Understanding claims settlement after an accident



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A year later, we received another registered letter asking us to appear in court with or without a lawyer for settlement.

BHPian NMR recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello everyone,

Last year my wife in her car was involved in a traffic accident with a lady on her scooter. The accident itself was fairly minor, but the aging lady, as she made contact with the car, lost control while accelerating, spun and fell.

My wife took the lady to the hospital and we paid her causal bills and waited for her family to arrive. At that time, the results of the scan came in and showed the lady had a fracture. Since she does not have medical insurance, she asked us to pay for her. I said it wouldn’t be possible and since we had comprehensive insurance, I asked him to go down that route. We also paid them around Rs 8,000 because they did not have the money to pay for the following days in the hospital.

They filed a complaint and the cops collected an FIR and in such cases a license suspension is mandatory that my wife served. The FIR was written mostly in favor of the other lady and when I raised this concern the cops said it was okay since insurance would take care of it and it would help her.

After a few days we received a registered mail for her claim and the respondents were listed as my wife and her insurance company. From what we were told, we did not have to respond to it since insurance will do. Not sure if the insurance did or not and they never contacted us either. A year later, we have just received another registered letter asking us to appear before the Tribunal de la Nation with or without a lawyer for settlement.

At this point I’m not sure what’s going on and just wanted to check with everyone here if you know what exactly my next steps should be?

Thank you very much!

Here is what BHPian VW2010 had to say about it:

Honestly, the two poles of this conundrum are being a good human being rather than saving yourself from legal trouble. My advice is to take the legal route and let insurance handle these circumstances if you have no influence in this country. FIR is to claim insurance money after an accident. Once the FIR is filed, you will end up paying a fine in court and moving on with your life. Helping on the side will only get in trouble when they start camping in front of your house for more money and support. It sounds inhuman, but when it comes to money, humanity always takes a back seat.

Here is what madrasilemon BHP had to say about it:

Hello Sir, From my limited knowledge of auditing regional offices of PSU insurance companies and more specifically, based on reviewing their MACT claim files, I would note the following.

There are two cases filed in the event of a motor vehicle claim:

1) FIR filed under the provisions of Indian Penal Code by police in criminal court. Here are the provisions invoked in this case:

  • Section 279 ICC – Brutal and Careless Conduct
  • Section 337 IPC – injuring any person due to reckless and negligent driving
  • Section 338 IPC – causing serious injury due to reckless and negligent driving
  • Section 304A IPC – Causing Death Due to Reckless and Negligent Driving

Usually, the penalty includes a fine of a few thousand rupees. Usually, the accused will have to appear in court at least three times before judgment is rendered. Normal practice is to plead guilty without any arguments, because if one does not plead guilty, the court may have to remand the person in pre-trial detention (usually 14 days) for further investigation of the accident by law enforcement authorities. .

Although imprisonment is also prescribed as a penalty, it is generally not granted unless the driver has been under the influence of intoxicants or has been proven to have been involved in an intentional accident or who has been involved in an accident. ‘he was involved in a hit and run.

Unless death occurs, the accused is not arrested. Even in the event of an arrest, the police SHO has the power to authorize a table deposit / post deposit. This situation is not applicable in your case because no death is involved.

2) Civil case brought by the affected party or their dependents to the Traffic Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT)

This file is submitted to obtain compensation from the insured / insurer. The notice is served on the insured and the insurer. The insurer has the right to invoke the provisions of section 170 (b) of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 to attend the matter before MACT in the absence of the insured if the latter has not not responded to MACT opinion. This is the practice in almost all MACT claim cases. The insured simply does not respond to the claim. However, before deciding not to respond to the MACT notice, the insured must ensure that the insurance certificate is up to date and valid, and that other documents such as RC, Permit & FC (in the for commercial vehicles) are valid. MACT cases are closed after a long delay which can, in some cases, exceed a decade.

Hope things are clear. Excuse my language, if some terms seem very formal.

Here is what BHPian IshaanIan had to say about it:

Contact your insurer and ask them if the matter has been settled on their side. Any court appearance will only be to admit guilt for causing harm, which will likely result in a fine of less than Rs 2000. I myself have been in a similar situation. I had to describe the accident once over the phone to my insurance service provider to confirm the claim, but never heard of the license suspension. If any of your friends are a lawyer, I would ask them.

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