CHENNAI: The mental agony, suffering and the complications from amputation of a limb, more so of young children, must be taken into account while fixing the compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court observed.
It would be delightful to see a young one grow but quite the opposite to see a young amputee grow. The resected part would also grow, the prosthesis would also need to be changed and fixing a new one would require surgery to fit it, Justice S Vimala said.
The judge was dismissing an appeal from an insurance company challenging the orders of the Motor Accidents Tribunal, Thoothukudi on January 20, 2011 awarding Rs 5.58 lakh compensation to the accident victim.
Jasmine was just 13 years old when she met with a road accident on March 1, 2010 in Thoothukudi district. The Shriram General Insurance Company in Jaipur, Rajasthan, moved the High Court challenging the Rs 5.58 lakh relief as high and disproportionate to the nature of the injury, but the judge in response nearly tripled the sum.
According to the doctor who treated Jasmine, the girl’s disability was 80 per cent and an artificial limb had to be used by her. Because of natural growth, the artificial limb would have to be changed. Despite the evidence of the doctor, no amount had been awarded by the Motor Vehicles Tribunal towards cost of prosthesis, the judge noted.
The sufferings due to amputation had to be taken into account to consider the quantum of compensation. The question was whether at any point of time, the injured would be in a position to enjoy her life or would she suffer mental problems because of pains specific to amputation, the judge said.
Considering the age of the injured, the nature of surgery done, the length of treatment, the pain of amputation suffered, its impact on the young girl’s future, and the impact of disability on functionality, the compensation awarded had to be enhanced, the judge added and fixed it at Rs 14.50 lakh.
The judge also permitted Jasmine to withdraw Rs 2 lakh immediately to buy the artificial limb. The remaining Rs 12.50 lakh had to be deposited at the Indian Bank branch, High Court, Madurai, and the interest accrued could be used by her.