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Dublin cyclist who rode through red light and was hit by taxi driver awarded €190k damages

Anton Mazilu was held 80 per cent liable for crash that left him with serious head injuries

A Dublin cyclist who sustained serious head injuries after he rode through a red light and was hit by a taxi driver has been awarded more than €190,000 in damages.

The High Court in the Irish capital set the amount of damages the 64 year old, originally from Romania, will receive after the parties to the action agreed that he was 80 per cent to blame for the crash.

The collision happened at around 6.20am on 27 July 2020 near North Strand Road, Dublin, reports breakingnews.ie.

The court was told by Michael Byrne, representing Mr Mazilu, that the cyclist was thrown in the air as a result of the collision and landed on his head.

Mr Byrne claimed that taxi driver Derek Kiernan, who denied liability, had not maintained a proper lookout for the cyclist and that he failed to see Mr Mazilu or take note of his being present on the road.

In his defence, Mr Kiernan said that the collision happened after Mr Mazilu rode through a red traffic signal suddenly and without warning, and that he could not have reasonably expected the cyclist to ignore the instruction to stop.

According to Mr Byrne, his client had already ridden through the red light when the signal Mr Kiernan was waiting at turned green, at which point the taxi driver moved forward, with the collision happening at a speed estimated at 33 kilometres an hour.

The incident was captured on dashcam, and witnesses said that the driver would have not had an opportunity to avoid hitting the cyclist, who was hospitalised for three months.

The parties agreed to settle the claim on the basis of 80 per cent liability on Mr Mazilu’s part, with Mr Kiernan accepting 20 per cent liability, the settlement approved by Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds who was presiding over the case.

Both in Ireland and the UK, defence lawyers and insurers will often seek to have the amount of damages reduced in cases in which a cyclist is the victim due to issues such as riding through a red light, as happened in this case, or failure to wear protective equipment such as hi-viz clothing or a helmet.

Yesterday, we reported on a case in which a cyclist in London received £6.1 million in damages after he sustained life-changing injuries when he was knocked off his bike, with the court rejecting a claim from the driver’s insurers that the victim was partly to blame because he had not been wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

> Cyclist wins £6.1m in damages after driver hit him causing life-changing injuries – driver got £146 fine

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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11 comments

Avatar
Knightline | 4 months ago
3 likes

A green traffic light means "You may proceed if the way is clear". In other words, "don't go if there is anyone still negotiating the junction".  Simple (Rules of the Road)

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Rick_Rude | 4 months ago
1 like

Imagine the outrage if a driver had gone through at red and collected a cyclist. No doubt the 80% blame figure would seem an injustice. 

If are expected to expect people to ignore traffic lights we may as well not have them.

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Rendel Harris replied to Rick_Rude | 4 months ago
5 likes
Rick_Rude wrote:

Imagine the outrage if a driver had gone through at red and collected a cyclist. No doubt the 80% blame figure would seem an injustice. 

If are expected to expect people to ignore traffic lights we may as well not have them.

A better analogy would be if a cyclist hit a pedestrian who walked out onto a crossing even though the cyclist had a green light and the pedestrian light was red. There have been a number of cases where cyclists have been charged with not paying due care and attention in such circumstances even though the light was in their favour. You can't just hit someone with your vehicle, bike or motor, in circumstances where any reasonably attentive road user should have been able to see them and take avoiding action, and expect to escape all charges on the basis that the victim was originally in the wrong, that's not how the law works.

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Biker george replied to Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
0 likes

If I'm cycling and a pedestrian steps out and I am able to avoid them but get hit by a car that is unable to avoid the collision, who is responsible? Yes I have been in this position and yes I hit the pedestrian as the lesser of two unfortunate outcomes. Many years ago before we all lawyered up. Bike fine, no cars scratched and nothing that wasn't going to mend on the stupid jogger.
What would you do?

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hawkinspeter replied to Biker george | 4 months ago
2 likes
Biker george wrote:

If I'm cycling and a pedestrian steps out and I am able to avoid them but get hit by a car that is unable to avoid the collision, who is responsible? Yes I have been in this position and yes I hit the pedestrian as the lesser of two unfortunate outcomes. Many years ago before we all lawyered up. Bike fine, no cars scratched and nothing that wasn't going to mend on the stupid jogger. What would you do?

Sounds to me like the driver would be at fault as they're either following too close or trying to do a close pass overtake without considering the conditions.

Imagine if a pedestrian steps out and a driver performs an emergency stop to avoid hitting them, but then gets hit by a following driver - the following driver would clearly be at fault.

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HLaB replied to Rick_Rude | 4 months ago
4 likes

Imagine the accepted norm that if a driver goes through green and hits something they really should have saw and they are shown to have fault, as in most insurance cases.  In the UK its all down to a rule that has been in the Highway Code from the start and I believe Ireland is similar.

"GREEN means you may go on if the way is clear. "

The judge must've recognised that they really should have saw to a degree.

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Pot00000000 | 4 months ago
0 likes

The driving standards are massively low in Ireland, with Dublin being particularly bad. However, running a red light and getting hit is going to happen in most places.

 

I know where this happened, and it's a usual place for cars colliding so 🤷🏼‍♂️ let's blame bad planning and just pretend everything is ok. 

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RoubaixCube | 4 months ago
0 likes

On the plus side. That €190k is probably enough to get him a house back in or nice apartment back in Romania.

He's also still alive so I guess the end result is an acceptable one.

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NOtotheEU | 4 months ago
2 likes

"witnesses said that the driver would have not had an opportunity to avoid hitting the cyclist"

Let's hope he buys a car with a windscreen, steering and brakes next time then.

(& yes, I agree the cyclist was an idiot too)

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Biker george replied to NOtotheEU | 4 months ago
1 like

If the witness said the driver did not have the opportunity to avoid the collision, they were either ignored or not believed. If the dash cam verified this then this is a reprehensible judgement 😳

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mctrials23 | 4 months ago
8 likes

I assume that it was quite clear that the taxi driver should have seen the cyclist despite the cyclist being the primary rule breaker in this incident. Otherwise the driver wouldn't be getting any blame apportioned.

Go watch any dash cams footage on youtube and you will see a huge number of drivers who seem to think that as long as they are not the initiator of a crash its not their fault. Doesn't matter if a one eyed man with the reactions of a slug could have avoided it...

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