Saturday, July 23, 2011

1.25 cr damages for accident victim

New Delhi: Setting a record of sorts, a Motor Accident Claim Tribunal has awarded a compensation of Rs 1.25 crore to a man living in “persistent vegetative state” after a crippling road accident four years ago.
Maintaining that “possession and preservation of one’s body is the first and most valuable of all human rights”, MACT presiding judge Kanwal Jeet Arora has directed Oriental Insurance, with which the offending vehicle was insured, to pay the amount to the victim for his future treatment. An interest of 9% has been factored in by the tribunal along with the direction that a compliance report be filed within 45 days.
“To lie conscious but unable to move or communicate, locked in a concrete shell of motor paralysis, probably in discomfort if not in pain, without hope, without stimulation, without any means of influencing care givers is a condition that does not bear thinking about, a living hell that may continue, day after day, week after week, month after month,” the judge said while computing the amount on the basis of loss of income of the family, the pain and suffering and medical costs.
It was on August 25, 2007, when Pritam Singh, a resident of Delhi, was driving to Shirdi with his friends that a truck coming from the opposite direction crashed into his car. Singh sustained multiple injuries and was first taken to the Shri Sai Nath Hospital at Shirdi. But as his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to a Mumbai hospital where he remained admitted from August 26 to December 4 that year. He was then airlifted and brought to a hospital in Delhi. After a four-month stay, doctors declared him 100% disabled.
Singh’s brother moved court in 2008, claiming Rs 3 crore in compensation on the grounds that the truck was driving in a rash and negligent manner. The insurance company, however, challenged the petition and said the accident took place due to the negligence of the driver of Singh’s car.

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