Q1. I met with an accident while driving a car and seriously injured another person. Is it by itself an offence punishable in law or there are other requirements which reacquire to be proved?
A. It has to be proved in case of accident that the accident was the result of rash and negligent driving. Thus the prosecution has to be prove that the person who committed the accident was driving rashly and negligently and only then the offence is proved.
Q2. I had lodged a case for insurance on account of motor accident, which took place. The Tribunal held that the liability of the Insurance Company is limited to Rs. 20000/- only. Whether Tribunal is right in saying so and what is my remedy against said order?
A. If there is no evidence on the record to show that the liability of the Insurance Company was limited to Rs. 20,000/-, the finding of the Tribunal is liable to be set aside. The liability of an Insurance company, unless there is a prohibition to same in a contract or otherwise, is unlimited You can challenge the said order before the High Court in appeal.
Q3. Can a person be entitled to interest on compensation granted in a motor accident case. What is the normal rate of interest in such cases?
A. Yes, the claimant is entitled to interest on the entire amount of compensation awarded to him in a motor accident case. The rate of interest varies from case to case and lies in the discretion of the court under the circumstances of the case.
Q4. Give a detailed legal procedure to deal with motor accidents.
A. A motor accident has two facets, one is the commission of criminal offence and the other is compensation claim. The person responsible for causing the accident by negligent driving is liable to be booked for criminal offence, further liable to pay compensation to the victim. However, if the vehicle is insured, insurance company will pay.
Q5. I want to know the legal procedure followed, when we meet with an accident i.e. someone is going on a scooter and unfortunately dashes a person crossing road, both fell down and get injuries. But unfortunately the person crossing road dies in hospital. What is the procedure followed to solve the case legally? Note: the driver has a perfect driving license, the scooter has a third party insurance, and also the driver was not going in any wrong root. It was a mutual collision. Specify the ways to recover insurance amount will we have to go to court. And if we go to court what could be punishment and penalty to the driver?
A. When an accident takes place, a case is registered by the Local Police. In your case as the person has died, the criminal case will attract Section 304 A of the Indian Penal Code which provides for offences relating to death due to negligence. The State has to prove that the accident took place with your scooter and you were driving the same rashly and negligently. In such cases the statements of the eye witnesses (if any) to the accident is required to be produced during the trial. It is also to be proved that the pedestrian was not at any fault. To claim compensation you have to file a separate petition under Motor Vehicle Act in the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal. Even if the fault of driver is not proved still the legal heirs of the deceased will be entitled to “no fault liability” from the Insurance Company.
Q6.The injured of the road accident files simultaneously the criminal case and claim under MACT. In the MACT case the driver, owner, and the insurance company are impleaded as parities. The owner takes the defense that the vehicle was unauthorisedly / illegally taken away by the unknown person who now is pleaded as driver in the case. Can the insurance company be absolved of its liability under MACT on plea of the owner that vehicle was driven by unauthorized person. The valid insurance contract/cover with the owner is however not disputed. Kindly provide case law fixing liability on the insurance company.
A. The owner is liable for the wrongs committed by his servants only if there was consent/ permission from the master to the servant. If the owner is able to prove successfully (which is most unlikely), the owner will not be liable to pay compensation and consequently insurance company will not be liable as the insured / owner.
Q7. My father was walking on the street when a scooterist hit him and he suffered body injuries. The person who hit him is refusing to pay. Can my father claim compensation from the Insurance Company
A. If the vehicle which hit your father had a third party insurance then you will have to implead Insurance Company as one of the parties to the Compensation Application which is to be filed before the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal.
Q8. How his compensation in case of death of a person calculated ?
A. In the case where the fault of the driver is not proved, the legal heirs of the deceased are entitled to no fault liability which is presently fixed at Rs. 50,000/-. In case the death has occurred due to the fault of the driver the compensation is calculated on the basis of the life expectancy of the deceased multiplied by his income. The income for the purposes of this calculation is 50% of the actual income which deceased used to receive as the rest is deducted as the self expenditure. The state of the health of the deceased and his past health record is also taken into consideration while deciding the compensation.
Q9. In case of an accident who is liable. Is the driver or the owner who has to be impleaded as a party ?
A. In case of an accident both the owner and the driver are to be impleaded as parties. In such cases the liability of the driver is only a vicarious in nature while the owner has an absolute liability.
Q10. My son died in an road accident 1 years back. He left behind a wife and 1 child. How much compensation should we get?
A. In the case where the fault of the driver is not proved, the legal heirs of the deceased are entitled to no fault liability which is presently fixed at Rs. 50,000/- . In case the death has occurred due to the fault of the driver the compensation is calculated on the basis of the life expectancy of the deceased multiplied by his income. The income for the purposes of this calculation is 50% of the actual income which deceased used to receive as the rest is deducted as the self expenditure. The state of the health of the deceased and his past health record is also taken into consideration while deciding the compensation. Wife along with the children of the deceased can file a case with Motor Accident Claim Tribunal to claim the compensation.
Q11. In cases of accident is the insurance company liable to pay?
A. If the vehicle which hit the person had a third party insurance then he will have to implead Insurance Company as one of the parties to the Compensation Application which is to be filed before the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal and only in such cases Insurance Company will be liable.
Q12. Where is the MACT courts located in Delhi?
A. Motor Accident Claim Tribunals in Delhi are located at three places namely Tis Hazari Courts, Patiala House Courts and Karkardooma Courts. Cases are to be filed according to the Police Station in which the FIR of the Accident was registered and the respective Courts under whose jurisdiction the Police Station lies.
Also See >> Motor Accident Claims Tribunals (MACT) decisions on Negligence