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Old 14th January 2016, 23:37   #1
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Default Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

I write this totally upset, confused and stressed.

On Jan 2nd 2016 while driving towards Mavelikara, Kerala from Verna, Goa, I met with an accident at about 3:45 pm that involved a jaywalker pedestrian which ruined my holiday that was to follow as well as my peace of mind. I was on my way to attend a family function which I eventually had to miss - to clarify I wasn't drunk (I rarely drink alcohol) or sleepy, I must have been at an approximate speed of 65/70 kmph.

The incident occurred as follows. We were approaching city limits of Kozhikode, KL and were planning to stop for a light meal, our previous break was in Mahe. As everyone knows, buses in Kozhikode are driven by maniac drivers. In fact, I had a few close calls while approaching the city and a bus nearly broke my right ORVM and another pushed both me and a motorcyclist off the road. I noted another crazy bus behind us where the driver seemed like he didn't care much about the road width or road users, he had his foot on the A pedal and hand on the horn as he kept that continuously pressed and I wanted to stay away from such at all costs.

The road curves gently in front of the Audi Kozhikode showroom which is next to Harley's and VW's showroom. Its also a bus stop, somewhere in front of the VW showroom a kid aged 12 suddenly decides to sprint across without looking out for oncoming traffic. I don't want to blame him and am sympathetic towards him, but I feel unfortunate as everything turned upside down thereafter the first week of the new year.

I momentarily check the following traffic (basically that maniac bus) in my rear view mirrors, shift focus on the road ahead and in parallel note alarming movement. I am hardly a couple of meters away and this boy runs in full speed to my horror right onto my path! Even before I could react or brake my car collides in full speed and he is knocked on the road. I was in shock, my brain froze and it took me a few minutes to regain senses.

I step out, walk shakily to the kid, he is groaning and talking something about his tuitions and how he has to get there. Along with the help of two service advisors from the adjacent VW showroom, we take him to the Kozhikode Medical college in my car where, after a series of X-rays, he is diagnosed with a fractured ankle and they can operate him only in the following week. Though I am unhappy overall, I am glad it wasn't a serious accident as the guilt would be worse.

Meantime, his parents are called and his relatives also come streaming along. They all look at me suspiciously, I am in shorts/Tshirt and shoes and my car is that rare Skoda Fabia 1.4 PD with sunroof. I want to rest as I feel the fatigue, but this situation is over bearing and wearing me off.

Since the operation will be after 2 days at KMC, his parents shift him to Baby Memorial college, after operation he is discharged after 2 or 3 days. Since I had a family function (I reach much after the function) to attend, I check with them if I can leave and his father graciously lets me leave and I assure to return after the family function. He lets me know before hand that he is keen to register a police case so he can proceed with insurance formalities. I must state that his father was quite formal (mannered) all the while, since he expressed concerns over his kids health. As a father I can understand he could be worried, hence did not discuss much.

I leave the car in the hospital, pay parking as the windshield is shattered, bonnet has dents and bumper/grill have cracked. Also, if the case is filed, the car will be subject to inspection which will be done by the local traffic cell. I tried putting a word across that I am open to negotiate, but I am advised to proceed with the case by people I took suggestions from - firstly because it is not entirely my fault, secondly the case will be settled by my comprehensive insurance.

I catch a bus from Kozhikode to Ernakulam that night. Well, my luck does not turn favourable, but that's for another time. I run into multiple hurdles throughout that trip.

Anyways, I am in touch with his father and the operation goes well and the kid is advised bedrest for a month. I come to Kozhikode on Friday and now arise my doubts:

The father goes ahead and files a Police case. However, he alters his statement. It says the kid was standing at the bus stop after alighting and I ran off the road and hit him. The kid when we were taking him to the hospital said he didn't really look out for oncoming traffic (I don't know what made him run, sadly I will never know). However, once his parents/relatives came to the hospital and since they were talking on his behalf to the doctor, they said that he was waiting at the bus stand and I hit him.

Since I was shocked when this occurred, I didn't have the presence of mind to click a snap of my car as it was in the middle of the road and the bus stopped right behind it. I normally try to cover all aspects, but this is the first time something like this happened. I could not think for some time.

The investigating law officer did not ask me for my statement. I checked with my advocate since I had to hire one locally through a reference and he was all cool about it. He said it really does not matter what the other party says as I have to admit reckless driving and pay the fine and close the case.

On a separate note, I wish to add Kozhikode Police officers are far more approachable and efficient than most officers around the country. However, the traffic and road sensibilities are just the opposite (Gujarat highways and traffic are by far the best of the few states I visited). I love driving my car to destinations and my Fabia sported the TBHP "love cars, live cars" sticker along with "Live to Drive". Recently I drove to Jispa, HP, totalling 8k kms - those experiences are for another thread.

