Courts | Vehicle passenger to pay compensation to injured

The Court of Second Instance (TSI) has ruled that the passenger of a stopped car, who opened their car door and severely injured a passing motorbike rider, is partially responsible for paying monetary compensation, overruling the judgment of the Court of First Instance (TJB).

The argument fell to the question of whether the passenger of the vehicle should be held responsible for the payment of compensation in addition to the insurance company.

Referencing the facts available to the court, the TSI pointed out that the acts of the driver and the front passenger, the second and the third civil defendants in the case respectively, had both caused the incident.

The passenger took the ride voluntarily and benefited from it, the court noted, and can only be waived of their responsibility if “they took the ride when they were aware it was in improper possession.”

It was impossible to assign the driver of the vehicle any further responsibility because the TJB had already done so, ruling that the driver bore all responsibility with the insurance company.

The TSI ruled that the passenger must share the responsibility with the insurance company.

The incident occurred in October 2014, when a motorbike rider was driving in the left lane of a road and carrying a passenger, and a car pulled into the left lane without any precautionary signals.

As the motorbike passed the car, the passenger of the car opened the door and knocked both the rider and their passenger off the bike, injuring them both. It took the motorbike rider 80 days to completely recover.

Considering all the evidence, the Court of First Instance handed down a fine of MOP12,000 or 80 days in prison to the passenger of the vehicle. As for civil compensation, the court ruled that nearly MOP280,000 should be paid.

The TJB ruled that civil responsibility of the passenger would be transferred to the driver, who was insured. As such, the insurance company was held fully responsible for the payment. The company then filed an appeal to the TSI. AL

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