Overview of Motor Accident Claims by Pooja Kaushik | Know Your Law | Lawman

Legal Help, Motor Vehicle Law


With the development of society, the law governing it also becomes sensitive to various events associated with it. There are many rash acts, which were not considered earlier as such but today, are believed to be an act of negligence and have become actionable wrong.

The number of people who get killed in a motor vehicle accident is growing day by day. The main source to search helpless people and their dependents is compensation that they are entitled to receive under law.

Problems in Motor Vehicle Accidents 

Road crashes are becoming a global health crisis and as such, requires comprehensive measures to prevent them, including a better understanding of the social impact of road-related deaths and injuries.

The most common ones are the number of facilities and injuries.  Globally some 1.3 million people die on the road every year and up to 50 million suffer injuries and overall economic cost of road crashes range from 2.5% of GDP in many countries.

The motor vehicle Act, 1988 besides other subsidiary provisions, make provision for motor accident claims for the suffering parties who are victims of accidents and for the legal heirs of the deceased persons. 

Liabilities to Pay Compensation

Liability to pay compensation in certain cases on the principle of no fault
Where death or permanent disablement of any person has resulted from an accident arising out of the of a motor vehicle the owner of the vehicle shall or as the case may be, the owner of the vehicle shall jointly and severally be liable to pay compensation in respect of such death or disablement in accordance with a provision.

Provision as to other rights to claim compensation for death or permanent disablement
The amount of compensation which shall be payable to respect of the death of any person shall be fixed sum of 50,000 rupees and amount of compensation payable in respect of the permanent disablement of any person shall be fixed some of 25,000 rupees.

Special Provision as to Compensation in Case of Hit and Run Motor Accident
· “Hit and run” motor accident means an accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle or the identity whereof cannot be ascertained in spite of reasonable efforts for the purpose.
· In respect of grievous hurt to any person resulting from a hit and run motor accident, a fixed sum of twelve thousand and five hundred rupees.
· The General Insurance Business ( Nationalism) Act , 1972 or any other law for the time being in force or any instrument having the force of law, the General Insurance Cooperation of India formed and the insurance company with the provision of this Act and the Scheme, compensation in respect of the death of, or grievous hurt to persons resulting from hit and run motor accidents.

Refund in certain cases of compensation paid

1. Before awarding compensation in respect up an accident involving the death of, or bodily injury to, any person arising out of the use of a motor vehicle or motor vehicles under any provision of this Act or any other law, the Tribunal Court or other authority awarding such compensation shall verify as to whether in respect of such death or bodily injury compensation has already been paid under section 161 an application for payment of compensation is pending such Tribunal Court or Authority.
2. If compensation has already been paid to the person liable to pay the compensation awarded by it to refund to the insurer.

Scheme for Payment of Compensation in Case of Hit and Run Motor Accidents. 

1. A contravention of any provision thereof shall be punishable with imprisonment for such term as may be specified but in no case exceeding five hundred both.
2. The powers, function or duties conferred or imposed on any officer or authority. 
3. Any provision of such scheme may operate with retrospective effect from a date not earlier than the date of establishment of the solarium under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1939.

Claims Tribunals

Motor accident claims Tribunals for such area as may be specified in the notifications for the purpose of adjudicating upon claims for compensation in respect of accident involving the death of or bodily injury to a person arising out of the use of motor vehicles, or damages to any property of a third party so arising or both.

Application for Compensation 

  • By the person who has sustained the injury; 
  • By the owner of the property;
  • Where death has resulted from the accident by all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased.
  • By the agent duly authorized by the person injured or all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased. 

Award of Claim Tribunals

On receipt of an application for compensation made the claims tribunal shall, after giving notice of the application to the insurer and after giving the parties an opportunity of being heard, hold an inquiry into the claim, or as the case may be, each of the claims and make an award determining the amount of the compensation shall be paid and in making the award the Claims Tribunals shall specify the amount which shall be the insurer or owner or driver of the vehicle involved in the accident or by all any of them as the case may be. 

Ms Pooja Kaushik is a Law student of Maharishi University of Information Technology, Noida Campus. She can be reached at [email protected]

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