My case officer by name Vinod Kumar was very courteous and helpful, explaining all the clauses and the normal processes. I am charged under 279 and 338. He even coordinated with the RTO officers and arranged for inspection on priority as I explained I have to return to Goa. This initial interaction left me impressed and hope Police stations across the country can improve likewise.

Now, what I want to understand is, is there no voice for my side of the story, or is this how this has to proceed. I don't mind going ahead and admitting guilt (though not my fault), but it should not affect any of my future prospects (employment background verification or passport or travel abroad), what are the implications.

I look forward to legal and helpful advice from the experts here. Let me know how best I should approach this.

Last edited by GTO : 15th January 2016 at 12:18. Reason: Typos
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Old 15th January 2016, 00:52   #2
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Default re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

The father of the child would have been advised by someone, perhaps legally to file such a statement contrary to what had occurred. But, the fact remains that he has not witnessed the accident.
Where you erred is (I am not blaming you) in not reporting the matter to the Police after the accident and hospitalising the kid.
There is nothing to be worried as the injuries sustained are not that serious, and if your vehicle's documents and the insurance papers are in order. Let the law take its own course.

Last edited by rajeev k : 15th January 2016 at 00:54.
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Old 15th January 2016, 02:17   #3
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Default re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

My commiserations for your situation, I can't imagine the horror you are going through. Unfortunately I am not qualified to advise legally you but wish you the best. Before admitting guilt as you've suggested, ensure you have considered all your options since it cannot be undone. Also check if you can counter-sue the father for such serious fraudulent claims? Make his life miserable too? Check with good lawyers, take multiple opinions if necessary.
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Old 15th January 2016, 02:17   #4
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Default re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

I feel extremely sorry for you, hope this disastrous start to a new year ends soon. Things could have turned much uglier, I am glad the boy is doing well.

Since you mentioned the area was quite a busy one with Audi, VW and other showrooms being in proximity, how about having a look at the CCTV cameras near the area, just in case the cameras have recorded something interesting which might help you??

Off Topic- I sincerely urge all BHPians to install a dash-cam in their cars. It helps extremely in cases like these.

Regards,
Shashi

Last edited by Leoshashi : 15th January 2016 at 02:19.
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Old 15th January 2016, 02:24   #5
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Default re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Where you erred is (I am not blaming you) in not reporting the matter to the Police after the accident and hospitalising the kid.
There is nothing to be worried as the injuries sustained are not that serious, and if your vehicle's documents and the insurance papers are in order. Let the law take its own course.
Thanks Rajeev and LeoShashi. Yes all my papers are clear.

I know, one of my friends also said the same thing later, that I should have reported the incident first, thus the cops record my statement, anyways these experiences will make me wiser, as the friendly officer Vinod Kumar remarked, "look at this positively, now you'd know what you should do if it happens again, these experiences are important" (I don't look forward to such incidents but still matters).
What my concern is, what if I admit guilt in the court so I can close this case, will it have any implications.

I am not sure about cameras in KL, but I shall check with someone there, and yes I am considering a dash cam, I shall go through the appropriate threads for suggestions.

Last edited by s_pphilip : 15th January 2016 at 02:27.
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Old 15th January 2016, 07:07   #6
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Default re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

Sorry to hear your experience. However, good that it wasn't nasty by the crowd and kid is okay.

There is a thread here where a BHPian accepted the guilt and he was let off. In case you dont accept the guilt, the case will start with (ir)regular hearings and you have to go to court every now and then.

Its a double edged sword of accepting guilt, the judge may let you off with a fine (nominal). OR the judge may say that you needed to be careful and give some sentence.

The father is saying like this since he would have been advised about this to claim insurance from your insurance company (which will go in parallel without a need for you to appear in courts).
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Old 15th January 2016, 07:17   #7
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Default re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_pphilip View Post

What my concern is, what if I admit guilt in the court so I can close this case, will it have any implications.

.
Don't worry. We faced a similar situation, the sequence of events were -

- Me, BIL, sister and mother were travelling to attend a marriage function
- A guy in a moped just crosses the MC road between Tiruvalla and Changanacherry without looking anywhere.
- We were able to stop the car in time but his moped came and hit the car and he fell down with injuries to his ankle and fingers
- Took him to hospital.
- The hospital tried to take advantage of the situation by suggesting a surgery but Thank God my sister was doing an internship there so we managed to wiggle out by talking to the medical officer
- Long story short, we paid 5K to settle the issue without a police case.
- Our guy starts calling later to extract more money which we said we will not pay.
- He puts a case in Kerala.
- My BIL comes down from BLR and attends the hearing (without a lawyer) and tries to justify his case. The judge gives a next hearing 1 month later.
- My BIL then contacts a lawyer and in the next hearing is asked to admit reckless driving. My BIL admits his "guilt" in the court and is fined Rs 3K.
- Thats it. Case closed.

