The settlement of a cyclist brain injury claim has been approved at the High Court after a consideration was made for the cyclist´s contributory negligence.
On 2nd August 2013, the thirty-three year old cyclist was cycling through Dublin when he was hit by a van at the junction of the Ongar Distributor Road and Shelerin Road in Blanchardstown. According to an eye-witness, the cyclist was thrown three metres into the air by the force of the impact. Forensic analysis later determined the van was travelling at 57kmph at the time.
The cyclist – who had not been wearing a cycling helmet – suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. He was taken to the Beaumont Hospital, where he underwent a decompressive craniotomy and – after coming out of intensive care – transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre. Such was the severity of his injury, he suffered amnesia for four months.
The driver of the van – who was uninsured and unlicensed to drive – was jailed for 3½ years in November 2015 for dangerous driving, causing serious harm, and failing to stop after a traffic accident. Following the conviction, the wife of the injured cyclist made a cyclist brain injury claim against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). Liability for the man´s injuries was not contested.
After reports had been compiled to assess the man´s future needs, a settlement of the cyclist brain injury claim amounting to €3 million was agreed. Although not required to wear a cycling helmet by law, the settlement included a consideration of the cyclist´s own contributory negligence. As the man was unable to represent himself, the settlement then went to the High Court for approval.
At the approval hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of the accident, the consequences to the cyclist´s quality of life and the conviction of the negligent driver. Judge Cross approved the settlement of the cyclist brain injury claim, commenting it had been a dreadful incident. The judge closed the hearing by wishing the cyclist and his family well for the future.