Police Officer is bound to file Accident Claims

When accident occurs what the Police must do?

When information of a road accident is received in the Police Station, the Investigation Officer (IO), who investigates the accident, shall inspect the site of the accident, take photographs / videos of the scene of the accident and the vehicles involved in the accident and prepare a site plan drawn scale to scale, indicating the lay out and width etc of the roads or places, the position of the vehicles and persons involved and such other relevant facts.

If it is an accident involving injury the IO shall take the photographs of the injured person in the hospital. The IO shall conduct spot enquiry by examining the eye witnesses / bye standers.

The Police Officer should provide any information at his disposal relating to the vehicle and the name and address of the person injured and property damaged to the claimant of the compensation or the insurance company, within specified time u/s 160 of MV Act.

The IO shall work as a facilitator and furnish information to the MACT and other stakeholders.

File First Accident Report (FAR) in 48 hours: The IO is bound to file a First Accident Report (FAR) to the MACT, in Form I, within 48 hours of the accident.

Copies of FAR to be furnished: The copies of the FAR to be furnished to the Nodal Officer of the Insurance Company, the victim, legal representatives, State Legal Service Authority and to be uploaded on to the website of the police.

The Insurance Company has to appoint a Designated Officer for the case within 10 days of receipt of the FAR. The Designated Officer will be responsible for dealing with and processing the case and to pass a reasoned decision in respect of compensation to be paid to the victim.

The Nodal Officer to be appointed by the Insurance Company will deal with investigation of the accident case by the police officers.

Inform the Rights of the Victim: The IO shall inform the rights of the victim to the victim / legal heirs in Form II with a flowchart of the schemes available to them, within 10 days specifying the remedial scheme applicable to them. A copy of the Form II has to be included in the Detailed Accident Report (DAR).

Driver’s information: The IO shall provide a blank copy of the Form III and collect the information of the driver in Form III, within 30 days of the accident.

Owner’s information: Similarly, the owner’s information shall be collected in Form IV within 30 days of the accident.

IAR to be filed within 50 days: The IO shall send the IAR to the Tribunal in Form V with relevant documents within 50 days of the accident.

A copy each of the IAR shall be given to the Insurance Company of the vehicle involved, the victim, the claimant, the State Legal Services Authority, insurer and General Insurance Council.

The IO as well as the Insurer should verify the details of the driver / owner in form III and Form IV, by using wahan app or shall take the help of Registering Authority. The IO shall file the verification report in Form X before the MACT along with the DAR.

Victim to provide details within 60 days: The IO shall give a blank copy of Form VI (VIA for minor) to the victim or the legal heir and collect their details in the form along with relevant documents. They shall furnish such details and documents to the IO within 60 days of the accident. If the victim includes a minor the form to be used is Form VIA.

The IO shall furnish a copy of the Form VI and VIA along with the documents and the DAR to the Insurance Company and to the Child Welfare Committee & the State Legal Service Authority, in case child is involved, within 30 days of receiving the Form VI and VIA.

The Insurance Company, then, shall verify the details of the victim within 30 days from the date of receipt of the DAR.

Investigation of the criminal case within 60 days: The IO shall complete the investigation of the criminal case relating to the vehicle accident and file the Police Report to be submitted under Section 173(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) before the concerned Criminal Court, within 60 days of the accident.

The IO should also file a copy of the above said police report along with the DAR to the MACT.

DAR to be filed within 90 days: The IO should compile all documents and materials in the form of a Detailed Accident Report (DAR) in Forms VII and submit them to the MACT within 90 days of the accident.

The DAR should be accompanied with the Site Plan in Form VIII, Mechanical Inspection Report in Form IX, Verification Report in Form X, and the Police Report under Section 173 (2) of the CRPC.

The DAR should be treated as a Miscellaneous Application for compensation.

Copies of the DAR to the victim etc: The IO should furnish a copy of the DAR to the victim, owner, driver of the offending vehicle.

