The owner of the motor vehicle shall be liable to pay a compensation of a sum of five lakh rupees in case of death or a sum of two and a half lakh rupees in case of grievous hurt to the legal heirs or the victim.


The concept

“Car Accident” means an accident involving a motor vehicle or an accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle or motor vehicles, running on a public place and resulting in
(i) the death of, or bodily injury to, any person, or
(ii) damage to property;

According to section 2 of Motor Vehicle Act 1988,”motor vehicle” means any mechanically driven vehicle designed for use on roadways, regardless of whether its propulsion power is delivered from an external or internal source and whether it contains a trailer and a chassis without a body attached.

Related Acts


The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
The Indian Penal Code, 1860

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988: This is the primary legislation that governs motor vehicles, including cars, in India. It covers various aspects such as registration, licensing, insurance, liability, compensation, and penalties for violations.

The Indian Penal Code, 1860: Certain sections of the Indian Penal Code are relevant to car accidents, particularly those involving negligence or rash driving.

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973: The Criminal Procedure Code outlines the procedural aspects of handling criminal cases, including the investigation, arrest, and trial processes for offenses related to car accidents.



    The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
    Section 132: Duty of driver to stop in certain cases (Accident)
    Section 134: Duty of driver in case of accident and injury to a person
    Section 161: Special provisions as to compensation in case of hit and run motor accident
    Section 184: Driving dangerously

    The Indian Penal Code, 1860:

    • Section 279, IPC: Rash Driving
    • Section 304A, IPC: Causing death by negligence not amounting to culpable homicide.
    • Section 337, IPC: Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others.
    • Section 338, IPC: Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others.

    Case Laws


    Alister Anthony Pareira vs State Of Maharashtra

    Supreme Court made the following observation:

    1. A person who commits a careless, rash, or negligent act that results in death may be held accountable for the crime of homicide that does not constitute murder and is punishable under Section 304 Part II IPC if they knew, as a reasonable person would, that the action was dangerous enough to result in some undesirable outcome and that the death was likely to be caused.

    Sanjeev Nanda vs The State Delhi

    The Court held that the lives of six persons have been lost due to a young man who was driving rashly just for enjoyment. The court sentenced the accused under Section 304A IPC and Section 185 MVA.




    What to do in case of a Car Accident

    Section 134 of the Motor Vehicle Act explains the Duties of the driver in case of an accident.
    the driver of the vehicle or other person in charge of the vehicle shall
    i) take all reasonable steps to secure medical attention for the injured person (if possible)
    ii) report the circumstances of the occurrence, at the nearest police station
    iii) give full details of the accident and your policy details to your insurance company