As some solace to a bedridden 25-year-old road accident victim and his family, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, SAS Nagar, has ordered payment of Rs. 70.97 lakh as compensation, plus 6% interest since the accident in 2011, by National Insurance Company Limited.
Victim Singh Dhanoa, who is paralysed but for slight movement in his right hand, had moved the tribunal through his grandfather Capt (retd) Baldev Singh. Employed as a junior engineer with a private company in SAS Nagar, bike-borne Dhanoa was hit by a speeding Chevrolet Tavera SUV driven by Avtar Singh around 6am on August 17, 2010, when he was on the way to office from his Phase-10 house. Having suffered head injuries, Dhanoa was treated at the PGIMER but remains confined to bed with 100% disability. His grandfather Capt Baldev was an eyewitness to the accident as he was following Dhanoa on his scooter.
The complaint named the driver, the owner of the Tavera and the insurance company. Contesting the petition, Tavera driver Avtar Singh denied that the accident ever took place. The owner of the Tavera, Phase 5-based Chanson Motor Private Limited, was proceeded against ex parte, as he did not appear despite summons.
The insurance firm, which was supposed to pay the claim as per a policy sold to the Tavera owner, accused the SUV's owner of violating terms of the policy. It said the driver did not hold a valid driving licence and that the company had not been informed about the accident by the owner.
But the account of the eyewitness and the FIR registered in the case helped proved the case. "The claim would be paid by the insurance company. Since Dhanoa has been rendered bedridden, and considering his loss of future income owing to the permanent disability, the tribunal gave its order on October 1," informed advocate Ashwani Arora, Dhanoa's counsel, who got a copy of the order formally on Wednesday.
The amount includes Rs. 54.5 lakh as compensation for loss of future income due to permanent disability, over Rs. 12 lakh for medical problems, Rs. 2 lakh for loss of marriage prospects, Rs. 1 lakh for transportation and another Rs. 1 lakh for pain and suffering.
Capt Baldev Singh told HT that nothing could compensate for what happened to his grandson: "He was an engineer with a bright future. Nothing can compensate that loss and the trauma we underwent. We have been making rounds of hospitals ever since his accident; doctors say his chances of revival are diminishing with each passing day."