Families of people dying in road accidents will now get a compensation of ₹5 lakh, according to a gazette notification.

Accident victims will get a minimum of ₹25,000 for minor injuries. In case of a permanent disability, the compensation will be a minimum of ₹50,000, and can go up to ₹5 lakh depending on the extent of the disability. The extent of disability will be decided by a team of doctors under the Employee’s Compensation Act.

Yearly increase

The government has also allowed for increasing the compensation amount by 5 per cent every year with effect from April 1, 2019.

The current level of compensations is defined for two categories: ₹25,000 for grievous injuries and ₹50,000 for death.

However, in the new notification, the government has made provisions for higher compensation to those injured with permanent disabilities caused by an accident. Victims with minor injuries will also get compensation.

In the case of a permanent disability, the total compensation will be a percentage of ₹5 lakh. This will be over and above the minimum compensation, set at ₹50,000. The compensation will depend on the extent of disability, as defined in Schedule I of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923.

According to the Select Committee report on the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016 had proposed to cap the liability of the insurance companies to ₹10 lakh in case of death and ₹5 lakh in case of grievous injuries.

Stakeholders such as consumer groups and some State governments, including Kerala, had opposed the proposal to put a ceiling on liability of the insurance firms.

About 1.5 lakh people die in road accidents every year in India, which sees the highest number of road accidents globally. India also sees the highest number of road traffic casualties at about 6.5 lakh a year, which is the highest globally, according International Transport Forum data.