A Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal has asked a truck owner and an insurance company to pay Rs. 37 lakhs to the family of a 29-year-old who died as a result of an accident after his motorcycle hit a truck parked at night on a road without parking indicators.
On February 11, 2018, the victim Shrikant Alegaonkar, who worked as a site supervisor at a private hospitality firm, was proceeding home to Goregaon around 3.50 am by his Bajaj Pulsar. His vehicle collided with a stationary truck parked opposite the Fire Brigade Centre in Chincholi, New Link Road, Malad. He sustained serious head injuries and was taken to the hospital. He succumbed six days later.
Alegaonkar’s parents, sister, wife, and a year-old child (through her grandfather) had approached the tribunal for compensation the same year.
The insurance firm New India Assurance Pvt. Ltd. had claimed that the deceased was partially liable for the accident as he was at high speed and hence could not avoid the mishap. If found liable for contributory negligence, the amount of compensation would be deducted.
Tribunal Member SB Munde said in his order that though the insurance company’s argument appears very interesting, that he found no substance in the submission. “There is no dispute that the offending vehicle (truck) was stationary at the time of the accident and was not having parking lights on or there was any indicator showing that the vehicle was in a stationary condition.”
Member Munde further reasoned that it is a matter of common sense that any person passing on the road cannot identify or see the stationary vehicle which is parked without any parking lights or indicators etc. The tribunal said that hence the insurer has not established any contributory negligence of the deceased in the incident. The tribunal held that the accident occurred due to the rash and negligent driving of the offending vehicle by its driver. It said that thus the owner of the truck and its insurer are jointly or separately liable to pay compensation to the kin of the deceased.
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