give it to me, but she didn’t. Instead this morning she called me and left me a voicemail to inform me that she wouldn’t have to help me. She claims to have spoken to her insurance company and that they said because I got up and rode away and was visibly fine that she’s done her part.

But my bike wasn’t fine, I had to get the brake fixed and my wheels trued. I also am not fine, I need to go to the chiropractor. Isn’t there a law that states this is her fault and she has to help me? What do I do next? Call the police with her license plate number?

I would appreciate any advice or knowledge.

Thank you,

N.M.

ORS 811.490
  • “Improper opening or
    leaving open a vehicle door”

Thanks for the question N.M. The woman who opened her door into you did actually break the law. A quick consult of the excellent Pedal Power legal guide tells me that ORS 811.490 states that a person commits the offense of “improper opening or leaving open a vehicle door” if the person, “Opens any door of a vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and it can be done without interference with the movement of traffic, or with pedestrians and bicycles on sidewalks or shoulders.”

In your case, at least how you’ve described it, the woman has committed that offense and should be held liable for damages and given the requisite $90 fine. I would definitely get in touch with the police and have them pay her a visit. Since you have injuries, you should also get in touch with a lawyer ASAP.

You might also want to check out this article from the Willamette Week about a woman in Southeast who sought over $100,000 in damages after being doored.

What do you think readers? Do you have some info or advice that might help N.M. in this situation?

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Comments
  • Paul Tay February 2, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    1) File a police report;
    2) Seek medical care;
    3) Keep receipts of all care;
    4) If damage under the Oregon upper limit for small claims, sue in small claims; In Oklahoma, it’s $3,000. If you sue in small claims, the defendant will simply contact her insurance, who settles pretty quick.
    5) If over the limit for small claims, seek competent legal representation.

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  • Wake Gregg February 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Having a shop on the Vancouver bike lane, I see quite a few folks pedal by. Since August, I have seen 5 right hooks.

    As I have run out with the first aid kit, I have been surprised that 3 of the 5 cyclists involved in accidents apologized to the driver, even though it was the drivers fault. Those 3 cyclists did not get the drivers informatin.

    I think a big part of the puzzle for cyclists to encourage drivers to see them by seeking crash damages.

    Wake

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  • rixtir February 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Never take legal advice from the other party’s insurance company. First, they’re not lawyers, they’re claims adjusters, Second, they’re not your friend, they’re your adversary.

    As a third reason not to take this advice, there is no reason to believe that this driver has even bothered to talk with her insurer.

    This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of this driver’s violations, but ORS 811.700 requires her to provide you with her insurance information if there has been an accident involving property damage. ORS 811.705 is the applicable statute when their has been an injury. Regardless of whether you were injured or only sustained property damage, the driver has failed to provide you with her insurance information, as required by law. Is there any reason to believe that her insurer advised her to violate the law?

    Tell her that if she does not provide you with the required information immediately, you will talk with an attorney. Then follow through.

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  • Paul Tay February 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    If the motorist won’t give you insurance info, ya think she might be like duh…UNINSURED? Naaaaaaaaaaaaah. NOT in a million years!

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  • rixtir February 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    It looks like I spoke too soon. After reading the statutes, it doesn’t appear that the duties of a driver include providing insurance information. Apparently, that is only required if a police officer requests the information. Unbelievable that Oregon gives drivers a loophole like that.

    The cyclist has a witness. Under Oregon law, the cyclist can prosecute the driver for the dooring. You might be able to use that as leverage to get the insurance information. Alternatively, threaten to turn the matter over to an attorney. Whichever course you choose, follow through if the driver continues to stall.

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  • ryanknapper February 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    This woman is refusing to do the right thing. I think Paul Tay’s first comment is the wisest course of action.

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  • Jackattak February 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I was going to comment but I think Paul Tay #1 hit the nail on the head.

    Pretty much a by-the-book rundown of what you need to do, N.M.

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  • TM February 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Been there, done that with a car hood and a driver with an expired license. Paul Tay’s 1st comment is spot on. Don’t get angry with her, just force the issue.

