Quantum of compensation for a bachelor’s accidental death depends on the number of dependants on the income

Hyderabad High Court: The Single Bench partly allowed an insurance claim petition reducing the quantum of compensation granted to the respondents.

The claims related to the insurance in the case of a motor accident between an auto and a lorry resulting in the death of two individuals. The claimant was related to both the deceased as husband and father respectively. As to the question of negligence, the Additional District judge had passed the order that the auto driver had primarily caused the accident after which the liability shifted on to the lorry driver. This decision remains unchanged by the High Court.

The primary question being considered by the High Court was the quantum of compensation amount. The Court followed the guidelines set previously by the Supreme Court in a similar matter. It was stated that if the deceased is a bachelor then 50% of the income is to be deducted as living expenses and the remaining 50% is to be considered as expenses towards family. The father of the deceased or his siblings are not considered as dependants as the father is assumed to be earning and the sibling are either earning or dependent on the father. Only the mother is considered to be a dependant for the bachelor. In cases where the family is large and totally dependent on the income of the deceased, the widowed mother shall be a dependant along with the siblings who are not earning, the personal expenses of the bachelor is to be limited to 1/3rd of the total income and 2/3rd towards family expenses.

In this case the Court accepted this rule and reduced the quantum of compensation from Rs. 2,60,500 to Rs. 1,92,000. [The New India Assurance Company Limited v. Datla Verma,  2017 SCC OnLine Hyd 244, decided on 14.07.2017]

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