A businessman who sustained severe brain damage in a 2007 horror crash has been awarded just over R1-million in damages by the Road Accident Fund, plus an undertaking to pay for his future medical care.
Once the owner of his own business, Joburg resident Danie Joubert* is today almost completely incapacitated as a result of a nightmare collision with an oncoming truck that occurred on a quiet country road near Kempton Park on 14 August 2007.
Because Danie’s mental disability has prevented him from providing his own account of the car accident, and he did not have any passengers in his vehicle at the time who could serve as witnesses, the details are sketchy and one-sided. It was determined that from the available information that he was probably 70% to blame for the crash.
On the day in question, his vehicle collided with a heavily loaded truck that had just come around a curve and was travelling down a slight hill. It would appear that Danie, who was travelling in the opposite direction, turned right across the truck’s path of travel.
In the chaos that followed, the truck struck Danie’s vehicle and carried it for over 500m before the vehicles eventually came to a stop in a ditch.
As a result of the debilitating injuries sustained in the accident, today Danie remains severely brain damaged and resides permanently in a frail care centre. Although only in his 50s, he now has to wear adult nappies, is unable to eat solid food as he has no swallowing reflex, cannot speak and barely reacts to the presence of family members.
His air-purification business serving the mining industry was forced to close down shortly after the accident. After once being self-employed and self-sufficient, he is now completely unemployable and wholly dependent on others.
In the absence of witness testimony that might prove that Danie had not caused the accident, it was agreed that the merits of the tragic case were only 30% in his favour. The matter was settled between de Broglio Inc’s lawyers and the RAF on the day of trial in the South Gauteng High Court for R1.07-million (after the 70% apportionment). The Fund has also undertaken to pay his future medical bills.
*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality