The Gujarat High Court clarified that injured children have the right to compensation in motor accident cases. The Court awarded four lakh compensation to an 11-year-old minor victim, who consented to 55% permanent partial disability for the whole body because a negligently driven truck hit the child.
The Single Bench of Justice Gita Gopi relied on Mallikarjun v/s Divisional Manager and observed, “Child cannot be equated to such a non-earning person, and therefore, the compensation is to be worked out under the non-pecuniary heads in addition to the actual amounts incurred for treatment done and/or to be done, transportation, the assistance of attendants etc. The main elements of damage in the case of child victims are the pain, shock, frustration, deprivation of ordinary pleasures and enjoyment associated with healthy and mobile limbs”.
The Court ordered, “The claimant would be entitled to get Rs.4,00,000/- + Rs.5,500/- (medical expenses) + Rs.10,000/- (conveyance, attendant and food nourishment expenses) = Rs.4,15,500/- as total compensation with the interest rate directed by the Tribunal in the award.”
The Supreme Court had said that the main elements of damage in the case of child victims are the ‘pain, shock, frustration, deprivation of ordinary pleasures and enjoyment associated with healthy and mobile limbs’.
Thus, it said that if the disability is above 10% and up to 30% of the whole body, compensation should be Rs.3 lakhs; up to 60%, Rs. 4 lakhs; up to 90%, Rs. 5 lakhs and above 90%, it should be Rs. 6 lakhs. For permanent disability up to 10%, it should be Rs.1 lakh, unless there are exceptional circumstances to take a different yardstick.