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Old 29th September 2009, 14:00   #1
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Default Car owner liable to pay even if pedestrian is negligent

Source : Car owner liable to pay even if pedestrian is negligent


Mumbai: In a significant judgement, the Bombay High Court has held that in case of an accident even if a pedestrian is negligent while crossing road, the driver of the vehicle is liable to pay the compensation to him or his family members.

The mere fact that the pedestrian had not used the Zebra crossing cannot absolve the driver of the car from payment of compensation, ruled Justice Nishita Mhatre recently.

The court was hearing an appeal filed by Meghraj and Sons, owners of the car involved in the accident, against an order of the Motor Accidents Tribunal ordering them to pay compensation of Rs 5.89 lakh to Wing Commander Jitendranath who died in the mishap 23 years ago.

The court, however, reduced the compensation from Rs 5.89 lakh to Rs 5.21 lakh.

"In my opinion, the Tribunal has rightly held that there was material on record to indicate that the driver could have averted the accident", the High Court observed.

On October 9, 1986, Jitendranath was on his way to Taraporewala Aquarium with his two minor daughters when a car hit him leading to his death. His wife, Sunita, approached the Motor Accidents Tribunal for compensation of Rs ten lakh.

The Tribunal noted that although Jitendranath was negligent yet the car owner was liable to pay compensation because he could have averted the accident.

The speed of the car at the time of accident was 40-50 and also the driver had not resorted to honking to alert the victim and his daughters, the Tribunal noted and ordered the appellants to pay Rs 5.89 lakh compensation to Jitendranath.

Meghnath and Sons had challenged the Tribunal's order saying Jitendranath was negligent in crossing the road as he did not follow the signal and also was not using the Zebra crossing.
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Doesn't Comprehensive Insurance cover the payment part ? Just my 2 cents
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:13   #2
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All those against honking should read this!!
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:15   #3
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good going.
They should add all those Autos, Bikes to that list. Even if they are going in the wrong side, jumping signals , jumping the divider to save the extra 100m run, coming in to the main road from the pocket road without checking and eventually causing an accident; the other guy should be punished. Because he did not honk and he does not have the rally driver reflexes.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:20   #4
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"He could have averted the accident" Now who decides that. This this a classic case of "andher Nagri Chaupat Raja!"

So next time some guy comes on the wrong side, gets killed, the bigger vehicles will get fined because by not deciding to drive, he could have averted the accident.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:23   #5
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Hmmm. Interesting comparisons being drawn here.

A pedestrian crossing a road is nowhere close to a vehicle driving on the wrong side.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:29   #6
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This happened way back in 1986. It is wrong to compare with current traffic conditions.

I don't think 3rd party insurance was mandatory then. 10 lakh meant a lot of money during the 1980s.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:29   #7
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The story clearly mentions Pedestrian ignored the signal and was negligent.
Same issue here. If you are driving a car, and a bike jumps red light and you cream him, the same logic can be used against you.
Infact motor vehicle act clearly says, the guy who did not die will pay the guy who dies... No ambiguity about that.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:31   #8
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Thanks for sharing an interesting article Lambuhere. I am a cautious driver and will become more cautious after reading this. Law around the world favours the pedestrians. Makes sense that way. Man was born to walk freely. Lets all respect that fact.

Insurance does cover such liabilities. The third party insurance is all about this. And this is the reason it is mandatory to have it. You may choose not to insure your vehicle but you can not drive without third party insurance.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:36   #9
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We need to learn to give preference to the smaller vehicles and pedestrians. That's what has to be done to avoid accidents. For e.g. we need to stop and wait for the people to cross the road. However I am not supporting the law breakers.

Generally, here we never stop to allow people to cross. In signals, we stop right on the zebra crossing.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:40   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The story clearly mentions Pedestrian ignored the signal and was negligent.
Same issue here. If you are driving a car, and a bike jumps red light and you cream him, the same logic can be used against you.
Infact motor vehicle act clearly says, the guy who did not die will pay the guy who dies... No ambiguity about that.
Speed of a pedestrian = 6 kmph.
Speed of a motorbike jumping a signal = 40 kmph (approx.)

I still fail to see how its the same issue. If it is, then:
Speed of a wall = 0 kmph
Hit a wall, blame the wall.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:49   #11
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The point here is jay walking is an offence in all the western countries, the rule some how dosent apply to us. We indians already knew this before the verdict in this case or any case was out. its always the fault of the bigger vehicle owner or may be the fault of the person who has suffered less loss. My condolences to his family but how can a man controling a machine be more guilty than an ignorent man controlling 2 legs which he was born with. i simply cannot stop laughing, sorry no offences ment. I remember hellstar's verna accident where in a man appeared out of nowhere. i have witnessed an accident where in a thief runs with a lady's chain and gets hit by a bike(he was lucky it was a bike), had it been a car and had he been dead, we could have seen some judge rule that against the car driver and made him pay. Roads are ment for Vehicles thats why people pay road taxes. For pedestrians GOVT should provid foot paths because they also pay taxes. Any one not following these rules should be guilty and should be punished, i remember Sams case where in his dad though hurt in a accident had to spend time in Jail.Rules have to be strong and stringent and sympathy should have no room when it comes to implementing rules. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 29th September 2009, 14:59   #12
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Why is our legal system so blind?! Rail roads are meant for trains, Runways for planes and roads are primarily meant for vehicles, and they have the legal right to ply on them and pay the tax to upkeep them.

If a pedestrian or a vehicle breaks the law and gets involved/causes an accident, law should punish the "guilty party" so that punishment acts as a deterrent for future.

Insurance paying up is a different matter altogether, and thats what 3rd party cover is for, but how can they make comments like "could have avoided etc"? I dont think anybody would be mad enough to run down another human being! unless you are a lunatic!
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Old 29th September 2009, 15:05   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu
I dont think anybody would be mad enough to run down another human being! unless you are a lunatic!
In which case one can claim insanity & be in Psychic hospital & avoid a Jail Term.

So the guilty still doesnt get punished.

Like Someone said it is indeed "Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja!"
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Old 29th September 2009, 15:14   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Like Someone said it is indeed "Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja!"
And lines like "With great power, comes great responsibility" belong only to Spidey movies.

"Look Ma! I got a car. I have more right to the road than that fella crossing the road with his family. Am gonna show him who's the boss."
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Old 29th September 2009, 15:17   #15
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the bigger/ more expensive the vehicle, the more likely its driver will get the blame
classic case of Have-Nots resenting the Haves.

This will continue as long as the huge divide exists between rich and poor in India coupled with the lack of education.

sad, but we may as well accept it and drive defensively to prevent mishaps since this is not likely to change in a hurry.
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