Home Vehicle Accidents Motor Accidents | Compensation For Actual Damages Includes Value Of Spare Parts To Be Repaired: Kerala High Court

Motor Accidents | Compensation For Actual Damages Includes Value Of Spare Parts To Be Repaired: Kerala High Court

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The Kerala High Court on Thursday, while allowing a motor accident claims appeal, held that in Motor Accident Claims the claimant is entitled to get compensation for ‘actual damages’, which includes the value of spare parts as well.

Justice Badharudeen opined that the claimant is entitled to compensation for the value of spare parts incurred for repairing the vehicle which got damaged as a consequence of the motor accident.

The claimant in such a case is entitled to get compensation for actual damages inclusive of value of spare parts as well and no deduction is liable to be made from the value of spare parts.

Counsel for the appellant, Advocate Rajani K.N., argued that the Tribunal was wrong in reducing 50 per cent of the amount assessed by the approved surveyor towards the values of spare parts as such reduction is not permissible under the law.

Counsel for the insurer, Advocate Lal George, refuted this contention by submitting that the findings of the Tribunal need not be interfered with as the Tribunal had relied on the Kerala High Court decision in Abraham v. Johny, where it was held that 50 per cent of reduction is permissible towards the value of spare parts.

However, the Court pointed out that a Full Bench of Kerala High Court in the case of Joseph M.M v. Venkata Rao M & ors. have held that the law laid down in Abraham’s case is incorrect and compensation can include the actual cost of repairs, labour charges and other expenses.

If the vehicle can be repaired and used, to make it roadworthy, necessarily, the cost incurred by the claimant will be the proper compensation. The compensation can include the actual cost of repairs, labour charges and other expenses. Only in instances, where the cost of repairs exceeds the market value of the vehicle, that the claim can be limited to the market value.

Going by the ratio laid down in the aforesaid case the Court held that the compensation for damages, especially pecuniary damages, suffered by a claimant is normally the `actual damages’ inclusive of `actual value of spare parts and labour charges’. The Court further added that the claimant is entitled to get compensation for actual damages inclusive of the value of spare parts as well and no deduction is liable to be made from the value of spare parts.

Case Title: Thomas v. R. Murugasamy

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 337

Click Here To Read/Download The Order



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