Al Ain: Dubai Courts have awarded a compensation of Dh600,000 to an Indian expatriate, following a road accident.
Rijas Mohammed Kunhi, 41, from Alappuzha in the Indian state of Kerala, was awarded the compensation by Dubai Courts after a year-long legal battle.
Kunhi, who worked as a driver for an Emirati family in Al Ain, said it was nothing but a miracle that he had recovered from the serious accident.
The fateful day
On January 12, 2020, Rijas was chauffeuring his employer on the Al Ain-Abu Dhabi Road when he ran into a minor accident. He called the police and the issue was resolved. His employer then left in another vehicle. As Kunhi got back into the car, a four-wheel drive came crashing right into his car. Kunhi was admitted to hospital with serious injuries.
“It is a miracle that I survived. My spine was damaged and titanium plates had to be inserted,” he said.
Last week, Dubai Courts passed the judgement in Kunhi’s favour. The driver of the other vehicle was also fined Dh5,000.
Kunhi said his life had changed after the accident. “I am not able to put in long hours of work. Before I would drive for long distances, but now, I can only cover shorter distances. I cannot sit straight for long due to the plates fixed in my spine. I am so grateful to my employer who has still allowed me to work. My boss said my job is intact. I have a family to take care of and a steady income is important. I have my parents, wife and two children aged 12 and 9 years to look after.”
Taking legal recourse
Following the accident, Kunhi’s brother Rijam and brother-in-law Ibrahim Kifa, both working in Al Ain, approached Salam Pappinisseri, a lawyer and social worker. Pappinisseri filed a civil case in Dubai Courts against the driver who had caused the accident and his insurance company. All the supporting documents presented by Pappinisseri convinced the court that it was the mistake of the other driver. “The court then granted the compensation to Kunhi,” Pappinisseri said.
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‘Compensation will go a long way’
Kunhi told Gulf News that the compensation amount will help him immensely. “Only my mental strength has kept me going. I don’t know for how long I will be able to go on working like this. I want to return home to my family,” Kunhi said.
He said that he had a number of health issues. “The doctors said my kidney was also damaged. With this compensation, I may just want to head home. I will save some of the amount for my future medical expenses. Besides, I want to start a small shop back home in Kerala. That way, I will be able to earn some money and also be close to my family,” he added.