If it is of any solace to you. My BIL was able to complete his migration process to AUS post this fiasco without any issues.

Some learnings we took away from the incident (if it is useful for anybody else)
- The hospital asked us to register the case but we were reluctant thinking about the commute from BLR to KL for formalities
- Half of the well wishers on the road disappeared when we said we will go for a police case
- The Police was reluctant to file a FIR and asked us to settle outside
- Settling out of court was a waste as people will try to extract as much as possible and then will go for a case to claim insurance (general scenario)
- The victim can register a case upto 6 months from the date of the actual accident
- In our case, the victim was a some Political leader. We had around 60 - 70 people congregate at the hospital in no time some congratulating us for bringing the person to the hospital etc but a lot of people speculating the seriousness of the injury and making a mess out of the situation.
- The hospital tried to pull a fast one by suggesting a surgery including the insertion of a steel rod to fix his injuries. So always take the victim to a Govt hospital.
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Old 15th January 2016, 12:38   #8
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Default Re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

Road accidents and traffic offences are not considered during any back ground checks. Only criminal records. So donot worry ! However if I had been in your place, I would have fought the case and challenged it. Also would have added the irresponsibility of the parents of allowing a 12 year old kid out alone on the roads without supervision.
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Old 15th January 2016, 12:57   #9
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Default Re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

Honestly speaking, these sort of things happen very frequently.
There is not much you and I can do to prevent this.

I stay right across the highway in Mumbai have witnessed many such incidences from my window.

To be frank, you cannot prove your innocence till you have a proof or a witness.

Best solution, better call it precaution to prove your side is to get yourself a DASHCAM.

I really appreciate what you did for the kid.
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Old 15th January 2016, 13:03   #10
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Default Re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

Cat the VW Service advisors assist in giving statements. They saw where you had the accident and it was obvious that you had not run off the road
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Old 15th January 2016, 15:03   #11
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Default Re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

Dont worry - the easy way out is to admit guilt and pay the fine. There will be no implications.

My close friend had a mishap and had to admit his guilt in a court at Bangalore and pay the fine. After that, he got his passport changed to Bangalore address, done lot of foreign trips, passed three background verification checks. So, nothing to worry, mate.

--Anoop

Last edited by GTO : 16th January 2016 at 11:59. Reason: Typos
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Old 15th January 2016, 16:04   #12
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Default Re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

Sorry for the incident, I have a similar story to share, luckily was not about the damage but was more about the insurance and rest of the formalities.

I know there is no going back, but while you took the boy to the hospital, you should have found some way to inform this to the police station.
You will surely need a GD entry and an FIR from the nearby police station to get the insurance claim.

HDFC ERGO delayed my claim by about 43 days since I didnt have the FIR, though I had the GD entry against the same.

I think your advocate could easily take care of your worries regarding the accident, it all about getting the repairs done through insurance. I am sure Skoda body works could be expensive.

Just for the understanding, which is your insurance ?
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Old 15th January 2016, 16:44   #13
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Default Re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

Hello

This happened to me as well in Mumbai where the person was a Government Servant.

First PLEASE RELAX - i say after going though full drama

1. The father has filed a complaint in police station. OK

2. Please go to police station with Original and Copy documents of car and give your statement. Also take some one along for bail.

3. After some days they will release your car

4. Then after couple of years you will be called in court and your lawyer will take care of matter. I paid Rs 10000 for closing of case wherein I pleaded guilty and officially paid fine of Rs 2500

regards
Deepak
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Old 15th January 2016, 18:30   #14
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As a person who went through a similar situation few years back, I would ask you to just relax and wait for the call from court. You appear before the judge and admit the charges against you (may be negligent driving and causing un intentional harm to others). Judge will fine you, not exceeding 3K. Please ensure that you have already updated your insurance company about this incident. Rest of the accident settlement claims will be done by the insurance company.
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Old 15th January 2016, 18:43   #15
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Default Re: Car accident involving pedestrian in Kozhikode, KL. Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_pphilip View Post
I write this totally upset, confused and stressed.
....
I look forward to legal and helpful advice from the experts here. Let me know how best I should approach this.
Hi,

Firstly, I am happy that the kid is safe and sound.

I was with a friend for the procedures post an accident with similar characteristics. Out of station car and local villager.

The procedure followed was the same, FIR to be filed and then bail provided after the necessary statements and documents were provided. The car was also released. If I am right, any payouts to the victim are provided by the insurance company. Later if and when the court mandates any payment to be made to the court, it has to be done. My friend was also worried about the implications for the FIR but he was assured that the FIR is done to only register the events in the police station so that the driver need not be sent to jail in case the victim passes away.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by batterylow : 15th January 2016 at 18:45. Reason: Additional data
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