Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Dubai minibus crash: Families of victims must pursue compensation on their own

Relatives will have to file civil cases as the driver's death makes a criminal case unlikely

The minibus was partially crushed when it hit a stationary lorry on the hard shoulder of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road on Monday. Dubai Police
The minibus was partially crushed when it hit a stationary lorry on the hard shoulder of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road on Monday. Dubai Police

Relatives of seven men who died in a minibus crash are likely to have to pursue their own cases for compensation.

The death of an eighth man - the driver and the man police believe was responsible - means it is unlikely prosecutors will pursue a criminal case.

The eight men died when the minibus they were travelling in crashed into a heavy goods vehicle shortly before 5am on Monday. The stationary lorry had stopped on the hard shoulder prior to the accident.

A further six were injured, some severely, in the crash Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road, near City Centre Mirdif mall on the way to Sharjah.

Minibuses
Minibuses

“Since had died in the accident, prosecutors will have to close the criminal case against him due to his death,” said Dr Hassan Elhais, a lawyer from Al Rowaad Advocates and legal columnist for The National.

“Had the driver lived, a criminal case would have been filed against him on charges of causing wrongful death, causing injuries and causing damages. The court would then determine the extent of his responsibility."

Were a criminal investigation concluded and the driver found culpable, the payouts would be ordered by the judge.

The families of those who died or injured may not be the aware that they are entitled to file civil cases requesting what is known as 'blood money', a figure which is set at Dh200,000.

They are also entitled to seek further compensation for emotional damages.

“But prior to filing a civil case, families of the deceased whether parents, siblings, wives or children, should obtain official documents proving they are the legal beneficiaries,” said Mr Elhais.

During court proceedings, they have to submit official documents including death certificates and medical reports.

Compensation for the families is determined by the court based on several factors such as if the deceased was the only breadwinner. Payouts for the injured depends on the severity and ability to work or not in the future.

The tragedy on Monday has led to renewed calls for an outright ban on narrow body minibuses, which have been involved in a series of fatal accidents in recent years, often crumpling on impact.

Updated: October 4, 2019 12:03 PM

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