06 June 2007
Ruling frees hit and run victims to claim compensation
People who sustained injuries in hit and run incidents could be line in compensation thanks to a ruling in the High Court.
The decision from Mr Justice Flaux came in a case which saw Ben Byrne, who was injured in an accident with an untraced driver in 1993, seeking damages from the Motor Insurer's Bureau.
However, due to his mother Julie Byrne being unaware of the work of the MIB, which compensates victims of uninsured or untraceable drivers, she did not file her claim until 2001.
At the High Court hearing the MIB had reasoned that her claim was invalid since it was did not meet the requirement of the government's Untraced Driver's Agreement of 1972 that such claims must be filed within three years of the accident.
However, the body's case was quashed on the grounds that the terms of the law necessarily penalise those who have been victims of untraceable drivers.
The claimants must now prove that the driver who hit Ben, who spent six weeks in traction with a badly damaged thigh as a result, had been negligent.