Process for taking claim after road accident

As per data, India is having one of the highest road side accidents ration in this world. CSLRA is taking effective steps to decrease the same. At CSLRA we are working day and night to reduce the same by effective methods. Since, public at large is having very less knowledge about the Court procedures and processes; they are having no idea as to what is the way ahead in case any accident occurs. Herein below we are providing you with step wise methods to get it done:

1. Report the matter to police:

First step after a road accident causing injury or damage to your property is to immediately approach concerned police station within whose jurisdiction the same has occurred. In case the accident is due to your own negligence and no one has received any injury in the same; it is not obligatory to lodge accident report to the Police. It is sufficient that you lodge claim with your insurer. However, need arises in case the accident is due to negligence of other vehicle and you have received injury or some one has died in the accident. Hence, you should report the matter to the police. Please visit another section to check method for registration of the FIR.

2. Check whether other vehicle is insured with any valid insurance or not:

In India it is mandatory for every vehicle to have a valid insurance. No vehicle can be driven without the same. So, please check from documents available with you or police that whether opposite vehicle was having some valid insurance or not. In case, yes, please note down the insurance details viz name of insurance company, validity of insurance and insurance policy number.

3. Note down the details of driver and owner of the vehicle:

After you have noted down the details of insurance; please note down the details of driver and owner of the vehicle which was involved in the accident. This detail will be available with the police in case you have lodged FIR in the matter.

4. Approach the Court of competent jurisdiction:

Though not prohibited but generally the insurance companies in India do not give the third party insurance claim amount in case of accidents so you are required to approach the court of competent jurisdiction. The court of competent jurisdiction will be any court where the accident arose, where the other party resides or does business or where you reside yourself. As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 the jurisdiction to decide the claims vests with the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunals. These tribunals are not separately working and the power of the same vests with District Judge or Additional District Judge.

Where the name of owner, driver is known:

i. File claim petition against the owner, driver and insurance company.

Next step is to file a claim petition against the owner, driver and insurance company under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The draft claim petition can be downloaded here. Mention all relevant details in the claim petition. Generally the same should be done through your lawyer as many technicalities are involved in the same. So, engage a lawyer for the same. In case you are not in touch with any lawyer, contact CSLRA. We shall provide you lawyer on pro bono basis.

ii. Withdraw the deposited claim amount:

When the claim petition filed by you is allowed; withdraw the claim amount from the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal.

Where the name of owner, driver is unknown:

i. There may be cases wherein the driver runs from the spot after causing accident; in that case you can claim compensation from any vehicle which was involved in the accident; irrespective of its negligence. The same is done under Section 163-A of the Motor Vehicle Act. Here the liability of the insurance company is limited subject to Schedule II of the Motor Vehicles Act.

ii. Withdraw the deposited claim amount:

When the claim petition filed by you is allowed; withdraw the claim amount from the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal.

Appeal in the High Court

In case you are not satisfied with the claim amount you can file appeal in the High Court of competent jurisdiction under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The same can be done within a period of 90 days from the date of receipt of certified copy of the judgment. In case you fail to file the same within prescribed period; the law permits you to file the appeal with application for condonation of delay under the relevant provisions of the Limitation Act, 1961.

Important Law:

The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

Important formats:

Draft claim petition under Section 166/163-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988