The number of road accidents that happen every year in India has surged in the past few years, with augmentation in a number of motor vehicles. Most of the victims are pedestrians or driving two-wheeler vehicles. Road accidents are one of the chief reasons of deaths and permanent disablements in India.
However, most people are oblivious about how to deal with a road accident and how to seek compensation. Here’s the complete guide on road accident claims under the motor vehicle laws:
Who Can Claim Compensation in Motor Accident Cases?
Under Section 165 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, claim for compensation can be made by following:
The person who has sustained the injury.
The owner of the property where death has resulted from the motor accident.
All of any of the legal representatives of the deceased.
Any agent duly authorized by the person injured or all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased.
Where Should One Claim Compensation for Motor Accident?
The primary question that arises in case of road accidents is where the complaint must be filed. According to the law, an application can be made at the option of the person who is claiming for compensation in the following courts:
The Claims Tribunal which has jurisdiction over the area where the accident happened.
The Claims Tribunal which has jurisdiction over the area where the person resides or carries on business.
The claims tribunal which has jurisdiction over the area where the person who caused the accident resides.
How Much is Road Accident Compensation One Entitled to in Case of Motor Vehicle Accident in India?
Under the motor vehicles law, when the driver is involved in an accident and the victim dies, then the minimum compensation to be paid is Rs. 50,000. When the victim suffers from permanent disablement, then the minimum compensation to be paid is Rs. 25,000. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) can award a higher amount of compensation after considering the events.
If the motor vehicle is insured with an insurance company, then the insurer will be liable to pay the compensation in case of death or permanent disablement.
Steps to determine compensation in case of death
The tribunals pursue certain steps in ascertaining the compensation in case of victim’s death. The first step is to ascertain annual income of the deceased. The amount which the deceased would spend on himself as personal and living expenses are deducted. The balance that remains is considered as the contribution to the dependent family i.e. the multiplicand. Next, the multiplication method is selected after considering the age and active career of the deceased.
Steps to determine compensation in case of injury
The courts have to discernibly compensate the injuries with proportional awards. There are two types damages that can be awarded by courts- pecuniary and general damages.
Pecuniary damages include expenses incurred on medical treatment, transportation, diet, loss of future earnings, etc.
General damages include compensation for mental or emotional shock, pain, sufferings, any loss of comfort due to the injuries which disable the person from sitting, walking or running.
How to file an application for claim?
There is no period of limitation for filing a road accident claim. A claim can be filed under Section 163A with a help of a motor accident claims lawyer. The lawyer can file a claim application with Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal in the prescribed application format. The application is usually filed against the driver, owner, and the insurer.
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