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Old 11th January 2009, 00:37   #1
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Default Whose Blame, if it not your fault.

I did search through the forums for these questions, but did not find any specific answers, hence thought of starting a new thread for it. (Mod kindly attach it a n existing thread if I am repeating it)
  • One is driving on the City Highway (Western Express or Eastern Express) within the specified speed limit (60kmph or 80 kmph), suddenly a person tries to cross the road from one of the various gaps in the road divider and the car hits him. On whom would the blame fall on? Legally and morally. (Considering the accident was not serious)
  • One is driving on the City Highway (Western Express or Eastern Express) and you can see from afar that the signal is green with the timer saying say 30 seconds which is enough for you to pass through the signal comfortably (you want to go straight). You do slow down (since its an intersection), but suddenly a biker/car from the opposite direction takes a right turn at the signal(jumping the signal) and comes right in front of you, and it is highly impossible that you miss him. Who is to blame here?
How much will the law protect or condemn the driver of the car?

Lets not consider, who helps and who takes the injured person to the hospital, that is a different discussion altogether.

I want to know the different views of the BHPians on the above scenarios.
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Old 11th January 2009, 01:38   #2
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If the jaywalking guy or the light jumping car/biker dies, its your fault, irrespective of the circumstances. FIR will be registered against you. Only when court decides not guilty, you are a free man, but no FIR will be registered against the dead man, and you will not get a penny from his insurance.
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Old 11th January 2009, 08:26   #3
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Really weird. I think in both the cases those who break the law and who can be treated as " God of lack of common sense " must be the one to be punished.

In case number 1, if a person and there is damage to your car, then you are supposed to get compensation and no FIR should be filed against you. Road divider is not meant to be jumped and then cross the road. If you are not above speed limits, then IMO, certainly its not your fault. I am not aware what our old law system holds, but this is what is my opinion. Daily I face these people who appear from nowhere and are in front of me.
What if I brake hard trying to avoid that road crosser and someone rear ends me ? Who will pay for the damage and the loss of integrity of my machine ?

In case number 2, again if you are not above speed limits, IMO, irrespective of the car/bike driver state ( living or dead ), you are not supposed to be booked under law. And if your vehicle is damaged, it must be paid accordingly to you. If its your right of way, then no other common man can come in that.
Also note that if at a junction that does not have cops or signalling system, the one that comes first has right of way.

I believe that there should be no compromise in disciplined behavior on the road.
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Old 11th January 2009, 08:38   #4
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I would really like all the messiahs of defensive driving (and alot of luck IMO) who've never had a scratch in their 15-30 year driving careers to comment here. Maybe they can provide insights here which most of us miss regularly.

I would only go with tsk.
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Old 11th January 2009, 10:40   #5
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On Indian roads a smaller vehicle is more likely to get a "sympathy" in most of the cases and unfortunately you need to prove your innocence to come out clean. I dont know the law but this probably would need enormous efforts, time and analysis, and the chances of success are very bleak. Practical approach - As a "prudent" person, if you weigh the options (i.e. penalty in such scenarios few hundred Rs or couple of thousand rupees max), it might be worth accepting the charges put across by the investigating agencies (police) and move on... Co-operate with all the investigations either by police or insurance. I guess this would minimize the impact on your life. Such unfortunate circumstances are quite common these days if you look at the statistics.

I can understand the pain/mental agony in such scenarios, but this is our system, society, democracy... It would probably need tremendous "political will" for educating people, changing the attitude, getting better laws etc.
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Old 11th January 2009, 23:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
If the jaywalking guy or the light jumping car/biker dies, its your fault, irrespective of the circumstances. FIR will be registered against you. Only when court decides not guilty, you are a free man, but no FIR will be registered against the dead man, and you will not get a penny from his insurance.

That is really sad, considering it is not my fault at all .

Quote:
In case number 1, if a person and there is damage to your car, then you are supposed to get compensation and no FIR should be filed against you. Road divider is not meant to be jumped and then cross the road. If you are not above speed limits, then IMO, certainly its not your fault. I am not aware what our old law system holds, but this is what is my opinion.
I too feel the same thing, but then why do the people react as if it is the car driver's fault? It is really unfortunate.

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What if I brake hard trying to avoid that road crosser and someone rear ends me ? Who will pay for the damage and the loss of integrity of my machine ?
Can anyone answer that

Quote:
I believe that there should be no compromise in disciplined behavior on the road.
Hmm, I too share the same feeling, too bad not everyone on the road does.

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th January 2009 at 23:18. Reason: Posts merged. Please use the MULTIQUOTE button instead of making multiple consecutive posts in the same thread. Thanks.
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Old 12th January 2009, 01:10   #7
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How will you prove that you were correct and that you didn't jump the signal? How will you prove the other guy was wrong and that he jumped the signal? Do you think a good samaritan who witnessed the accident is going to come on some unknown date and give evidence in a court of law? It would most probably be your word against the other party's.

I'm not supporting the current way in which the law works but that's how it is.
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Old 12th January 2009, 09:13   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csentil View Post
How will you prove that you were correct and that you didn't jump the signal? How will you prove the other guy was wrong and that he jumped the signal? Do you think a good samaritan who witnessed the accident is going to come on some unknown date and give evidence in a court of law? It would most probably be your word against the other party's.

I'm not supporting the current way in which the law works but that's how it is.


Rightly pointed out. This is one of the most important problem for the way we were treated during such accidents.