    If there is any hassle with the insurer or her, hire a bicycle lawyer. Insurance companies only care about their share holders earnings. They don’t even care about their employees. And they hate hearing from lawyers;)

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  • Steve B. February 2, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Last time I was involved in reporting a dooring, the PO said there was no crime because the car was parked. Many, many police do not know about ORS 811.490.

    That bike lane on Williams has got to change, quickly. BUILD IT.

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  • Nick V February 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I agree with Paul Tay. And if you need a lawyer, there are some who specialize in cyclist rights and only take a fee if you win. Michael Colbach represented me. Good guy.

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  • Xor February 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    is dooring common enough to get together and work on a “so you have been doored” one-sheet that cyclists can carry? maybe it would have a copy of the law, a form of what info to get on the car owner, maybe something to tear off and give to the driver?

    just thinking out loud. perhaps a lawyer could review it, etc.

    if there was a pdf, i know i would print out a copy and carry a few with me. (maybe the could be 4-up to a page, etc)

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  • es February 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    If you have a phone number you can locate an address. If you have an address you can get her name. If you have her name and address you or your attorney or insurance company can write a demand letter. If you have renters or homeowner’s insurance, you bike and/or medicals may fall under that. Etc.

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  • Giant Hogweed February 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    “is dooring common enough to get together and work on a ‘stay out of the door zone’ one-sheet”?

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  • Anon February 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Nick #10 mentioned Michael Colbach, I highly suggest you NOT use this fellow. I, as well as a few other people I know, made the mistake of employing his services with very bad results and no recourse. I do recommend Swanson, Thomas and Coon, great firm. No matter who your preference is, you need to consult an attorney before you continue any further contact with her.

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  • Ivana Tinkle February 2, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Document, document, document!!!

    When you catch up with this person, you’ll have everything done to make it easier to GET things done, time makes facts fuzzy, making details less accurate, more flakey sounding.

    Also, when you have your act together, the one that gave you the door prize will look bad when someone catches up with her, It’ll look like she’s avoiding doing the right and responsible thing.

    I’m glad you are okay. Stay strong.

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  • Door'd February 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I suffered a dooring in NE in 2008. The driver felt genuinely awful and we turned the whole matter over to insurance, no police report filed.

    I broke my 3rd metatarsal, underwent minor surgery but the tendons remained intact. I spent the night in the hospital and 6 weeks on crutches. The insurance offered to settle and I negotiated them up 20% and was satisfied with the cut and dried nature of all the interactions.

    This happens and most often there’s a formulaic response. Keep records, be your own advocate but there’s no reason to approach this from a vindictive mindset. Have you ever gotten out of a car without looking behind you first? Every time?

    BTW – just tonight going North on Williams I would have been flattened by a black Passat crossing from a side street at the hospital had I not yelled “Hey a**hole!” as loudly as I could have. The driver slammed on the brakes and slid to a stop about 2 feet from me as I went through the intersection.

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  • Marcus Griffith February 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    document everything is pretty good advice in all collisions, be it with motor vehicles, other cyclists, doors or that damn yelping dog down the street… and by yelping dog I mean certain political leaders who compare poor people to stray animals

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  • Chris Rall February 2, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I won’t add to the advice on how to get properly compensated, but I take some issue with the link on how to avoid being car-doored. Here is another approach:

    Rather than scan the cars for occupants, just don’t ride in the door zone. (And I have no intention of blaming the victim here. Sounds like the driver was legally at fault. I am just trying to point out that there is a way to ride where you can avoid this hazard.)

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  • Vance Longwell February 2, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    ‘Chiropracty’ is not legitimate medicine, how can one make an insurance policy pay for it? Just curious how that works? Plus too, I thought in order for the two involved parties to be under a mandate to file a police report that there be a property-damage threshold met? I thought that was $1500? Is this not true then? I can’t see a brake problem being that expensive, and I can’t see any way to claim a medical issue if you rode off, especially if it wasn’t straight to the emergency-room. I know it’s a potential bill, but I always go right straight to the e-room regardless, ’cause you never know, and it’s an insta-case with the insurance folks.

