Supreme Court – MV Accident Compensation not only on Physical Injury but also for Non-pecuniary Losses

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August 24, 2018

MV Accident Compensation– In this recent case, the Supreme Court while enhancing the compensation awarded in motor vehicle accident to the Appellant/claimant noted that the injured is not be compensated only for his physical injury but also for his non-pecuniary losses. While enhancing the compensation awarded by the High Court, the Supreme Court also noted that compensation shall be awarded considering inflationary trends and the increased cost of living.

Case name: Anant Son of Sidheshwar Dukre  v. Pratap Son of Zhamnnappa Lamzane & Another

The Appellant in the case approached the Supreme Court dissatisfied with the compensation awarded by the High Court. The Appellant had met with an accident and at that time was employed as a driver, drawing a monthly salary of Rs. 8,500. Severe injuries sustained by the Appellant in the accident resulted in Permanent Disability to the extent of 75%.

Accordingly, the Appellant claimed compensation of Rs.20,000,00/-, whereby the High Court by the impugned order awarded compensation of Rs. 14,65,500/-. While awarding the compensation the High Court applied the multiplier method by considering the Appellant’s income at Rs.5000/- on the ground that the salary of Rs. 8500 for a driver was on the higher side. 

Bench’s Verdict

The Supreme Court Bench while allowing the claimant’s plea and enhancing compensation noted that  the High Court erroneously concluded that it would be just and appropriate if the monthly income of the Appellant is considered at Rs. 5,000 on the ground that the salary of Rs. 8500 for a driver was on the higher side. 

While brushing aside the High Court’s reasoning, the Apex Court opined that Appellant’s income must be taken at Rs.8500/-. It was observed that in cases of   motor   accidents   leading   to   injuries   and disablements, it is a well settled principle that a person must not only be compensated for his physical injury, but also for the non-pecuniary losses which he has suffered due to the injury.

It was further noted by the Court that the Claimant is entitled to be compensated for his inability   to lead a full life, and enjoy those things and amenities which he would have enjoyed, but for the injuries.

That the purpose for compensation under the Motor Vehicle Act is to fully and adequately restore the aggrieved to the position prior to the accident.

Effect of Permanent Disability to be Calculated- That the effect of the permanent disability on the earning capacity of the injured must be considered; and after assessing the loss of earning capacity in terms of a percentage of the income, it has to be quantified in terms of money, to arrive at the future loss of earnings suffered by the claimant.

In view of the aforesaid observations, the Apex Court enhanced the compensation payable to the Appellant to Rs. 20, 29,000/-.

The entire case can be accessed here.

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