Compensation for road traffic accident from third-party insurance
My wife met with an accident 2 months ago. She was hit by a drunken lorry driver from behind. Initially the lawyer told we would get 5 times the expenses incurred in the treatment. But now, he is saying that as the driver was drunken, the third party will not settle that much and it would be "contributory negligence". So the third party would give very less amount and so the owner of the lorry.
My questions are:
1) Is it true that third party insurance would not pay for when the driver is drunken?
2) If it is "contributory negligence", what should be done if the owner of the lorry doesn't pay the compensation or gets abscond?
3) What is the maximum punishment the driver would get. My lawyer told he would pay just 5000 as fine and will be released. Is this true?
4) If I am not satisfied with the settlement amount given by the third party insurance, then what next step should I take?
Asked in Civil Law from Bangalore, Karnataka
1 & 2: it is the responsibility of lorry owner and insurance company to pay compensation.
3: it depends on the chargesheet.
4. you can go for appeal.
Above is in order and don't go by 5 times theory, compensation will be according to your loss which you will have to bring forward and establish.
Advocate, New Delhi
Please read the terms and conditions of policy. Your wife will get compensation. Generally third party insurance does not cover damage caused due to drunk driving, although court would award compensation in such a case principal liability would be of owner of vehicle. As far as punishment of driver of vehicle is concerned the Motor Vehicle Act states that if any person while driving (a) has in her/his blood, alcohol in any quantity, howsoever small the quantity may be or (b) is under the influence of a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months.
1. Third party does not stand absolved of its obligation to pay compensation merely because the owner of the vehicle was under the influence of liquor at the time of accident, albeit the primary liability to compensate the victim will rest on the shoulders of the owner.
2. If the owner of the lorry does not pay compensation ordered by the court then a warrant of arrest can be got issued against him from the court. He may have to beg or borrow, but will have to abide by the order of the court.
3. The quantum of punishment will depend upon the charges framed against him.
4. If you are not satisfied by the amount of compensation awarded then you may go in for an appeal against the court order.