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Sikkim High Court: Vehicular Accident Victim Forced to settle for Lesser Compensation Than Initial Claim

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Facts of the Case

The claimant was a pedestrian who was hit by the car the respondent was driving. The respondent was driving at excessive speed when hitting the claimant as a result of which the petitioner was thrown 70-80 feet away. The claimant suffered from grievous injuries and was admitted for around a month in the hospital. The claimant was an earning member of the society working as a teacher in a private school. She earned a total of 13,500 per month. She was 26 years old at the time of the accident. She filed a claim petition before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (Claims Tribunal) seeking compensation of an amount of Rs.24,23,463/- on 06.12.2017. The claimant made various examinations to prove the grievous 9innjuries suffered by her. She made examinations to prove her job in the school as a teacher and private tuitions teacher. The claimant claimed the particular amount considering all losses she faced and not just medical expenses. The respondents filed an objection stating that the claims made were excess. They also made examinations to prove that the driver had a valid driving license at the time of the accident. The car was insured and had no default as well. After reviewing the case and arguments from both sides, the claims tribunal stated an amount of 5,56,060/- along with interest @ 12% per annum from the date of the filing of the claim petition till full and final payment.

Arguments of the Petitioner

Mr Thupden G. Bhutia learned advice for the inquirer presents that the petitioner is distressed by the quantum of remuneration granted by the Claims Tribunal as it had wrongly held that the mishap was a “daily schedule individual injury” case and by so doing disentitled the inquirer from accepting only pay under different heads. The Claims Tribunal came to a finding that due to grievous injuries sustained by the claimant it was possible that she could not resume work for one year. Accordingly, an amount of Rs.1,62,000/- (Rs.13,500 x 12) was arrived at, as the claimant’s loss of earnings during the period of treatment. The claimant is abused by the way that even though the Claims Tribunal had gone to track down that the wounds supported by the inquirer because of the mishap were “genuine/shocking” in nature it proceeded to hold that it was an instance of “routine individual injury” and by holding so neglected to grant pay. Under the head loss of amenities and loss of expectation of life, the claimant had claimed an amount of Rs.6 lakhs towards further partial disability. The claimant stated that she had suffered internal as well as external injuries throughout her body. 

Arguments of the Respondent

Mr Sudesh Joshi learned counsel for respondent no.3  presented that the Claims Tribunal had been amazingly reasonable. Also conceded remuneration any place qualified for the full degree of the case. Ms Zola Megi learned counsel for respondent no.1 the owner of the vehicle and respondent no.3  the driver of the vehicle presented that the engine vehicle was roadworthy. Furthermore, duly insured. She further presented that respondent no.3 was a decent driver having a legitimate driving permit.

Ratio of the Court 

The High Court examined the claims awarded by the tribunal court and breakdown the same. The court addressed the manner in which the claimant was hit by the vehicle. The court stated that the accident occurred due to rash and negligent driving by the driver. The court acknowledged that the claimant has suffered grievous injured internally as well as externally. It also stated that the claimant might not continue their job for another year. Since there was no permanent disability the claimant is not entitled to compensation under the head loss of future earnings on account of permanent disability. Although it is certain that she was partially disabled. There was no certificate of permanent disability submitted by medical officials upon the discharge of the claimant. Hence the Court finalized the payment of Rs. 8,30,060/ to awarded to the claimant.

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