The Supreme Court enhanced the compensation payable to over Rupees 50 Lakhs in a motor accident case where a person was rendered paralysed.
The grievance is with respect to the inadequate amount of compensation on account of the injuries suffered by the appellant. The appellant is a paraplegic patient. The appellant has examined Dr. Amithish Narayana and Dr. S. Adanthya. Dr. Adanthya is a medical specialist from National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences, Bangalore. As per the discharge certificate, the appellant is not able to move both his legs and had complete sensory loss in the legs, urinary incontinence, bowel constipation and bed sore. The appellant was aged about 5 years as on the date of the accident, hence has lost his childhood and is dependent on others for his routine work.
The appellant argued that the medical expenses itself were to the tune of Rs.5,73,700/-, whereas the High Court has only awarded a sum of Rs.1,61,805/-. The High Court had maintained awarding a sum of Rs 5,00,000/- for future medical expenses, i.e., towards purchase of a device to be used by the appellant, but as per the statement of Dr. Amitesh Narayana, the device bears weight only up to 25 kilograms and has to be replaced every 5 years.
The division bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V. Ramasubramanian stated that the determination of damages in personal injury cases is not easy. The mental and physical loss cannot be computed in terms of money but there is no other way to compensate the victim except by payment of just compensation.
The court found that in view of the physical condition, the appellant is entitled to one attendant for the rest of his life though he may be able to walk with the help of an assistant device. The device also requires replacement every 5 years. Therefore, it is reasonable to award the cost of 2 devices i.e., Rs.10 lakhs. The appellant has not only lost his childhood but also adult life. Therefore, loss of marriage prospects would also be required to be awarded.
The court said that no compensation is warranted to be payable under the heading “food and nourishment or towards loss of childhood” as it stands subsumed in the compensation assessed under the other different heads.
Case title: Master Ayush v/s The Branch Manager, Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr.
Citation: CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2205-2206 OF 2022
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