Accident victims will be paid a maximum of Sh3 million regardless of their medical costs and injuries, according to a Bill passed by MPs.
The proposed law says that victims will be compensated at a rate calculated as a percentage of the Sh3 million cap.
According to the Insurance (Motor Vehicle Third Party Risks) (Amendment) Bill passed on Thursday, compensation for death or injury will be at a fixed rate.
Compensation for accident victims is capped at Sh3 million, which includes damages for pain and suffering and any medical expenses incurred.
The law, now on its way for assent by the President, effectively sets a price for injuries sustained in accidents.
Third party insurance is usually prefered by matatu owners as it only covers liability to others.
The Bill says victims who lose the top part of the thumb will be paid Sh150,000. If the whole thumb is cut off, the person will be paid Sh750,000 if it is on the dominant hand and Sh300,000 if it is not.
For the index finger, the loss of the top part will be compensated at Sh150,000 and the whole finger at Sh300,000.
Similar calculations are made for blindness, loss of toes, hearing, amputation, paralysis, injuries to the spine, genital organs and reproductive systems.
The Bill states that “mechanical failure in sexual relations” due to an accident will be compensated at between Sh900,000 and Sh1.2 million. The same applies to castration and sterility.
Death will be compensated at the maximum Sh3 million, calculated according to age, the individual’s earnings and whether he or she had dependants.
Children up to five years will be compensated Sh300,000, those between 5-12 years to receive Sh450,000 while minors between 12 and 18 years will get Sh600,000.
When the law was in the final stages in the National Assembly on Thursday night, some MPs protested that it had not undergone proper scrutiny and the input of Law Society of Kenya had not been sought.
Ms Millie Odhiambo-Mabona (Mbita, ODM) said: “Whenever the courts make decisions on compensation, they consider many factors. For instance, if I lose my face it may not amount to much because people think we are ugly as politicians but that is different if a news presenter has a cut on their face.”
Mr Moitalel Ole Kenta (Narok North, TNA) also opposed the adoption of the law, saying he suspected that insurance companies were behind the amendments.
Ms Priscilla Nyokabi (Nyeri County, TNA) said the law would ease the compensation process because the influence of lawyers referred to as ‘ambulance chasers’ would be diminished.
News Source: DAILY NATION