‘Hand’ over double aid to hairdresser: HC to insurer

The Madras HC has enhanced the compensation from Rs 5.25 lakh to Rs 11.10 lakh to a hairdresser who lost his right hand while travelling by bus, not just on compassionate grounds but after doing some hard arithmetic.

Justice S. Vimala dismissed the National Insurance Company Limited’s appeal, challenging the compensation of Rs 5.25 lakh awarded by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal in Madurai to P. Selvam.

Selvam, 25, running a saloon in Madurai, was earning approximately Rs 7,000 a month. On September 1, 2003, while travelling in a state transport corporation bus, a van coming in the opposite direction brushed against the bus and crushed Selvam’s right hand from the shoulder.

He approached the tribunal, which awarded Rs 5.25 lakh compensation, taking `3,000 as his monthly income.

According to the deputy tahsildar’s certificate, issued after the accident, the monthly income was stated to be Rs 6,000.

The court can take judicial notice of the fact that the charges for hair cutting, though moderate during 2003, are now rising.

The proper amount to be awarded for loss of earning capacity should be calculated taking into account the prospective increase in the income of the claimant.

Taking the monthly income at Rs 3,500 and adopting the multiplier method, besides pain and suffering, loss of marital prospect, loss of enjoyment of amenities and cost of artificial limb, Rs 11.10 lakh was awarded as compensation, the judge said.

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