Procedure for Compensation to Road Accident Victims

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“We can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone” – Ronald Reagan

Ronald quote motivates us to help those who are not able to help themselves or better interpretation would be that who are unaware of the things available to them.

So this article is written to provide you with the insight of procedure for providing compensation to the road accident victims in case of grievous/permanent injury or in cases of death.

INTRODUCTION

Indian legal system is the largest among all the other countries legal system it has the biggest constitution and law regulating all the aspect of life of the people in every sector. In our daily life almost all of us have seen an accident on the road or i can say many of us have also faced the trauma of this miss happening.

It’s an everyday process that hundreds of people are dying in road accidents, and are not even provided with the first aid facility. It not that there is lack of hospitals it’s because of lack of awareness among people, lack of knowledge and lack of money are the main factors of this  everyday happenings in the whole country. Road is a place where your misbehaviour my lead to loss of life for others.

People got admitted in the hospitals but due to lack of money they are unable to get their proper treatment from the hospital. For those who does not not able to help themselves government is their to help them.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act,  2019  is the remedy available before all the victims and their families via which they can place the offender behind bars and seek justice. This act aims at providing justice to the victims and reducing road accident cases. 

THE MOTOR VEHICLES (AMENDMENT) ACT,  2019 

This is one of the comprehensive acts which recently received the President’s assent on 09 Aug 2019. Act covers all aspects of road transport vehicles like :-

  • Licencing of drivers of Motor Vehicles.
  • Registration of Motor Vehicles.
  • Liability to pay compensation to the victims.
  • General provision for punishment of offences.
  • It includes the concept of ‘Third Party’. 
  • It also covers the concept of Hit and run cases. etc.

PROCEDURE

Basically focusing on the procedure that can be adopted by the victim or his family for claiming compensation for their loss is as follows :-

  • Application for grant compensation can be filed before the motor vehicle claims tribunal having jurisdiction of the area/place where accident took place or where the claimant resides or where the owner of the vehicle resides under Section 166 & 140.
  • In the recent case of Vimla Devi vs The National Insurance Company Justice Abhay Sapre and justice Indu Malhotra declared that FIR of the accident would be enough to award compensation to the victims or his family i.e even if no formal claim petition is filed but FIR of the accident was filed than that can be used as an evidence or document to provide compensation.
  • After filing of claim petition or FIR on the basis of facts and circumstances of the case and the kind of injury amount of compensation will be decided.
  • According to Section 165(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 in following circumstances claimant is entitled for compensation :–
  • In case where an accident occurred by use of motor vehicle.
  • In case of death or bodily injury(permanent disability) to a person. 
  • In case where the accident results in the loss of any property of a third party.
  • There are certain judgments of the hon’ble Supreme Court which states the procedure of claim assessment like in case of Sarla Verma v. Delhi Transport Corporation certain points were considered for deciding claim’s amount like age of the victim, his salary, kind of employment etc.

KINDS OF CLAIM 

  1. No- fault Liability

Dealt under section 140 of the act in such liability cases claimant does not have to prove fault of the other party and such liability arises only in the case of permanent disability or in case of death. The amount of compensation that can be claimed by the claimant in such liability cases is Rs. 50,000/- in case of death and Rs.25,000/- in case of permanent disability. 

  1. Hit and run 

Such cases are regulated under section 161 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 2019 which specifies that  in case of death amount of compensation claimed can be 2 lakh or more and in case of grievous injury amount can be claimed is Rs. 50,000/- or more as may be specified by the Central Government

  1. Structured Formula Basis 

In the recent act this basis of claim was removed whereas, in the earlier act of 1994 Section 163 A in which the claimant does not have to prove the fault of the drive and under the provision of the act claimant will be provided with compensation by the insurance in one pre-required that is to be fulfilled which is disclosure of the name of accused. 

DOCUMENTS AND DETAILS REQUIRED FOR FILING OF CLAIM APPLICATION BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL

  • Personal details of the victim and his Id proof
  • Personal details of the person filing claim petition and his relation with the victim along with Id proof.
  • Occupation of the victim
  • Income of the victim
  • Details of the accident ( like place, date, time etc.)
  • Details of registered FIR and copy
  • Kind of injuries sustained by the victim
  • Details of the motor vehicle ( RC)
  • Details of insurance if any

CONCLUSION

There is an urgent need to elucidate this issue and reduce the number of road accident cases which are increasing at a very high speed. There are many organisations which are making their contributions for the same and government has also made great changes by making recent amendments in the act regulating motor accident cases. According to Road Transport and Highway Ministry, half a million accidents are reported in India every year, in which more than 150,000 people lose their lives. It’s not that people are unaware of the consequences of their negligent acts on the road while driving but still break laws which lead to serious consequences. But on the other hand there are many cases in which due to the negligent act of others victims have faced huge amount of losses and they are even not aware that whom to approach for justice. In such cases there is a need to light the bulb of knowledge and provide help to them. Whereas, one should start making chances in his own self  and the whole world will automatically change i.e there is a need for change on an individual basis.

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