HC reduces compensation for relatives of deceased cyclist

Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has reduced by 10% the compensation awarded by a Sivaganga District Road Accident Claims Tribunal to family members of a person who died in an accident, taking into account the fact that the deceased person was not wearing a helmet.

The court was hearing the preferred appeal by the National Insurance Company, Madurai challenging the award of compensation of ₹17.63 lakh by the court.

In 2016, Prabhu, a painter, was traveling from Tirupattur to Manamadurai in Sivaganga district on his motorbike. Around 7:30 p.m., a truck hit his motorcycle. Prabhu suffered serious injuries and died at the scene.

The insurance company argued that the driver of the van did not have a valid driver’s license, which was a violation of the policy condition. Therefore, the insurance company was not required to pay compensation.

Moreover, Prabhu was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, which was a violation of the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act. There was contributory negligence on the part of the motorcyclist, the company argued.

RMT Judge Teekaa Raman amended the compensation to ₹16.80 lakh. Referring to a Bench Division judgment which had fixed 10% on contributory negligence, the compensation was further amended to ₹15.12 lakh.

The court ordered the insurance company to pay the compensation and then recover the amount from the owner of the truck.

Earnest L. Veasey