Hit-and-run victim to petition Lords

A teenage girl who was denied compensation because of a legal loophole is to urge the House of Lords to intervene in her case. The girl was seriously injured by a hit and run motorcyclist in 2003 in Woodvale Park, Belfast.

The girl fractured her leg in the accident in which the motorcyclist fled the scene immediately and was never traced.

She was told by a previous court that she was not entitled to compensation as the incident occurred in a park and not on a road which meant no claim could be made against the Motor Insurers Bureau. A claim was also rejected by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Agency because to qualify as a criminal act there had to be evidence the bike was deliberately driven at the girl, and an appeals panel ruled that injuries would only be compensated if the vehicle had been used as a weapon.

The accident was described as a “buzzing incident” by the police officer who investigated the case. This is when a motorcyclist intentionally drives towards someone to scare them before swerving away at the last moment. This time however, the motorcyclist did more than just scare the victim.

Judges have now also refused a procedural application to the lords. However, legal sources indicated that the girl’s lawyers were likely to petition the House of Lords directly, seeking leave to appeal.

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