    Also, how can you make criminal charges so long after the fact? Sounds to me like a real wobbly small-claim as well, for many of the same reasons. Who’s to say they didn’t damage the brake, or receive the injury, in another accident this person has had since this one? (That’s ‘for instance’, I don’t mean to imply this is the case.)

    I am very curious about this, and I hope this person keeps us updated. I would think doing so much of this after the fact is going to make it an uphill battle, unfortunately.

    Getting doored blows. A good friend lost his spleen that way, and it remains one of the only crash-types I’ve ever had on the street. I have way more issues with it now that I’m required by 814.420 to ride so close to parked cars. So much for the judgment I’ve honed over 25 years. It’s always best to trust an unqualified ‘state’ in this matter though, and I’m glad to sacrifice. Not.

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  • Seager February 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    What’s the word on when you should call the cops after an accident to document it? Sounds like they should have called the cops and made everyone wait until they showed up to document the accident.

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  • Duncan February 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Vance-
    Your stupid is showing. When I was injured on the job in Washington the STATE payed for my chiropractor- why? Because studies show that chiropracters can get people recovered faster and cheaper than Drs. Thats the staistical evidence.

    Anecdotaly- I didnt know much about chiropracters until the Dr I saw after the accident reccomended fusing my vertebre together in a surgery with a signifigant chance of paralysis as an out come and six months of recovery time. After seeing a chiropracter for 8 weeks I was back on the job and fully recovered.

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  • PoPo February 2, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    There is no “mandate” to report a traffic crash with the police. The $1500 threshold #20 refers to is a DMV reporting requirement. Police investigate crashes that result in injury serious enough for the patient to be entered into the regional trauma system (pretty serious) or have a criminal component (DUII, Reckless Driving, etc). If you imagine all of the “fender bender” accidents that occur in Portland, you can understand why police cannot conduct a full investigation (witness interviews, scene diagrams, photographs, etc) for each.

    A citizen can always call and ask for police at the scene if they feel there’s a need (safety, the possibility one of the parties might take off without exchanging information, need for a tow, etc), though in most cases the officer will simply complete an exchange of information that is about the same as two honest people could achieve on their own. The carbon copy form will be given to each party, and none will be entered into police records. (Some years ago a copy of that exchange would be entered into records, though it still did not contain any sort of investigation.)

    So, in the case of something like a dooring, unless a citation was issued by the officer, there will be no police report. It is a matter of civil law at that point. One poster pointed out that many police officers are unfamiliar with the law concerning opening doors. They’re absolutely right (if you’re wondering why, check out the two ORS books, criminal and traffic; they’re kind of large, and unless you run into that circumstance regularly, you may not remember it). If you find yourself in this circumstance, you might politely mention to the officer that you’ve been told about that ORS.

    Whether the officer issues a citation is up to them (they have to meet the burden of 51% proof), but if they decline to you can request a “citizen citation.” This is even more esoteric than the dooring law itself, but it’s in Portland Police’s manual. Essentially, the officer fills out most of a ticket for breaking that law, and the citizen takes it from there. They will appear in court with witnesses and the defendant, attempting to prove to the judge by a “preponderance of the evidence” that the law was broken.

    It’s a pain in the butt to be sure, but if you win you can point to it as proof that a judge agreed that that person was in the wrong. Whether that is of more use than simply giving the name of a whole bunch of credible, independent witnesses to a good lawyer, I can’t say.

    In regards to hit & run law, the driver doesn’t have to give you their insurance information. If an officer responds (and you should have one do so if they other person hems and haws about insurance), all they can do is cite and tow the other driver for not having insurance. As far as establishing fault, it still doesn’t do much. The motive for them giving up their insurance information (if they have any) is that you’ll go after them instead.

    If you had been driving a car, you’d simply give all this information to your insurance company and they would take it from there, contacting the other driver’s insurance company. (In this case, in so far as she was not driving her car, I’m not sure she would even have to have an insurance company.)

    I hope that clarifies things at least a little bit. I personally have never had any luck at all with chiropractors (chronic back pain), but I can give this piece of advice regarding crashes:

    Identify as many disinterested witnesses as you possibly can find!

