Can a pedestrian injured at a zebra crossing make a claim for personal injury compensation if the driver failed to stop and give his insurance details?
A pedestrian injured at a zebra crossing is entitled to make a claim for compensation against the negligent driver of the vehicle which caused the accident and, if the driver did not remain at the scene of the accident, it should still be possible to recover compensation – even if no vehicle registration details were recorded.
Failing to stop after a road traffic accident and provide insurance details to an accident victim is a criminal offence, and the Gardai must be notified about the accident. An investigation will be conducted and attempts will be made to identify and locate the driver of the vehicle. It is possible that eye-witnesses to the accident will be able to give a good description of the vehicle, and may have even recorded the registration number. If the zebra crossing is monitored by CCTV cameras, it is possible that the vehicle can be identified from the camera recordings and traced by the Gardai.
Time must be allowed for the Gardai to locate the driver of the vehicle before a claim for an injury to a pedestrian on a zebra crossing can be made. If the driver can be found, compensation for being hit by a car on a zebra crossing would be claimed against the driver’s insurance policy. If the driver cannot be identified or left the scene of the accident because they were uninsured, pedestrian injury claims can still be made as the Motor Insurers’ Bureau Ireland (MIBI) would act as the negligent third party, and compensation would be paid out of MIBI funds.
There are a number of reasons why a driver may flee the scene of the accident. The car may have been stolen, the driver could be disqualified from driving or may not have had insurance. If the driver is located, in all of these cases there would still be no valid insurance policy against which a claim could be made. The MIBI would stand in as the respondent in all of these examples.
Although the failure to stop at the scene of the accident is a criminal matter, it does not necessarily mean that the driver was liable for the accident. It will still be necessary to prove that the driver of the vehicle was negligent and was primarily to blame for the accident and your injuries. It is therefore strongly recommended to enlist the services of a personal injury solicitor to assist with the collection of evidence of negligence to support a claim for compensation for being hit by a car on a zebra crossing.
One issue with a claim for a pedestrian injured at a zebra crossing when the driver who caused it fled the scene is that a claim for an injury to a pedestrian on a zebra crossing cannot be commenced until the Gardai have completed an investigation. Time must be allowed for the Gardai to trace the driver responsible. Even though pedestrian injury claims may need to be delayed, you should still seek legal advice about claiming compensation for being hit by a car on a zebra crossing as soon as possible.