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Road accident
Compensation must cover loss of expectation in life: SC
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, August 26
The Supreme Court has awarded a compensation of Rs 34.38 lakh to a road accident victim struggling with 90-100 per cent disability, observing that loss of expectation in life should also be taken into account.

The victim, a woman, was earning just Rs 12,000 a month at the time of the accident in May 2004.

“Efforts should always be made to award adequate compensation not only for the physical injury and treatment, but also for the loss of earning and inability to lead a normal life and enjoy amenities which would have been enjoyed but for the disability caused due to the accident,” a Bench comprising Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya observed.

The compensation awarded by the Bench included Rs 8.26 lakh towards medical expenses incurred so far, Rs 9 lakh for future medical expenses at the rate of Rs 3,000 a month for the next 25 years, Rs 6 lakh as attendant charges (Rs 2,000 a month for 25 years), Rs 5.12 lakh for loss of earnings (both during treatment and future), Rs 3 lakh each for physical and mental pains and loss of amenities and loss of expectation in life.

The woman, who was 30 at the time of the accident, had claimed a compensation of Rs 85 lakh, but the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal awarded just Rs 4 lakh - Rs 2.5 lakh for treatment, Rs 1.25 lakh for permanent disability and Rs 25,000 for pain and suffering.

The victim had suffered head, mouth and ear injuries, besides on other parts of the body, which had reduced her to a vegetable state and “she is not in a position to look after herself.” The Madhya Pradesh High Court raised the compensation amount to Rs 16.76 lakh without considering the loss of expectation in life. Unsatisfied, the woman’s husband had approached the SC.

The apex court granted liberty to the insurance company to recover, if permissible under law, the compensation amount from the owner of the truck which had rammed into the victim’s car and the truck driver who did not have a valid licence.





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