Driving without an insurance policy can prove to be an expensive affair, especially if one drives without a care in the world.
This was painfully driven home to Umesh Naik, the driver and owner of a Tata mini-truck, by the claims tribunal.
On December 6, 2016, at around 9.20 in the morning, Umesh was driving his mini-truck from Mapusa towards Arpora.
At the Parra Tower junction, he knocked down Michael Fernandes who was riding a bicycle. Michael sustained serious injuries which resulted in his death.
Michael’s 43-year-old wife, Perpet, his 13-year-old son and bed-ridden mother filed a suit before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, North Goa, claiming a compensation of Rs 15.4 lakh.
Although, Umesh claimed that he was not driving in a rash and negligent manner, after studying the FIR, site panchanama and sketch of the accident scene, the Tribunal concluded that Umesh drove the vehicle “at fast speed, without ensuring proper care and caution and dashed against the bicycle.”
As regards the quantum of compensation, Michael’s wife stated that he was working as a carpenter with a monthly salary of Rs 15,000.
However, in the absence of any document to prove his monthly earning, the Tribunal made a calculation based on a daily wage of Rs 400.
Considering that Michael was 52 years old at the time of his death, the Tribunal arrived at a consolidated figure of Rs 10.8 lakh.
If Umesh had taken care to ensure that his insurance policy was valid, this amount would have been borne by the insurance company.
In the absence of a policy, Umesh will now have to deposit the amount with 6 per cent interest from June 2018, when the petition was filed.