[email protected]

News > Being prepared can save the day

Being prepared can save the day

updated: 03-Nov-09

Being prepared can save the day

Often, Road Accident Fund (RAF) claims hit speed wobbles due to inadequate preparation on the Fund’s part, but this does not deter de Broglio Attorneys from striving to obtain the best possible accident compensation payouts for their clients.

A case in point is that of Gary Malinga*, who was recently awarded R367 000 by the Johannesburg High Court after the RAF’s apparent lack of preparation or decisive action meant the trial lasted only a single day.

Gary was involved in an accident on Corlett Drive in Johannesburg in October 2006, sustaining injuries to his chest, back and knee. He lodged a claim against the Fund with the help of de Broglio Attorneys, but when the matter went to trial in June 2009, the Fund’s legal counsel came to court with no instructions and no opposing experts to attempt to counter the claim.

On the other hand, de Broglio’s attorneys had, as usual, prepared thoroughly and extensively for the case. Their experts contended that Gary had suffered a slight loss of productivity due to the accident, and that his earning capacity had been compromised, and these claims were not rebuffed from the defendant’s side. In fact, the one expert the Fund did eventually engage, an industrial psychologist, actually concurred with de Broglio’s expert and signed a minute to that effect.

However, instead of attempting to settle the matter or seek further expert opinion, the Fund allowed the trial to run for a full day, after which judgment was handed down in Gary’s favour. The presiding judge ordered the Fund to pay him the amount of R367 000 in damages.

“Cases like this are a waste of everyone’s time, and also incur substantial High Court costs needlessly,” says Michael de Broglio. “So many of these RAF claims – many of which are clear-cut, unambiguous and have obvious merit – go to trial completely unnecessarily, when a suitable settlement could easily have been reached out of court.”

*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality

Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.