Payback for killed OFW’s family

A Dubai bus crash claims the lives of 17 passengers, including an overseas Filipino worker. Photo by Gulf News

The family of Marie January Ventura-Gallardo, an overseas Filipino worker who was one of 17 fatalities in a bus crash in Dubai last 6 June, is entitled to compensation from the vehicle company’s insurance provider, according to insurance and legal experts.

Emirati lawyer Ali Musabah, owner of Ali Musabah Advocate and Legal Consultants, said prosecution will present the traffic engineering report of the accident before referring the driver to the Traffic Court, Gulf News reported.

“The court will decide whether it’s the driver’s full mistake or there are other elements. If the court finds the driver guilty, then families of the victims can launch a civil case for compensation,” said Musabah.

As for the insurance aspect, Prem A. Mulani, executive director of Pioneer Insurance Brokers, was quoted as saying that as per UAE law, all buses carry insurance for their passengers.

“In the event of an accident, this insurance will typically be triggered for claims,” Mulani said, while adding that if the bus is not insured or the insurance has lapsed, another criminal case can be filed.

Families of all 17 victims can also avail of “diya” (blood money) amounting to Dh200,000 (about P2.8 million) after submitting a court judgement report and proof of relationship with the deceased.

If registered with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Gallardo’s family would likewise receive receive death benefits up to P200,000 and burial assistance of P20,000.

The 37-year-old Gallardo, a native of Jones, Isabela, has been working as a physical therapist at Jaalan Bani Bu Hassan Hospital in Oman for one year. She was travelling to Dubai to visit her sister-in-law when the mishap occurred on Mohammad Bin Zayed Road in Dubai.

The mother of two was declared dead at the Rashid Hospital, along with 12 Indians, two Pakistanis, an Omani, and Irish national.

The ill-fated bus carrying 31 passengers crashed onto a signboard at Al Rashidiya exit toward Rashidiya Metro Station after the driver entered a road not designated for buses, reported United Arab Emirates-based Kabayan Weekly.