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  • BURR February 3, 2010 at 12:09 am

    I also disagree with Ray Thomas’ advice on avoiding doorings.

    1. With today’s cars, between high head rests, tinted windows and other view obstructions, it’s almost impossible to ‘scan’ the cars to determine whether it is occupied or not.

    2. Using a mirror is a great suggestion, but the person that’s going to door you is in a car in front of you, and not behind you.

    3. Best practice is simply to ride far enough away from all parked cars that their door will not reach/touch you even if it is thrown fully open in your path, that’s anywhere from 3 to five feet outboard of the cars in the parking lane.

    You are more likely to get doored by riding too close to the parked cars than you are to get hit from behind by riding too far away from them.

    http://bicyclesafe.com/ see collision type 2.

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  • BURR February 3, 2010 at 12:15 am

    once more for the grammar police…

    With today’s cars, between high head rests, tinted windows and other view obstructions, it’s almost impossible to ‘scan’ the cars to determine whether they are occupied or not.

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  • Vance Longwell February 3, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Duncan 21 – I don’t think your comment is on topic, and see little more there than a personal insult. But you did say I was stupid, apparently that’s meritorious enough for the editors of this website; and their double standard

    I don’t accept Washington State, and their financial relationship with you as any type of proof that Chiropracty is any different from Faith Healing, VooDoo, or Acupuncture.

    I do have a link to a credible expert talking extensively about issues that support my assertion though. And they’re even a doctor, and not a ‘State’.

    http://www.nullsession.net/?p=3256

    Plus too, I was just surprised about this, I am ambivalent otherwise. What people spend their settlement-money on is their business. I think you simply projected an insecurity onto me that you may have about seeming ignorant for falling for such a scam. That’s okay, I forgive you.

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  • Vance Longwell February 3, 2010 at 3:18 am

    BURR 23 – C’mon man. Every good urban bicycle rider knows you watch side-mirrors for occupants in a car. Totally fool-proof, even in poor lighting situations. Plus too, you can get a read on whether or not they can see you. Trying to watch IN the car isn’t going to do much but get you doored. Which you said, I just agree, and thought it bears repeating.

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  • Tad February 3, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Get a lawyer. She (or rather, her insurance company) is most definitely liable. They can get out of paying you by assuming you don’t have a lawyer and telling you “no”, but you are entitled to compensation under Oregon law.

    I don’t want to be a shill or anything, but I’ve done some website work for a local PI lawyer, who also happens to be an avid cyclist. He doesn’t charge fees up front, either. His site is here.

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  • Bjorn February 3, 2010 at 5:15 am

    #24 My insurance covers both acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. I have used both and had mixed results with the chiropractic which worked very well for a muscle injury (hip) and not as well for a joint injury (knee). My one experience with Acupuncture came after shoveling a lot of snow, I woke up the next day unable to move my head because my shoulder and neck were so stiff. A friend who was an acupuncturist helped me out and the increase in range of motion and decrease in pain was substantial and immediate. I don’t think that either works for everything Vance, but they are both effective types of medicine recognized by many forms of insurance in the US.

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  • Alexis February 3, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I went to a presentation a while back on bicycle law, and got the following general summary of what to do when there’s an accident:

    1) Get information from all the other parties involved, including insurance information and witness contact information.
    2) Take photos of the accident scene, including your bike.
    3) Accept medical care, or seek medical care immediately after the incident if injuries are not emergency-level and none comes to the scene. Even if you think you’re okay, you should probably get checked out because tomorrow you might not feel that way.
    4) Cooperate with law enforcement. (Other people have better covered above what to do with a police officer specifically, like getting a report filed.)
    5) Call a lawyer. (I’d qualify this by saying ‘if you have any questions/concerns about what happened in any of the points above’.)
    6) Keep yourself safe.
    7) Keep all documentation.

    I was in a bike-ped accident (I was the ped) in January 2008 and I was not thinking clearly, having hit my head, and left without even getting the cyclist’s contact information. I keep the above list on my phone now in the hopes that next time I can let my injured brain do the simpler thing of following the guidelines rather than trying to think what I ought to do.

