Claimant entitled to claim against tort feasors & recover compensation, Karnataka HC says, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

BENGALURU: In a case of composite negligence, claimant is entitled to claim against both or any one of a joint tort feasors (an individual or entity that has been found to have committed a civil offence that injures another party) and to recover the entire compensation from either of the joint tort feasors, jointly or severally, the Dharwad bench of the high court has observed in a recent judgement.

Allowing an appeal, Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur has directed the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) to decide the quantum of compensation payable to appellant/ claimant Shivanand, a resident of Gokak town in Belagavi distinct.

In the present case, only one of the joint tort feasor has been made as a party to the claim petition. This by itself will not dis-entitle the claimant from claiming compensation against one of the joint tort feasor. Hence, I am of the considered opinion that the tribunal has committed an error in dismissing the claim petition filed by the claimant on the ground of no allegation of rashness and negligence was made against the driver of the jeep, in which the claimant was traveling. Though the claimant pursuant to the amendment has involved both the joint tort feasors for rash and negligent driving, it would not act contrary to his earlier pleadings made under Section 163-A of IMV Act,” the judge observed in his order.

On January 26, 2010, claimant Shivanand along with his relatives had been to Hubballi on private work in a jeep. When they were returning to Gokak at about 11.30pm, near Kurubagatti cross on Gokak -Yaragatti road, the driver of
the jeep drove the vehicle in a rash and negligent manner.

At the same time, a tractor coming from the opposite side lost control over the same and dashed against the jeep
resulting in accident, due to which Shivanand sustained grievous injuries.

Immediately, he was taken to the hospital for treatment as he had multiple injuries all over the body.

In his claim petition, he claimed that he had spent Rs 50,000 towards medical expenses and requires another Rs 50,000 for future medical expenses.

The claim petition was filed under section 163A of MV Act ( which doesn’t require the claimant to establish the fault lies with whom) and later it was amended and converted into a claim petition under section 166 of MV Act.

The legal representatives of jeep owner initially admitted the averments in the claim petition. But, when the same was amended, they denied the averments and added that if the tribunal comes to the conclusion that they are liable, the liability has to be fastened on the insurer as the as the policy was in force as on date of occurrence of accident.

However, the tribunal rejected the claim holding that Shivanand cannot be considered as a third party vis-à-vis the policy, driver of the other vehicle not traced and claimant failed to prove rash and negligent driving on the part of driver of the jeep.

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