Compensation In Motor Vehicle Accident Claims In India

Published on 06 Jul 2018 by Shivi

A motor accident claim means a claim of rights in case an accident has occurred due to the negligence of a person. In a motor accident, a claim can be filed against the person who has caused this accident, for compensation to the person’s life, health or property.

Motor vehicle claims in India can be filed under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Act lays down the provisions relating to motor vehicle registration, licensing, insurance claims, MACT Tribunals and the procedure and conditions relating to compensation for road accident victims in India.

When Can You File A Motor Accident Claim?

A motor vehicle accident claim can be filed in any of the following cases:

  1. A ‘third party claim’ when a person or his property suffers some damage due to the motor accident.
  2. A ‘self-claim’ when the damage is caused to the person’s own insured vehicle.

Who Can Claim Compensation In A Motor Accident Case?

Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 lays down that the following people can file a claim in a motor accident case:

  1. A person who sustains some injury in accident.
  2. The owner of the damaged property.
  3. Any legal representative of the deceased who died in the accident.
  4. Authorised agent of the injured person.

The MACT law does not provide a timeline or limitation as to the filing of a motor accident claim. However, it is advised to file a MACT complaint under Section 165 of the MV Act, 1988 with the help of a good motor accidents lawyer in India within reasonable time.

What Is A Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT)?

A MACT is an adjudicating body established under the Motor Vehicle Act that deals with the claims involving a motor vehicle and relating to:

  1. Accidents involving death or bodily injury to the person
  2. Accidents causing damage to any property of the third party.
  3. Accidents causing death or bodily injury to a person as well as damage to property.

How To Claim Compensation In Motor Accidents Case?

Under Section 163A of the MV Act, any person who has a valid claim can file a petition with the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal with the assistance of a motor accident claims lawyer in India. A motor accident claim can be filed with the MACT that has jurisdiction of the area where the accident happened, where the person resides or conducts his business, or where the person who caused the accident resides.

No-Fault Liability In Motor Accident Claim Cases

Chapter X of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 imposes a ‘no-fault liability’ on the owner of the motor vehicle. The MV Act states that the liability to pay compensation to the victims of road accidents lies on the owner of the motor vehicle even if there is no fault or act of the owner in the motor accident.

The liability of the owner under no-fault liability arises only when the motor accident results in the death or permanent incapacity of the road accident victim. Section 140 of the Act provides for the compensation under no-fault liability as Rs. 50,000 in case of death and Rs. 25,000 in case of permanent disability.

Guidelines By Supreme Court On Compensation In Motor Accident Cases

In the case of National Insurance Company Limited vs Pranay Sethi, the Supreme Court laid down the guidelines relating to fixing a fair amount of compensation for the victims of road accidents under the motor vehicle rules and laws. These guidelines are as follows:

  1. The determination of income in the calculation of remuneration must include future prospects so that the method will come into the line of just compensation as mentioned in terms of Section 168 of the Act.
  2. An addition of 50% of actual salary to the deceased’s income relative to future prospects, where the deceased had a permanent job and was under 40 years old. The addition should be 30% if the age of the deceased was between 40 and 50 years. If the deceased was between the age of 50 and 60, the addition must be 15%. Actual salary must be read as actual salary less tax.
  3. If the deceased was self-employed or on a fixed salary, an addition of 40% of the income should be the warrant where the deceased was less than 40 years old. An addition of 25% where the deceased between the ages of 40 to 50 years and 10% where the deceased was between the ages of 50 and 60 should be regarded as the required calculation method. The established income means the income less the tax component.
  4. The income of the deceased per year must be determined. From the income mentioned, a deduction must be made in respect of the amount that the deceased would have spent on his/her personal and living expenses. The balance which is to be considered to be the contribution to the dependant family constitutes the multiplicand.
  5. A reasonable amount on conventional heads, i.e., Rs. 15,000 for loss of estate, Rs. 40,000 for loss of consortium and Rs. 15,000 for funeral expenses should be awarded to the victim. The aforesaid amounts are to be enhanced at the rate of 10% in every three years.

The claims petition under motor vehicle laws and rules must be carefully drafted and filed by an experienced motor accident claim advocate in India who has an established practice in dealing with motor vehicle road accident claims before the MACT. Legistify connects you with the best motor accident case lawyers in India who can give you top legal advice about your case. You can also get free legal advice from the best lawyers by asking your legal query online through Legistify.

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