A Motor Accident Claims Tribunal has ordered a heavy vehicle owner and its insurance firm to pay over Rs. 28 lakhs in compensation to the widow and three children of a 39-year-old driver employed with a private travel company who died after the heavy vehicle hit the car he was driving in 2018.
The incident took place on Feb 23, 2018, a little after midnight when the victim Rajesh Jaiswar, a resident of Kurar village in Malad was proceeding in a Wagon R car near Metro Mall in Bhandup. As per the petition for compensation, the trailer was proceeding in front of the car and suddenly turned left without showing any indicators. Its rear portion hit the driver’s side of the car and Jaiswar sustained serious injuries. He was taken to Fortis Hospital, Mulund, but shifted to KEM hospital as the family could not afford the expenses. However, two days into the treatment, he died. The family claimed a compensation of Rs. 35 lakhs. He was earning Rs. 15,000 monthly, the petition claimed and said that the family was entirely dependent on him.
The trailer owner had not appeared before the tribunal. The insurance company had contended that the accident occured due to the negligence of Jaiswar.
Tribunal Chairman SC Chandak said in his order that it is apparent that even though the driver of the trailer was driving a heavy vehicle he omitted to keep proper lookout and give an indicator and ensure that no vehicle is in the danger zone. “Driving a heavy vehicle in such a manner is always unsafe and mostly life taking,” the tribunal stated.
While deciding the quantum of compensation, it said that there were contradictions in the income mentioned in the petition and that stated by his widow in her deposition. However, it reasoned that including the deceased, his family of five was residing in Mumbai. “Undoubtedly, the personal and living expenses in Mumbai are on the higher side. Unless one has reasonable income it is not possible to maintain such a family having three small children," said the tribunal. It then considered his notional monthly income to be Rs. 11,000 and ordered Rs. 28 lakhs in total compensation to the family.