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Explained: Car Accident Victim Aid, Golden Hour And Compensation In Case Of Death

(Representative pic/Shutterstock)

(Representative pic/Shutterstock)

Owner of the vehicle or guardian of the juvenile will be deemed guilty of such offences committed by the juvenile

Whose responsibility is it to take victim to the hospital?

The driver and/or the owner of the motor vehicle responsible for a road accident is required to take all reasonable steps to secure immediate medical attention for the injured person.

What is Golden Hour?

“Golden hour” means the time-period lasting one hour following a traumatic injury during which there is highest likelihood of preventing death by providing prompt medical care.

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What is cashless treatment during Golden Hour?

Section 162(1) of Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, 2019 provides for a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour.

What if you do not have insurance at the time of the accident?

Irrespective, car owner/driver is liable to pay claim along with compensation as per the Act thus having insurance cover will make no difference for the victim. The car owner needs to have compulsory cover in his insurance policy.

Who is liable for accident if vehicle is with friend or driver of an owner?

The person who is driving will be punished under section 279,337,338& 304A IPC whereas penalty under Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 will be attracted upon the car owner.

What if you have given your vehicle to someone who does not have valid license?

In such situation vehicle owner as well as driver will be liable for damages as well as compensation as per applicable law.

What if accident caused by juvenile?

Owner of the vehicle or guardian of the juvenile will be deemed guilty of such offences committed by the juvenile. But, in cases where the owner and/or guardian is able to prove that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent commission of such offence, no liability shall fall upon owner or guardian. Also, if the juvenile has been issued a learner’s license under Section 8 of the Act and is driving a vehicle which he has been permitted to operate under the learner’s license then liability shall not fall upon the owner. If the liability/violation is fixed upon the juvenile then such juvenile will be punished as per Act and any custodial sentence will be governed and modified as per the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.

If I file a personal injury claim, will I have to go to court?

If another driver’s insurance company agrees to pay what your attorney believes your case is worth, and you wish to settle for that amount, then your case will not go to court. However, if claim is not settled then remedy lies in filing appropriate claim in Court of law.

Compensation to accident victims

The claimant in case of loss of life of his kith and kin can claim compensation under Section 140 or Section 163A of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. Under Section 140 a fixed compensation can be claimed whereas under Section 163A, compensation is determined by a formula given under the Act. However, a compensation more than Rs. 5,00,000/- can only be claimed under Section 163A.

What if I was not wearing a seat belt at the time of my accident? Can I still recover damages?

It depends on the state in which the accident occurred. In some states, not buckling up can negate or reduce compensation on account of negligence whereas in other States there is no reduction of compensation on account of not wearing a seat belt

What if victim dies in road accident?

The driver of the vehicle shall be punished under section 304 A of Indian Penal Code 1860. upon Prosecution establishing accident/Death to have been caused due to rash and negligent driving

(The author, Prachi Mishra, is a Supreme Court lawyer and Additional Advocate General, Chhattisgarh)