Feb 23, 2022

Getting compensation for motor vehicle accidents

Recently, while deciding the victim’s compensation in a motor vehicle accident case, the Supreme Court has held that fixing a notional income for homemakers is important because it is a recognition of the many women who are engaged in homemaking. 


The Court said that fixing a notional income for homemakers accepts the idea that their activities actually contribute to the economic condition of the family and the nation’s economy. It is a step towards the constitutional vision of social equality and dignity of life to all individuals.


Which Indian law provides compensation for motor vehicle accidents?

The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 regulates motor vehicles and provides compensation for motor vehicle accidents.


Compensating the victim

A victim of a motor vehicle accident can claim compensation for the harm caused to them. This compensation can include a monetary payment for ‘loss of consortium’ i.e., the loss to personal/family relationships because of the accident.


If a person is permanently disabled or dies from a motor vehicle accident, the owner of the vehicle which has caused the accident has to pay a compensation of:

  • Rupees twenty-five thousand in case of permanent disablement
  • Rupees fifty thousand rupees in case of death


Applying for compensation

A person injured in a motor vehicle accident can apply for compensation to a Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal. If a person has died because of an accident, the application can be made by the legal representatives of the deceased (dead person).


Right to consortium

The Supreme Court has said that motor accident compensation can be given not only to the spouse, but also to the children and parents of the accident victim.


The right to consortium includes the company, care, help, comfort, guidance, and affection of a person, which is a loss to their family if they die from a motor vehicle accident. With respect to a spouse, the spouse of the deceased can claim compensation for loss of sexual relations.


Parental consortium is granted to children who lose the care and protection of their parents in motor vehicle accidents. Compensation can be given to a child upon the premature death of a parent, for loss of parental aid, protection, affection, society, discipline, guidance and training.


Filial consortium is the right of parents to get compensation in case their child dies due to a motor vehicle accident. This compensation is given because an accident leading to the death of a child can cause great shock and agony to their parents. It is up to the court to decide the amount of compensation for loss of consortium.