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Can a passenger be prosecuted?

As I was filtering between two lines of stand still traffic a passenger in a car in the outside lane opened his door to get out of the car. I couldn’t avoid crashing into the door and flew off my bike. I have a fractured shoulder and wrist. I have a personal injury claim for compensation going on but I want the police to prosecute the passenger but they refuse to do so which is frustrating – any ideas?

Mark Matthews – by e-mail



Clearly the passenger was negligent in not looking to see that it was safe to get out of the car.

However, rather than the passenger it is actually the driver of the car that is responsible for his or her passengers’ actions and therefore it is the insurer of the car that should be dealing with your civil claim for compensation. If he was uninsured, then the Motor Insurers’ Bureau will deal with the claim.

It does not surprise me that the police are not prosecuting him. The burden of proof in a criminal case is higher than in a civil case and I cannot think what offence it is they would charge him with. I think that the CPS would need to establish that the passenger had the intention to cause you injury to succeed in a criminal action against him and surely this is not the case unless you can provide any evidence to the contrary.



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