In this article, Leepakshi Rajpal discusses How to Claim Compensation under Third Party Motor Insurance.
You bought a new vehicle, right? You need to know that your vehicle needs a personal insurance for itself to be secure and protected from the unwanted risks of the inevitable accidents. In India, it is mandatory for every vehicle to have a valid insurance for the car to be on the road. This mandatory provision is under the Motor vehicles Act, 1988 and this provision also provides that the vehicle can be on the road for social, domestic and pleasure purpose and business purposes.
Now, that we are talking more about the insurance and the vehicle to be insured, we must also know what is insurance and what is the nature of such insurance. Insurance is a contract whereby one party who is the insurer, undertakes in return for a consideration which is the premium, to pay to the other i.e. the insured or the assured, a sum of money in the event of happening of a, or one of the various specified uncertain events, the happening of which is a vested interest.
Insurance can be of many kinds, for instance, it can be life insurance, fire insurance, other personal insurances, marine insurance, accident or property insurance, liability insurance i.e. when the sum becomes payable when the legal liability is incurred as for personal injuries or professional negligence to another.
So, what this blog is going to talk about is the procedure for claiming the third party motor vehicle insurance. Now, the third party insurance is also referred to as the act only cover since the beneficiary of the policy is someone other than the two parties involved in the contract i.e. the assured or the insured and the insurance company. The policy does not provide the benefit to be insured however it covers the insured’s legal liability for death/disability of third party loss or damage to third party property. Now, that we know what a third party motor vehicle insurance is, let us get into this procedure for claiming a third party motor vehicle insurance.
8 Procedural Steps – Claim Compensation under Third Party Motor Insurance
There are certain steps to follow when you want a claim for your motor vehicle for a third party. So, you do not go directly to the court, the appended steps have to be followed in order to get the claim set right and done.
File an FIR
When you want a claim of a motor vehicle for a third party, the first thing you do is, go to the nearest police station and file an FIR. FIR stands for first information report which means that you go to the police station and tell the police of whatever happened in the accident and then the police record it in an FIR or the first information report. Therefore, the information that is given for the first time after the happening of a specified uncertain event is the First Information report.
Approach a Motor Claims Lawyer
Now that you have filed an FIR, you must approach a lawyer that is specialized in filing claims of the motor vehicle. When you find such lawyer, go and talk to him and narrate the incident along with the copy of FIR if you have it. Assure him that you are not hiding anything from him or her and make sure that he is a specialist and has done filing of claims of the motor vehicle for the third party before so that it is more easy and convenient for you. Once, you are comfortable with him or her, share every detail of the accident or the specified uncertain event that happened because of which you had to file for an insurance claim of your motor vehicle for a third party.
Motor Accident Claims Tribunal
Now, that you have filed an FIR, given the information to the police and you have also contacted the motor vehicle claim lawyer, you should not file the case in the motor accident claims tribunal and not in any other court, because no other court will entertain such a query. This tribunal has been created for the purpose of solving disputes related to motor vehicle claims itself and therefore it is a specialized tribunal. Approach this tribunal along with your lawyer and follow the instructions given by the tribunal.
Now, when it comes to the tribunal, it may not be necessary that it may be only in one place. The jurisdiction issue will also arise in cases of circumstances when the FIR is to be filed. You can file an FIR near the place of accident, or the place of your residence or the place of the hospital you approached, and therefore that will determine the jurisdiction of the tribunal as well. So, once you file an FIR, hire a lawyer for the same purpose and also go to the tribunal, make sure that you approach the right tribunal because the defendant may claim the jurisdiction to be invalid and therefore, the process of claim will go a long way then. So, in order to save your time and other’s time as well, go in the right court, by which I mean the court that has the jurisdiction over the matter which will be decided by the police station you report to. Be careful with jurisdictions.