    (I was lucky and the only thing I needed was checkups, bandaids, rest, and anti-inflammatories (to deal with the two weeks of headaches from the not-at-all-obvious concussion), but I still wish I had dealt with the whole thing properly.)

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  • Bob_M February 3, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Vance
    You risk being branded a hypocrite when you whine about personal insults
    Remember calling me a liar?

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  • k. February 3, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Never thought I’d find myself agreeing with Vance for the most part, but on this I think I do.

    Don’t get me wrong, getting doored sucks and the driver here was clearly at fault. That being said, it seems that the solutions being suggested here would be harder on the victim than the initial minor bike repairs and aches and pains.

    It would be nice if there was a way to politely alert car drivers in such incidences about their culpability in the matter without blowing the whole thing out of proportion by involving lawyers, courts, etc. It seems the damage hardly warrants such an active response and is probably likely to further drive a wedge between cyclists and drivers.

    Sometimes life sucks in minor ways, but I don’t think looking for legal redress and all that entails, for every small accidental transgression against is the way to fix that. Just my two cents.

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  • Duncan February 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

    youre right Lance it is a little off topic- but then again I was replying to YOUR off-topic comment post about chiropractic work. So YOU can post your personal off-topic opinions but other cannot lest we be valled out by the Most Reverend Vance Longwell? You must be a most noble man to have recieved the arbiter of what is and is not off topic.

    Mostly Vance I skip by your posts without reading- because after a year on Bikeportland I figured out that your posts are simply not worth the time it takes to read them because they are almost entirely negative and almost always about your personal beef with the world.

    This reply is no exception- You ignore the stastitical an anesdotal evidence because it fails to agree with your assertation. Whine about being insulted and then do the same thing. You are in short a troll Vance, and I will do the right thing and go back to ignoring your personal pissing match with the rest of humanity.

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  • Duncan February 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

    “2008 supportive review found …that SM (Spinal Manipulation) and mobilization are at least as effective for chronic low back pain as other efficacious and commonly used treatments.”

    Ref:
    Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans R, Kawchuk G, Dagenais S (2008). “Evidence-informed management of chronic low back pain with spinal manipulation and mobilization”. Spine J 8 (1): 213–25.

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  • Duncan February 3, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Back on topic-

    I would encourage anyone who is doored to fill out an accident report with the DMV ASAP- and get the name and vehicle ID. That way if the driver is driving without insurance you will have a basis for filing a claim against them.

    As a driver, I ALWAYS fill out an accident claim for every fender bender- there is no way of knowing what the damages are at the time of the accident, and that would go doubly if I (God forbid) doored a cyclist. I want my insurance to pay if I am at fault, and filing an accident report is the first step to getting this done. The fact that the woman wont give her insurance number makes me think that she doesn’t have any- because her Insurance company would want the cyclist to file a claim even if they planed to deny it.

    Also I would encourage anyone who is the victim of a blunt force MOI (Mechanism of Injury) to get checked out by a medical professional- many injuries such as hairline fractures, concussions and back injuries can be difficult to self detect after a traumatic incident. This goes double if you suffer a direct impact to the head, and essential if you lose conciousness- even momentarily.

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  • She February 3, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Chiropractic care is legitimate medical care. In the state of Oregon Chiropractor are licensed medical practitioners. Many insurances cover Chiropractic care, as a matter of fact I have never heard of an insurance denying Chiropractic care when it is in an automobile accident payment situation.

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  • Vance Longwell February 3, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Bob_M – Read again. I am complaining of a double standard, and expressly am not complaining about being insulted. I have my name, and face, plastered all over my blog, and am a ubiquitous feature in the 201. Feel free to approach me in person and call me a whiner. Please.

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  • q`Tzal February 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    While Vance’s posts are usually filled with invective there is also some truth as well.
    In this case the Chiropractic Arts:
    The AMA (American Medical Association) has had a tumultuous relationship with the Chiropractic practices.
    A quick search shows that there is no official medical support for Chiropractics.
    From full on legal war between Chiropractic and the AMA early on to conspiracy to the current Cold war-ish detente there is no consistent scientific support for Chiropractic.
    That doesn’t stop your insurance from paying for it. If you pay enough money an insurance company will pay for veterinary visits.

