Can a passenger be prosecuted?

As I was passing between two lines of stationery traffic a passenger in a car in the outside lane opened his door to get out of the car and knocked me off my bike! I have a fractured shoulder as a result. I am seeking compensation though my solicitors but I want the police to prosecute the clown but they refuse – can their decision be overturned?
Ross – by e-mail

Answer

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 uninsured, then the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

It does not surprise me that the police are not willing to prosecute. The burden of proof in criminal cases is higher than that in civil cases and I cannot think what it is they would charge the passenger with. I would 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.

Whilst it is possible to request a review of the decision not to prosecute I don’t think you will succeed but you should succeed with your compensation claim at least to some degree, depending on the specific facts of the accident.

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