Monday, 12 June 2017

How to ascertain extent of permanent disability in case of motor accident?

The percentage of permanent disability is expressed by the Doctors with reference to the whole body, or more often than not, with reference to a particular limb. When a disability certificate states that the injured has suffered permanent disability to an extent of 45% of the left lower limb, it is not the same as 45% permanent disability with reference to the whole body. The extent of disability of a limb (or part of the body) expressed in terms of a percentage of the total functions of that limb, obviously cannot be assumed to be the extent of disability of the whole body. If there is 60% permanent disability of the right hand and 80% permanent disability of left leg, it does not mean that the extent of permanent disability with reference to the whole body is 140% (that is 80% plus 60%). If different parts of the body have suffered different percentages of disabilities, the sum total thereof expressed in terms of the permanent disability with reference to the whole body, cannot obviously exceed 100%.
Therefore, the Tribunal has to first decide whether there is any permanent disability and if so the extent of such permanent disability. This means that the tribunal should consider and decide with reference to the evidence: (i) whether the disablement is permanent or temporary; (ii) if the disablement is permanent, whether it is permanent total disablement or permanent partial disablement, (iii) if the disablement percentage is expressed with reference to any specific limb, then the effect of such disablement of the limb on the functioning of the entire body, that is the permanent disability suffered by the person.
Civil Appeal No. 8981 of 2010.
Decided On: 18.10.2010
 Raj Kumar Vs. Ajay Kumar and Anr.
Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
R.V. Raveendran and H.L. Gokhale, JJ.
Citation:(2011) 1 SCC 343.
Read full judgment here :Click here
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