• Motor vehicle accident law

An aged lady (81) met with an accident while marketing vegetables (an auto rickshaw hit her while driving backward without proper signal.

She sustained major injuries on her right hip, right hand, and head, operations were performed. Due to head injury her right part of body has become non-active and as per doctor's certificate she has become permanently disable in more than 60% of her body. She needs assistance of some one for her body movement and is bed ridden at present. She however can speak and express her requirement. She needs Ayurveda treatments and body massage regularly for her survival and relief from the pain. Prior to accident she was perfectly all right and doing her day to day work neatly and perfectly. She was looking after her grand children.

The auto rickshaw was insured, the complaint was lodged against insurance company and the driver along with all the papers related to the accident with the court under tribunal.

Accident took place on 02-02-2009. It is now around five years. The Insurance company, with one or other reason dredging on the case.

The monetary resources of the lady is getting exhausted and her keen and kith also gives less attention since very long time has already been lapsed. She has already spent around Rs. 10,00,000/ towards medical treatment.  If her claim is nor settled in a short span of time she may put in great trouble.

We need your kind advise on this matter.

Kind regards,
Asked in Criminal Law from Mangalore, Karnataka
You would first have to check if the auto was covered for bodily injury including partial or permanent disablement caused to other person; and, as I understand that the auto insurance would be required to have this clause in the insurance policy.

Second, you may file for claim in the high court as a writ petition to hear and decide the matter, the lady being old and having spent huge amount in treatment; which would have to be attached in the petition against the insurance company. You would also have to claim the interest, compensation, damages for harassment by the insurance company for using dilatory tactics to dissuade the genuine claim.

Feroz A. Shaikh
Advocate, Mumbai
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