Saturday, August 13, 2022

Delhi HC sets out rules for compensation claim in road accident death cases

The Delhi High Court has framed a FastDAR (FAST- DETAILED ACCIDENT REPORT ) Scheme for resolving a road accident death cases within ten days of the road accident. This FastDAR Scheme was launched as a Pilot Project on May 1, 2021 to deal with the increasing road accidents in the country.

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Delhi High Court has set out rules for compensation claim relating to road accident death to be dealt within 10 days of the accident.

The Delhi High Court has framed a FastDAR (FAST- DETAILED ACCIDENT REPORT ) Scheme for resolving a road accident death cases within ten days of the road accident.

This Scheme applies to death cases in which (i) the death is due to the rash and negligent driving of the offending vehicle, (ii) the driver of the offending vehicle is holding a valid driving licence, (iii) the offending vehicle is validly insured at the time of the accident, (iv) in case of a commercial vehicle, there is valid permit and fitness certificate and (v) there is no violation of the Insurance policy such as drunken driving or the vehicle being driven by a minor.

This FastDAR Scheme for compensation claims of road accident deaths within 10 days of the accident was launched as a Pilot Project on May 1, 2021.

The prologue of the Judgment acknowledges the Motor Accident Claims Referencer, 2011 Edition of Delhi Judicial Academy and in the judgement the relevant paragraph of the referencer is produced as “Many years ago, one of my friends visited Canada where he met with an accident. He was immediately rushed to the hospital. The police immediately informed the Insurance Company of the insured vehicle whereupon the Insurance Company deputed their officer who visited the hospital and met my friend and also the Medical Superintendent to find out how much expenses were likely to be incurred on his treatment. On the basis of the statement of the Medical Superintendent, the officer prepared a cheque of US $ 6000/- and offered the same to my friend without prejudice so that if more expenses are incurred, the same could be claimed later. The payment was made within 24 hrs of the accident. As a result, my friend was not burdened with any medical expenses.

The Insurance Companies in our country are aware of this procedure and they actually implement the same in case of loss/damage of the motor vehicles. If a car is damaged in an accident, the Insurance Company immediately appoints a surveyor who inspects the vehicle on the same day, takes the photographs, discusses the estimated loss with the workshop and gives clearance for repair of the vehicle within 24 hours. The cheque for the expenses on the repair of the vehicle is paid directly to the workshop.

In case of death of victims of road accident, the principles of calculation of compensation are well settled. The age and income of the victim and the number of dependants of the deceased victims have to be verified to compute the compensation. If the officer of the Insurance Company visits the house of the deceased victim immediately after the accident, these three things could be ascertained and necessary documents can be collected. At the time of grief, there would not be any possibility of manipulation/exaggeration and the compensation on that basis could be tendered to the family of the deceased victim.”

Thereafter, the judgment iterates Road Accident death compensation case decided within 10 days of the accident through Fast DAR Scheme:

“On the very first day of the Pilot Project i.e. 01st May, 2021, a road accident was reported at 03:45 AM at Vasant Vihar, Police Picket in which a Honda CRV car rammed into police barricade and hit a police constable, Munshi Lal which resulted in fatal injuries. The police registered FIR No. 78/21 at P.S. Vasant Vihar. This case was brought to the notice of the Fast Track Committee on 04th May, 2021. The Committee took up the matter with the Investigating Officer and provided the FastDAR Format to the Investigating Officer. The Investigating Officer verified the driving license as well as Insurance policy and filed the FastDAR before the Claims Tribunal on 08th May, 2021.

The Honda CRV car was insured with Bajaj Allianz GIC Limited. The Insurance Company appeared before the Committee on 06th May, 2021. The Insurance Company was satisfied with respect to the valid driving license, valid insurance policy as well as the negligence of the offending vehicle.

The family of the deceased submitted the relevant information/documents relating to the age, occupation and income of the deceased and particulars of his family members. The Insurance Company verified the documents relating to age, occupation and income of the deceased and offered fair compensation of Rs.32 lakh which was accepted by the family of the deceased and their statement was recorded. On 10th May, 2021, the Claims Tribunal held the sitting of the Special Lok Adalat to pass an award for Rs.32 lakh in favour of the claimants. The son and daughters of the deceased submitted that the entire compensation be paid to the widow of the deceased whereupon the Court disbursed the entire compensation amount to the widow of the deceased by keeping Rs.25 lakh in 60 FDRs of about Rs.41,666.66 for the period of 1 month to 60 months with cumulative interest in the name of the widow of the deceased and the balance Rs.7 lakh was released to the widow of the deceased.

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The Insurance Company deposited Rs.32 lakh with the Claims Tribunal on 12th May, 2021.

The family of the victim received the compensation without having to file any compensation case as the FastDAR submitted by the Investigating Officer was treated as a claim petition by the Tribunal. The first case of the FastDAR Scheme has been resolved in a record time of ten days.

It is to be mentioned here that “General Insurance Council” in association with “Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company” has organised the “Commemoration Ceremony” on July 3, 2021, of Fast Track DAR Scheme for settlement of Road Accident Death Cases Launched on 1st May, 2021 (First Road Accident Death Case decided within 10 days of the Accident). The Chief Guest is the Hon’ble Mr Justice RV Raveendran, Former Judge Supreme Court of India and Guest of Honour is Hon’ble Mr Justice JR Midha, Judge Delhi High Court

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