    Insurance coverage is not medical approval.

    Disclaimer: I have been to Chiropractic practitioner after a vehicular incident; it seemed to help.

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  • BURR February 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Every good urban bicycle rider knows you watch side-mirrors for occupants in a car. Totally fool-proof, even in poor lighting situations. Plus too, you can get a read on whether or not they can see you. Trying to watch IN the car isn’t going to do much but get you doored. Which you said, I just agree, and thought it bears repeating.

    By the time you’re close enough to see what’s in that little mirror it’s gonna be too late t o avoid a dooring. Much better to just assume someone’s going to fling a door open in front of you at some point and leave enough clearance for it to happen without hitting you.

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  • Steve B. February 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Regarding “just don’t ride in the door zone,” I don’t think this is very practical advice.

    Many of the bike lanes in our city are COMPLETELY in the door zone. To tell someone to not ride in the door zone in this situation is to completely leave the bike lane and take the next travel lane. I don’t think many folks do this on streets like Broadway or Williams, it’s just not realistic for your entire journey. I do recommend folks leave the bike lane if they fear a pending open door.

    On unmarked streets such as bike boulevards, it’s much easier to avoid the door zone, but I think the threat is much less.

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  • BURR February 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Many of the bike lanes in our city are COMPLETELY in the door zone. To tell someone to not ride in the door zone in this situation is to completely leave the bike lane and take the next travel lane. I don’t think many folks do this on streets like Broadway or Williams, it’s just not realistic for your entire journey. I do recommend folks leave the bike lane if they fear a pending open door.

    This simply reflects the complete failure of PDOT at achieving safe bike lane design.

    BTW, ORS 814.420(3)(c) allows you to leave the bike lane to avoid hazardous conditions, including leaving a bike lane in the door zone when parked cars are present.

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  • Nick V February 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Anon #15,

    I’m curious. What happened with Michael Colbach?
    I referred a friend to him after I worked with him and we were both very pleased with how things turned out in our cases.

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  • She February 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Of course the AMA and Chiropractors have a tulumtuous relationship. Chiropractors are typically much lower tech and sometime provide more immediate relief. My experience is that you have to go for a while before the “issue” is completely resolved but that feels like it fits better than a pill that fixes everything or fixes the “issue” then causes other problems which take more pills.

    It is not allopathic medicine and it is threatening to our mainsteam docs (some at least). That is not at all surprising.

    It has helped me and in some cases better fit than the allopathic Dr.

    Make your own choice, I certainly approve of skepticism for both options!

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  • k. February 4, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Colbach’s a good guy and has been very effective for his clients for the most part. Anonymous advice of this sort smacks of a personnel issue, not a legitimate complaint.

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  • Jim O'Horo February 4, 2010 at 10:16 am

    N.M., sorry to hear of your troubles. It’s good that you at least got the driver’s ID & the car’s plate #. the driver is not necessarily the owner of the car. If you also own a car & have insurance, then your PIP coverage should take care of chiropractor & other medical bills. They will then go after the driver and/or owner of the car for you whether or not the other party(s) have insurance. Note that this only covers actual medical expense, not “pain & suffering”, etc., but if the other party DOES have insurance, your insurance company is going to be able to ferret out that info. and should be able to share it with you so you can make a claim for property damage, etc.

    Best wishes – hope you heal quickly.

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  • N.M.- the girl who got doored February 5, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Wow, thank you everyone who has left accurate information and caring advice. And thank you Bike Portland for publishing my inquiry.
    This whole thing is so much more complicated than it should be. I just want this woman to recognize the law, stop being a careless and selfish person and pay for my $65 bike repairs, as well as some chiropractic visits. I don’t have health insurance at the moment, as I am a student (and in debt from loans of course).
    I guess my next step is to report her. We’ll see what happens next.

    Thanks again everyone!
    N.M.

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