Mumbai Pune Expressway
(Picture for Representation)
Mumbai Pune Expressway (Picture for Representation)
FPJ Photo

A Motor Accident Claims Tribunal has directed a compensation of over Rs 37 lakh to the widow and children of a 56-year-old advocate who met with an accident in 2014 when the family was on its way to Satara.

In a separate judgment, the advocate's daughter who had lost seven of her front teeth in the accident and now wears artificial teeth was directed to be paid over Rs. 8 lakhs in compensation.

The unfortunate incident had taken place when the driver of the car in which the family was travelling on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway lost control and hit a cement railing and then a stationary car near the Talegaon tollgate.

Bhanudas Salunkhe suffered serious head and chest injuries. He was admitted in a hospital, where he succumbed to the injuries the following day.

The vehicle owner did not file his written statement before the tribunal and the insurance company ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. denied the entire case. It also disputed the age and income of Salunkhe. The company said that the insured car and another car were involved in the accident and the other car’s owner and insurer have not been made a party. Thus, the petition is bad for non-rejoinder of the necessary party.

Salunkhe’s widow Leela, who is one of the claimants, deposed before the Tribunal and stated the facts of the accident. Member SB Hadaoo stated, in his judgment, that her deposition is supported by the FIR filed against the offending vehicle by the driver of a Maruti Ertiga car that it had hit after hitting the cement railing.

The tribunal calculated the compensation to be given to Salunkhe’s kin based on his monthly income of Rs 30,000. It also compensated them for funeral expenses, transport expenses to bring his body to Mumbai from Pune where the incident took place and hospital expenses of Rs 73,000 for the Salunkhe.

In a separate order, the tribunal directed the insurer and the vehicle owner to pay over Rs 8 lakh to a daughter of Salunkhe who had filed a separate petition seeking compensation for the injuries she had suffered in the accident. Rasika Salunkhe, who was 26 years old at the time of the accident, had suffered injuries to her nasal bone, chin, jaws and dislocation of a hip bone as well as a cervical contusion.

Member Hedaoo noted that she had lost seven front teeth from upper and lower jaws and now wears artificial teeth. Since the artificial teeth are not embedded in bone like natural teeth, she has to be careful while using them. He noted that she has to carry the drawbacks of the artificial teeth all her life and her expenses may be recurring. She also will be deprived of leading a free life like any other person who has natural teeth, he added while deciding the compensation they owe her.

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