Kerala HC rules multiplier method for compensation applicable to serious injuries also
The MACT had calculated the compensation using the split multiplier method, and not the multiplier method
The Kerala High Court has held that the multiplier method must be applied while calculating the compensation in motor accident claim cases in serious injuries as well and not just in cases of deaths.
The court emphasized that the purpose of adopting the multiplier method was to achieve uniformity and consistency while assessing compensation in motor vehicle accidents, regardless of the nature of injury.
“The very purpose of adopting the multiplier method in Sarla Verma (supra) is to do away with the considerable variation and inconsistency in assessing compensation and also to bring uniformity and consistency," noted the high court said.
"If this be the logic for adopting the multiplier method, can any change in the legal position be conceded for the reason that the result of the accident is an injury -- especially in cases of serious injuries as available in the present case -- instead of a death? The answer to the above question is surely negative, in the estimation of this court, having regard to the logic and purpose behind adopting the multiplier method," the court pointed out.
The high court made the observation while dealing with two appeals filed against a verdict of a Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT) in a case where an insurance claimant had been granted about Rs 5.4 lakhs as compensation for injuries suffered after his scooter collided with a bus.
The MACT had calculated the compensation using the split multiplier method, and not the multiplier method.
The split multiplier method involves using one multiplier up to the date of retirement and another multiplier for the period after retirement.
The high court noted that in various cases, the multiplier method was used where accidents have resulted in deaths. However, the court has now opined that the multiplier can be applied to serious injuries as well.
After examining the merits of the case, the high court proceeded to enhance the compensation payable to the claimant under the heads of loss of amenities, pain and suffering and extra nourishment, while applying the multiplier method.
As a result, the compensation payable was enhanced to about Rs 7.6 lakhs.
The high court partly allowed the claimant’s appeal in these terms and dismissed the insurance company’s appeal.