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It is well settled that a man is not compensated for physical injury but for the loss which he suffers as a result of injury says the Bombay High Court
The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court recently while upholding the compensation of Rs. 3.40 lakh awarded to a man whose right arm was amputated after a motor vehicle accident observed that money cannot repair the physical frame of a person disabled in an accident.
The Single Judge Bench of Justice Urmila Joshi-Phalke observed that in such cases it is well settled that a man is not compensated for physical injury but for the loss which he suffers as a result of injury.
The judge also observed that though money cannot renew the physical frame which has been damaged the focus in awarding the compensation should be just, fair and reasonable compensation.
“It is well settled that a man is not compensated for physical injury, he is compensated for the loss which he suffers as a result of that injury. His loss is not in having the stiff parts of the body, it is his inability to leave a full life, his inability to enjoy those amenities which depend on freedom of movement and his inability to earn as much as he used to earn or could have earned. In calculating the compensation, the object is to award an amount which will put the injured person in the same position had he not sustained the injuries. It is true that money cannot be renewed the physical frame which has been damaged, but the endeavour in awarding the compensation should be the just and reasonable compensation.” The court observed.
The incident occurred in 1991 when the car in which one Toufic Ahmed (Respondent) was travelling, rammed into a tree leaving him seriously injured. The driver of the car passed away. Ahmed had to amputate his right leg below the knee resulting in 70% permanent disability.
In August 2009, Motor Vehicles Claims Tribunal (MACT) awarded Rs 3,40,768 to the victim with an interest of 9% per annum. In response, United India Insurance Co. challenged the order of MACT in the Bombay High Court.
It was argued by the company that because Ahemed did not have a valid driver’s license, as required by the insurance policy, it had limited liability and requested that the case be dismissed.
The court while dismissing the appeal noted that the insurance policy made no mention of the limited liability that was being covered.
The court stated that the terms and conditions of the insurance policy under the heading of ‘limits of liability’ cover the limit of liability in respect of any accident as per the Motor Vehicles Act.
Case Title: United India Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Toufic Ahemed&Anr.
Statute: Motor Vehicles Act
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