Posted: April 19th, 2017
A hit-and-run accident-which left the cyclist with severe brain damage-has been settled in the High Court.
In early August 2013, a man on a bicycle-who was not wearing a helmet at the time-was cycling in Blanchardstown, Dublin. When he reached the junction of the Ongar Distributor Road and Shelerin Road, he was hit by a van. Several people witnessed the accident, and one eye-witness statement claimed that the impact of the van threw the cyclist nearly three metres into the air. The emergency services were called, and he received immediate on-scene attention.
It was determined that thirty-three year old cyclist suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. He was transferred to Beaumont Hospital, where he underwent a decompressive craniotomy at the Beaumont Hospital. After this initial treatment, he was later transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre. Due to the severely traumatic nature of his injury, he cyclist suffered amnesia for four months. A psychologist later had to tell him that he had been involved in a serious accident.
A police investigation was launched, and it concluded the van was travelling at a speed of 57kmph at the time. The driver of the van – who had fled the scene of the accident – was tracked down, and subsequently charged with criminal offences. He was brought before the courts in November 2015 and convicted with dangerous driving and causing serious harm while driving without a license or insurance. He was sentenced to 3½ years in prison. Following the criminal conviction, the cyclist´s wife claimed cyclist brain injury compensation on behalf of her husband.
As the van driver was uninsured, the claim was made against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). The claim was not contested and, after reports to assess the plaintiff´s future needs had been competed, a €3 million settlement of the cyclist brain injury compensation was agreed. The compensation would have been higher, but it was found that the cyclist had not been wearing a cycling helmet and therefore was liable for some of the damages. As the claim had been made on behalf of a plaintiff unable to represent himself, the settlement went to the High Court for approval.
The case was heard at the High Court by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. The judge was told the circumstances of the tragic accident, the consequences of the accident, and the fact that the settlement had been reduced to reflect the cyclist´s contributory negligence. Judge Cross approved the settlement of cyclist brain injury compensation – commenting it had been a dreadful incident, and closing the approval hearing by wishing the cyclist and his family the best for the future.