Right of Fair Hearing
When you approach the right court or the court which has the accurate jurisdiction over the matter, then the court procedures will begin and once the court procedures begin, know that the court gives a chance to both the parties to hear which the right to fair hearing. It means that when the parties arrive in the court both the parties are given a chance to be heard in the court which ensures that the court is following the principles of natural justice, which are a part of the basic structure of the constitution. These principles contained in them the principle of the right to fair hearing which ensures justice is delivered to them. This means that in order to make sure that justice is delivered, an adversary system is followed in our country which means that the judge acts as an empire, and both the parties are given a fair chance to be heard and to be presented before the court. Therefore, the right to present yourself is a part of the fair hearing and it can be enforced through your advocate if the chance is not provided.
Now, that you have followed all the process mentioned above and the right of fair hearing is provided. The question that arises is what way you would use to represent yourself and the same goes for the other party as well. There are certain methods which need to be followed while taking into consideration the practices which are followed in the court. The procedures have to be strictly followed and abided by because otherwise, you could also be charged with contempt of court. The ways in which you represent yourself in the court is through the arguments that are put forth by the lawyer you hire in the court. Therefore, when you go to the court it is not that you start speaking in order to exercise your right of fair hearing, it is that your lawyer argues on your behalf in the manner prescribed and required by the courts. Once your lawyer has argued the case and put forth his arguments on your behalf the same will go through again from the side of the defendant, which means that once you are heard, the right of fair hearing will pass onto the defendant or we can also say that he will get a chance to exercise his own right of fair hearing and then his lawyer will represent him through his arguments.
Examination of Evidence
Once, the arguments have been put forth by both the sides, all you need to do is wait for the court to examine the evidence or the substantiality of your arguments and the arguments put forth by the defendant’s lawyer. The examination of the evidence is an important part in any judgement, but in this case where the petition is for the claim of a motor vehicle for the third party, the judge will examine the evidence as to what are the pieces of evidence or substantial arguments that help in deciphering to the truth or coming to a conclusion. The examination of evidence will be done by the bench or the judge for the case and based on this examination the judgment will be given for either providing the claim or not providing the claim.
Once everything mentioned above has taken place, the point of judgment comes. In this stage what happens is that judgment is given as to whether the claim will be given or not given. The judgment will be based on the examination of the evidence and will accompany every reason supporting the judgment. This is the only stage where the relief in form of compensation or the claim will be given or not given. Therefore, this is one of the most important and crucial stages of the whole case, where it will be decided whether you approaching the court or the tribunal was successful or not.
Difficulties while Claiming Compensation under Third Party Motor Insurance
There are certain difficulties that a party who tries to claim motor vehicle insurance for a third party might face because living in a city like Delhi is tough.
Losing the No Claim Bonus
This means that if you live in a city like Delhi or Bombay, it is very difficult to escape an accident be it major or minor. When you meet an accident, then the difficulty arises in the fact that after the accident you pay but when you claim the insurance, and the company pays, you actually consume the bonus that was a part of the Insurance which you would not have used. So, this problem is a major problem because if you would not have utilized the No Claim Bonus then the money would have been in your pockets. so you are the one who ultimately loses.
When you indulge into claiming a motor vehicle insurance for a third party, you actually end up losing a lot of time and the procedure is too complicated that after looking at it you might not want to get into it.
Once you want to indulge in getting a motor vehicle insurance for the third party, you have to go file an FIR and follow the complex procedures involved there is no shortcut to it. You will have to follow the long procedure which is complex in its very nature, and there are no short ways to it.
Once you engage yourself in the process, the time that it will take to complete the claim and get the claim of the insurance will be much more than expected. the first step of filing an FIR may itself take two to three days or more if the inspector is rigid. Therefore the whole process is time-consuming and may take around one week at any time extension to complete the process.
Now that we have discussed the procedure for claiming the insurance of a motor vehicle for a third party, we hope that you will get your motor vehicle insured carefully and do it for the third party as well. It helps in the longer run. It is necessary because some uncertain events may also take place which we cannot foresee, therefore insurance is a must.