From the policeman point of view, an accident has happened with both the parties coming up with their own version and being a human the sympathy goes to the poor or most hurt person irrespective of digging out who's mistake that was. Also such close examination to find out the actual offender is no way going to pay any incentive to them
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Old 12th January 2009, 09:57   #9
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There was this other thread about a NHC driven by a 14 year old being totalled on the Mysore - (gundulpet?) - Bathery / waynad road.

The culprit seems was a WHite skoda trying to squeeze in through non-existent gaps, frightening the licenceless driver. The white skoda apparently even frightened the T-Bhpian (was it rjstyle?) who started the thread.

Whose fault was that?

IMHO, most "fixing the responsibility" happens in a manner most convenient for "fixing the liability on the insurance company", regardless of the actual fault.

Hence, the "bigger vehicle at fault" axiom. The bigger vehicle usually suffers least damage, so fixing liability on the bigger vehicle means maximum "extraction" from insurance by the smaller vehicle / individual / pedestrian, which also happens to suffer the maximum monetary damage.

Too bad this happens. But it happens.
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Old 12th January 2009, 19:08   #10
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I have a question, told to me by insurance person, "police cases are not relavent in insurance cases, insurance cases need more proofs, evidences etc" is that correct? If yes, then why do we have police cases? Why insurance companies do not fight police cases also? this will make their job easy.
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Old 15th March 2011, 14:28   #11
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Default Re: Whose Blame, if it not your fault.

Sorry to revive an old thread, but my take is when you reach the courts, you have to prove a lot of things within the legal framework. I went through the NHC crash thread too. The victim(?) won't stand to get a penny from the insurance company as the car was being driven by a person ineligible for a driving license. Needless to say it's best if he kept mum and absorbed the loss. The title should really have been not about an errant driver, but about a careless father.

Regarding insurance cases, there are different types. The majority are about settling the insurance claims, where you don't really need to prove a party guilty or not guilty. For e.g. there's this other thread about a TBHPian with a Verna who had to face charges because a man died after coming in front of his vehicle. Here the police case is about deciding whether the driver was responsible for the death or not. The insurance case would be to verify if the claimants really have a claim and if yes, how much. Even if the Verna driver were to be found guilty, the insurance company would still have to settle the claim out of their own pockets. The only exception is if the driver was legally ineligible to drive, such as a minor or DUI or such. In such a case the insurance company doesn't owe a dime and the driver/owner will have to fork out the entire amount themselves.

Also unless there's a personal injury, like a human being suffering an injury or worst case, dying, insurance companies may not insist on a police FIR. However if the damage to the vehicle/other property is considerably, it would be in our interest to lodge an FIR and get a copy of the same asap.

There's also a clause in the MVA about an amount to be paid on permanent disablement or death (between 20K to 50K) without admitting fault. I am not sure if this amount has to be paid by the driver/owner or the government. It goes to the victim in a road accident. Paying this amount does not mean you are admitting guilt. It's like a mandatory minimum compensation. Better to check with a legal adviser on this.
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Old 15th March 2011, 21:33   #12
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Default Re: Whose Blame, if it not your fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha_romeo View Post
I have a question, told to me by insurance person, "police cases are not relavent in insurance cases, insurance cases need more proofs, evidences etc" is that correct? If yes, then why do we have police cases? Why insurance companies do not fight police cases also? this will make their job easy.
Why do you feel concerned when a pavement dweller is found with a cracked skull and a huge stone besides him?

Why do you feel concerned when somebody's purse / necklace / valuables are snatched while he is walking around in your neighbourhood?

Why do you feel concerned when a corporation fails to file its annual returns / profit & loss returns? (This is an offence under the Companies Act).

Criminal cases address that concern. The concern you feel when somebody else is harmed. Criminal law divorces loss / damage caused to injured person and your act. It however, makes a connection between your act and intentions.

The same act is also a wrong to the person who is injured; and the civil law divorces your intentions and your act; and connects your act and damage / loss / injury.

Sorry, it is too complicated matter; and you need to go into "philosophy of law" aka "jurisprudence", a subject every student (and teacher) of law hates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
There's also a clause in the MVA about an amount to be paid on permanent disablement or death (between 20K to 50K) without admitting fault. I am not sure if this amount has to be paid by the driver/owner or the government. It goes to the victim in a road accident. Paying this amount does not mean you are admitting guilt. It's like a mandatory minimum compensation. Better to check with a legal adviser on this.
You are spot on. The clause is called "no fault liability". Assume you are not covered by social security; and deep in debt. Jumping in front of any automobile is a sure fire way to empower your survivors to repay your debts.

Once, at an viva voce, I asked this question to a Professor of law, whose Ph.D thesis was in the law relating to Motor Accident claims. The question was:-

Quote:
Do you think that with introduction of no fault liability clause in the Indian MVA, the emphasis of Motor Insurance in India has shifted from indemnity to social security?
Answer was dead silence.

So, I asked:-

Quote:
Do you know what indemnity is?
Dead silence.

If that is the sorry plight of a Ph. D holder and head of department of law, you do not need to guess the level of knowledge of her students, at least a few of whom who will invariably end up as police officers, lawyers and of course, judges.

For those who do not get it - insurance is an indemnification against loss suffered by the insured. In motor insurance the insured is the owner; and (s)he is indemnified against "loss" occuring from an adverse finding in the claims proceedings. In claims proceedings, the claimant had to prove negligence by the insured / vehicle owner / driver. With introduction of this "no fault" liability; the emphasis is very different - even people who commit suicide by jumping in front of a vehicle are entitled to claim from the insurance.
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