The IO shall submit a copy of the DAR and other documents to the Nodal Officer of the Insurance Company, State Legal Service Authority, and the General Insurance Council.

The IO shall send a copy of the DAR to the concerned criminal court within 7 days of submitting it to the MACT.

If the IO fails to do his duties, he will face consequences in the form of disciplinary action under the Police Act.

Extension of time to file IAR & DAR: The IO can seek extension of time for filing IAR and DAR, for reasons beyond his control. The Tribunal can extend the time as it considers appropriate.

In case of failure to give details by parties: If the parties connected with the accident fail to disclose any relevant information or documents the IO can seek necessary direction from the MACT.

The Tribunal will give direction within 15 days to provide the information or documents.

In medico legal cases (MLC): The concerned Hospital should furnish Post-Mortem Report or Medico Legal Certificate (MLC) to the iO, within 15 days of the accident.

Registering Authority to verify documents: The Registering authority should verify the licence of the driver, fitness & permit of the vehicle, and supply to the IO within 15 days. The Registering Authority should furnish information free to claimants, insurer etc. They shall facilitate to identify the vehicle name, and address of the person using the vehicle at the time of accident, and the person injured or property involved.

The Registering authority should provide any information at its disposal relating to the vehicle and the name and address of the person injured and property damaged to the claimant of the compensation or the insurance company, within specified time u/s 160 of MV Act.

If Accident reports are not complete

If the FAR, IAR and DAR are not complete the MACT shall ask the IO to complete the documents and the date of first hearing will be done only after making them complete.

MACT can treat DAR as Claim Petition

On receiving any Accident Report (DAR) from the police officer, the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT) shall register it as a Miscellaneous Application for accident compensation, under Section 159 and 166 (3) of MV Act.

Persons involved in accident can also file a claim

The claim petitions filed by the persons involved in the accident or their representative will also be added to such Miscellaneous Application.

Such application should be filed within six months from the date of occurrence of the accident, as per Section 166 (3) of the MV Act. No condonation of delay is possible.

When DAR filed but not Police Report: If Police Report under CrPC is not filed when DAR is filed, the MACT shall either wait for the report or record the statements of the witnesses to determine the negligence before making the award.

Insurance Companies can settle claims u/s 149 M V Act

Make offer within 30 days: On receiving information about the accident either from the claimant or from the DAR, the Designated Officer ( who needs to be appointed within 10 days of receipt of information about the accident) of the insurance company shall make an offer of settlement of claim of the victim in regard to an accident claim, before the MACT within 30 days of the intimation of the accident in Form XI, under Section 149(1) of the MV Act. The Insurance company also has to appoint a Surveyor to verify the claim.

If Insurance Company does not question the liability to pay compensation, the Designated Officer of the insurance company shall take a decision as to the quantum of compensation payable to the claimant in accordance with law, within 30 days of the date of intimation of the accident. The decision of the Designated Officer will have to be submitted before the Claim Tribunal in Form XI.

Claimant to accept the offer within 30 days: The Claimant is not able to respond to the offer of compensation immediately, the MACT can allow them 30 days to respond.

If the Insurance Company does not admit the liability, it shall file the reasons, along with the Surveyor Report, in Form XI.

Pay compensation within 30 days: In case of consent award, the insurance Company will have to pay the compensation so settled within 30 days of settlement. The MACT should ensure that such settlements should not be under undue influence.

Pay the amount in consent award within 6 months: The MACT shall ensure that the claimant is awarded just compensation in the settlement and the consent award is passed within six months from the date of the accident.

If the offer is not fair pass order within 9 months: If the offer of the Insurance company is not fair, the MACT will then conduct an inquiry under Section 168 or 169 of the M V Act, and pass an order, after hearing the parties, within nine months from the date of the accident.

If the insurance company disputes: When the insurance company disputes the liability to pay compensation it shall disclose the grounds of defence in Form XI. The MACT shall conduct an inquiry as per Sections 168 & 169 of the MV Act within one year from the date of the accident.

