Tribunal deducts Rs 19 lakh from Accident relief for contributory Negligence

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The family of an accident victim lost Rs 18.5 lakh — 50 per cent of the compensation awarded — after a Tribunal held that the victim was equally responsible for the accident.

Kavitha of Nerkundram moved a plea seeking compensation for the death of her husband Kesavaperumal, a truck driver. According to her plea, Kesavaperumal was driving the truck along Keerapakkam in Kancheepuram district when a rashly driven tourist bus from Andhra Pradesh collided into the truck, leading to his death. 

In reply, the insurer of the bus contended that the accident happened only due to the negligence of the truck driver & argued that it cannot be held liable to pay compensation. The counsel for the insurer pointed out that the co-passenger in the truck had given a statement to support the stand.

The Tribunal perused the submitted evidence & documents & noted that the FIR also said that the accident occurred due to rash driving by the deceased truck driver, who handled the vehicle negligently while negotiating a sharp turn. It, however, noted that the FIR alone cannot be a substantiative piece of evidence & that it can only be only used for the purpose of confrontation. The tribunal pointed out that there were eyewitness accounts that state that the bus driver had operated the vehicle in a negligent manner. 

After perusing the submissions, the tribunal held that both the bus driver & the truck driver are equally responsible for the accident & held that the deceased will receive compensation.

The accident occurred in 2012 & Kesavaperumal was 42 years old at the time. He was the owner & driver of the truck. Computing factors including the age, loss of income, the tribunal arrived at Rs 37 lakh compensation. After deducting 50 per cent for contributory negligence, the tribunal directed the insurance firm to pay Rs 18.5 lakh to the family of the deceased.

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