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An accident qualifies as hit-and-run when details of the motor vehicle and its driver, responsible for the mishap, cannot be ascertained. Many times offenders behind the wheel drive away, instead of helping the victims, due to fear of harsh punishment. We always hope for you to be safe, but it is useful to know what you must do in case of an accident.
Proceedings for a hit-and-run car accident are undertaken in accordance with guidelines mentioned in Section 161 of the Indian Motor Vehicle Act.
It’s a lot to ask, but staying alert in the moments immediately after the accident can do a whole lot of good later. If you see the offender trying to drive away, don’t follow. It is highly unlikely that you’ll catch up, moreover, you’ll lose access to important witnesses. Stay calm and try to note down details on the number plate of the fleeing car. The police department and other authorities involved can draw a whole lot of information from this number.
Speak with the witnesses
With the biggest challenge out of the way, the next thing is to speak with witnesses. Ask them if they will testify for you. Take their numbers and names before you say thank you. Witness testimony will strengthen your case for compensation and also help law enforcement track the suspect faster.
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File an FIR (First Information Report)
An FIR is a report made by the police which documents information provided by the claimant. Police will begin investigating the case after you file an FIR.
Now with the basic steps done, it’s time to apply for compensation. Here is what you need to do.
- An application must be filed to the Claim Enquiry Officer in the taluka.
- It is important to note that the application can only be filed by a victim who has either sustained injuries or suffered damages to their property. The injured party can also appoint a family member or an agent as a representative.
- In the case of death during the accident, a legal representative can file for compensation on behalf of the family of the deceased.
- The Claim Enquiry Officer will conduct an inquiry and present his report, along with relevant documents, to the Claim Settlement Commissioner.
- From the time the report reaches the Claim Enquiry Officer, it will take about 15 days to receive the compensation.
- At present, there is no limit on the number of days within which you must file for compensation after the accident.
The procedure might be simple, but before you begin, keep a few points in mind.
- In order to receive compensation, you will have to prove that the offender was a rash and negligent driver. This is when testimony from witnesses will work like a charm.
- If the offender is caught you will not be eligible to receive a compensation. You’ll have to refund the money, in case you have already been compensated. To this end, you will be asked to submit an undertaking as per the Motor Vehicles Act. Hence, it is important to get a report from the police stating that the offender could not be traced.
We hope you are never in need of this compensation. But, there is little one can do when adversity strikes. Opt for Car Insurance today and be prepared for any hardship on the road. We will definitely have something that will suit your needs.
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