Claimant has three other options to get compensation

A claimant, who disagrees to settle the offer of compensation with the Insurance Company, has got three options to get a fair compensation: –

  • one is under Section 164 of the MV Act under no fault liability,
  • the second one is u/s 166 of the MV Act by proving the fault or negligence of the offending vehicle &
  • the third one is under Section 161 of the MV Act in hit and run cases.

If DAR does not bring a charge of negligence or the claimant choose to claim compensation on no-fault basis, the MACT shall register the case under Section 164 of the MV Act.

If it is a case of rash and negligent driving, it will be registered under Section 166 of the MV Act.

Compensation on no-fault liability u/s 164

A claimant can seek claim of a pre-fixed amount from Insurance Company or the vehicle owner, under Section 164 of the MV Act, without pleading the fault of the offending driver. It is called no fault liability case.

In such cases, the claimant need not plead or establish that the death or injury was caused due to the negligence of the driver or owner. The claimant will be granted fixed amount of compensation without considering whether there is fault or negligence on the part of the offending driver or on the claimant’s part. Such an approach will minimise the protracted litigation and enable the victim to get the pre-fixed net compensation without any delay.

However, on receipt of this compensation under Section 164 on no-fault liability, alternate application for claim being proceeded under Section 166 of the MV Act, if any, will automatically lapse.

In cases of no-fault liability, the applicant would get Rs 5 lakh for death, and 2.5 lakh in case of grievous hurt. But if he gets some other compensation that will be deducted from this amount.

Under Section 166 by proving the fault or negligence

If the claimant files a claim under Section 166 of MV Act, the judge of MACT will decide the claim for compensation based on evidence available in regard to the fault on the part of the parties.

In case of fault on the part of the claimant in terms of percentage (such as 40:60 or 50 :50) there will be proportionate reduction in the resultant compensation.

If compensation under Section 149 M V Act on settlement basis is accepted the party cannot file an application under this Section.

Compensation in hit and run cases under Section 161

Another type of case, dealt with under Section 161 of the MV Act, is called Hit and run case. A Hit & run case means a case pertaining to an accident arises out of a motor vehicle the identity whereof cannot be ascertained despite reasonable efforts.

The amount of compensation provided for in hit and run cases is now Rs 2 lakh in case of death of the victim, and Rs 50,000/- in case of injuries. The amount will be met from a Solatium Fund Scheme of the Central Government. If the victim later gets any other compensation under any other law, the amount received under this scheme should be deducted from that amount.

Golden hour treatment & interim compensation: The Central Government Solatium Fund Scheme should also provide for treatment of accident victims during golden hour, and payment of interim relief as well,

Where to apply for Solatium fund? To get compensation from Solation Fund the applicant should apply to the Claim Enquiry Officer, who will hold enquiry of the claim after examining the FIR and other connected records such as Inquest Report, post-mortem report or Certificate of Injury. He will then submit it to the Claims Settlement Commissioner for granting sanction. On getting sanction, the nominated Insurance Company will then pay the party within 15 days, as per Solatium Fund Scheme.

Claims Enquiry Officer is the Subdivisional Officer of the Revenue department and Claims Settlement Commissioner is the District Collector.

MACT has to make award of just compensation

In every contested case for compensation, the MACT must consider the evidence available before it and make award of just compensation. The MACT, in its judgement, should specify the persons whom shall be paid the compensation and who has to pay it, as specified under Section 168 of the MV Act. The insurer or the owner or the driver or all/any of them have to pay the compensation.


In short it is the duty of the Police Officer to proceed with the compensation claims in a motor vehicle accident on behalf of the victim.

However, the victim or his/her legal representatives can file a claim petition which would be considered along with that of the Police Officer.

Further reading

  1. Motor Vehicle Act, 1988
  2. Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, 2019
  3. The Central Motor Vehicles (Fifth Amendment) Rules, 2022: enforced since 1/4/2022
  4. New Forms prescribed by Motor Vehicle (Fifth Amendment) Rules 2022
  5. Solatium Fund Scheme, 1989, of the Government of India