Form Of Application For Compensation

Compensation to the Victims of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Rapid justice and speedy trial are two eyes of any justice delivery system. The justice delivery system in M.A.C.T (Motor Accident Claims Tribunal cases) is far away from satisfactory. Say, an owner of a brand new Mercedes while returning from his game of hunting crashes his car into a footpath, killing civilians over it.

There are two facets in this circumstance-

  1. One is the commission of the criminal offense.
  2. Second is the compensation claim.

What to Do After an Accident?

  • A case is registered by the local police on complaining or either they will take cognizance on their own. (Registration of F.I.R). For this-
  • One should take pictures of the accident scene or even a video for use as evidence later on. Even just a passer-by can do this and provide the photos or videos to police for support in investigation and delivery of justice.
  • They should, however, call the 100 number (police hotline) and inform what the situation is in a clear and calm manner.
  • What is said on this call gets recorded and can be used as evidence later on.
  • After this, police has to register FIR, investigate and then charge-sheet the accused. After this, the judicial mechanism will set itself into motion.
  • Legal intricacies involving demand of proper compensation to be put forward before MACT tribunal.

Who Can Claim Compensation in Motor Accident Cases?

Section 165 (claim for compensation) can be made

  1. By the person who has sustained the injury.
  2. By the owner of the property where death has resulted from the motor accident.
  3. By all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased.
  4. By any agent duly authorized by the person injured or all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased, as the case may be.

Suggestive Read: How and when to file claims with Motor accidents claims tribunal?

Jurisdiction: Where Should One Claim Compensation for Motor Accident?

If a man from Calcutta is on a tour to Kanyakumari and gets involved in the motor accident at Kanyakumari then, where should he file a road accident compensation claim? The Procedure requires as follows:

  • Every application is to be mad at the option of the claimant, either to the Claims Tribunal who is having jurisdiction over the area in which the accident occurred. (Place Of Accident)
  • Or to the Claims Tribunal within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the claimant resides (Nearest Tribunal to Victim) or carries on business.
  • Or within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant resides(Nearest Tribunal Where The Accused Resides).[1]

If the Driver Had No Fault in the Motor Accident then, Can the Victim Still Get Road Accident Compensation?

A, as per her mother’s instruction went to a shop for local veggies. First, she looked left then right and then left and then took the zebra crossing. But, while crossing hurriedly, she was hit by a car. Even though there was no fault on either side, what could be the intricacies involved while demanding road accident compensation in this case?

No Fault Liability in Case of Motor Accident for Drivers

Where death or permanent disablement of any person has resulted from an accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle, the owner of the vehicle or the owners of the vehicles, will be liable to pay road accident compensation in respect of such death or disablement.

In the case of death, the minimum sum to be paid is INR 50,000/- and in the case of disablement, a minimum sum to be paid is INR 25,000/-[2], and this minimum is subject to additional compensation which the tribunal might grant under s 163A.

For a victim, one does not need to prove the negligence of the opposite side, it is assumed. The victim need not be required to plead and establish that the death or permanent disablement in respect of which the claim has been made, was due to any wrongful act, neglect or default of the owner or owners of the vehicle or vehicles concerned or of any other person.

How Much Road Accident Compensation is One Entitled to in Case of Motor Vehicle Accident in India?

Simply put, if a driver is involved in an accident in India and if it caused victim’s death then, a minimum of INR 50,000/- and if permanent disablement is caused then, a minimum of INR 25,000/- must be paid.

A claims tribunal can pay even more after considering the case. The owner of the motor vehicle or the authorized insurer shall be liable to pay in the case of death or permanent disablement due to accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle under section 163A.

Permanent disablement for this purpose means

  1. Permanent privation of the sight of either eye or the hearing of either ear or privation of any member or joint.
  2. Destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or joint.
  3. Permanent dis-figuration of the head or face.

Third Party Liability in Case of Car Accidents and Insurance Requirement

For instance: ‘A’ purchases a motor vehicle through a Nationalized Bank on 1.10.1993 and the said vehicle is insured for ‘The Period Of One Year’. He sells the vehicle to ‘B’ on 3.11.1993. The Motor Vehicle in the custody of ‘B’ meets with an accident on 6.11.1993 and the name of the owner of the said vehicle is not yet changed in the R.C Book. ‘A’ has not sent an application in the ‘Prescribed Form’ about the Transfer of Motor Vehicles to the Insurance Company immediately.[4]

  1. Whether the transfer of motor vehicle has to be allowed to put an end to the Insurance Policy automatically or
  2. Whether the mere transfer of motor vehicle entangles the statutory protection of just compensation amount to the victims.

The driving of an uninsured Motor Vehicles is an offense, requiring punishment for 3 months Or fine of one thousand Rupees under Section 196 of the act.

Moreover, in case of sale of a car or other vehicles, the person selling the motor vehicle shall apply within fourteen days, from the date of transfer, in the prescribed form to the insurer for making necessary changes in regard to the fact of transfer in the certificate of insurance and the policy described in the certificate in his favor and the insurer shall make the necessary changes in the certificate and the policy of insurance in regard to the transfer of insurance.

The transfer of the motor vehicle puts an end to the compulsory insurance policy itself as the application in the ‘prescribed form’ is not sent to the Insurance Company.

Further, the complication arises when the said vehicle is hypothecated by a Nationalized Bank and under such circumstances, the poor victims are shoved to the ‘sea of troubles’ for their inability of getting the compensation amount in time.

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