Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act

The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, also known as the MV Act 1988, is a landmark legislation in India that oversees the laws for road transport regulations, penalties, punishments, accidents, and associated remedies. However, a series of modifications to the Act included a flurry of new articles and increased punishments. The legislation is organized into two schedules, fourteen chapters and 216 sections. 

With an increasing number of automobiles on Indian roads, heavy traffic, poor road conditions, and instances of aggressive driving, the number of road accidents is increasing daily. Traffic accidents can cause significant property damage, serious injuries, and even death. The MV Act of 1988 serves as the constitutional foundation for giving redress and remedies in such cases. It ensures that the interests of innocent victims are protected, and proper compensation is delivered to all aggrieved parties under Section 166 of the MVA. 

Meaning of Section 166 of Motor Vehicle Act 1988

Section 166 of the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988 specifies who can make a claim through MACT if they are involved in a traffic accident. An individual might be regarded as the rightful claimant and seek compensation from the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal under Section 166 IPC (Chapter XII) of the Motor Vehicles Act 166 if:

  • These are individuals or authorized representatives of those who have been injured in a vehicle accident.
  • They are the legal proprietors of the property that was damaged in the accident.
  • They are the legal heirs/representatives of a person who died as a result of the accident.
  • They are the legitimate proprietors of any property damaged in the accident.

Claims Under Section 166 of Motor Vehicle Act

The claimant may make a compensation claim under Section 166 IPC with any of the Vehicle Accident Claim Tribunals listed below:

  • The claims tribunal whose jurisdiction the accident occurred.
  • The claims tribunal whose jurisdiction the victim remains under.
  • The claims tribunal whose jurisdiction the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident remains.

When to Claim Section 166 Motor Vehicle Act?

The MV Act of 1988 does not provide a time limit for requesting compensation under Section 166. Therefore, it is best to register the claim as soon as possible to avoid any concerns or questions during the tribunal process. In the following cases, the Vehicle Accident Claim Tribunal will award compensation to the parties involved:

  • The victim suffered bodily injuries as a result of the accident.
  • The victim has passed as a result of the accident.
  • The victim's property has been damaged or lost as a result of the accident.
  • The victim is permanently disabled as a result of the accident (Note: Permanent disability includes loss of sight in either/both eyes, loss of hearing in either/both ears, impairment/destruction of any part/joint of the body, disfigurement of the head, or disfigurement of the face.)

Offenses Under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicle Act

  • Minors driving motor vehicles. 
  • Driving a motor vehicle without license.
  • Driving a car while suffering from any medical illness or health problem.
  • Not wearing a helmet on a two-wheeler.
  • Not wearing a seat belt in a four-wheeler.
  • Driving above the speed limit.

Compensation to the Victims According to Section 166 of the MVA

The compensation to the victim caused by accidents is subjective and could vary based on the circumstance of the case and the applicable Provisional Act. Mentioned below are some of the generic attributes to be considered:

Medical Expense: The medical expenses that have been caused to the victim for treatment, medication, hospitalization, and rehabilitation will be considered in compensation determination.

Nature of the Injury: The severity and the kind of injuries suffered by the victim are crucial factors. The compensation amount could also increase for more severe injuries or in cases of permanent disability.

Disfigurement and Disability: Compensation would be provided for any type of permanent disability or disfigurement that is caused by an accident.

Contributory negligence: If the victim is known to have contributed to the accident because of their own negligence, the compensation amount may be reduced proportionately.

These are some of the attributes that would be considered in the case of compensation under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicle Act. 

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