This statement came from Federal Court judge Abdul Rahman Sebli, who led a three-member bench that allowed appeals from eight road accident victims via his 140-page judgment. Five were awarded RM150,000 compensation for each successful appeal.
Appeals from past cases nullified by the insurer
These appeals first came to light as some of the insurance companies went through the High Court in order to get a declaration that nullifies the insurance policies due to 'misconduct' from the vehicle owners.
Having succeeded in getting the High Court declaration, insurance companies will no longer be required to compensate the road accident victims as they've succeeded in making the policies 'null and void' after having 'proven' a form of wrongdoing from the vehicle owner or insurance policy holder.
Some of these cases involved the vehicle owner selling off their cars using the illegal 'sambung bayar' method, which was done without having informed the insurance company. The road accident victim involved in this particular case did not get any compensation, even though they were innocent.
This along with several other road accident cases showcased the unfairness towards the victim's constitutional rights as well as deserving fair treatment due to their unfortunate involvement in the accident.
Road Transport Act should protect all
All arrangements within the Road Transport Act 1987 should be interpreted in a way that protects all road users, and that includes road accident victims or in other words, third-party road users who were clearly innocent in accident cases.
The court also mentioned that all vehicle owners are required by law to have insurance coverage, and with that comes the issuance of road tax from the Road Transport Department to make them legal to drive on the road.
With this sorted, road accident victims should be automatically covered by the insurance companies without having the need for them to sue the insurance companies or the driver of the vehicle.
There are, however, some cases where the compensation can go up to the millions, but since the vehicle owner is covered, the insurance companies will need to fork out for the victim's damages following a long process in the courtroom.
This is where the Road Transport Act comes into play by making sure that it should be easily interpreted to protect innocent third-party accident victims, as well as insurance companies from fraudulent claims.
This latest ruling from the Federal Court has helped to clarify quite a big grey area within the vehicle insurance coverages and policies. Those uncertainties can now be easily resolved thanks to this.