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Claim finalised in lightning quick time

updated: 15-Jun-09

Accident claim finalised in lightning-quick time

Having taken over a Road Accident Fund claim from another firm of attorneys at short notice, de Broglio Inc managed to successfully take it to trial with only three months in which to prepare a solid case.

David Botha*, a 36-year-old policeman with a Gauteng robbery reaction unit, was involved in a car accident in Tembisa in 2005. While driving a police car at high speed in pursuit of a hijacked vehicle, he approached an intersection. A minibus taxi was also heading into the intersection, but despite the SAPS car’s flashing emergency lights, the taxi driver turned in front of it. They collided and both vehicles burst into flames.

A group of youngsters playing soccer in a nearby field rushed to their rescue, and managed to pull David and some of the taxi passengers to safety. The heroic actions of these plucky youngsters no doubt helped save several lives, but unfortunately the taxi driver, another adult and two children – aged five and one – remained trapped in the taxi and burnt to death in the horror blaze.

Taken to hospital by helicopter, David was extremely lucky to survive the crash. He sustained burns and other injuries which have since healed reasonably well, but the trauma of being involved in such a horrific accident lingers.

He instituted an accident claim against the RAF, but in February 2009 decided to sack his attorneys as he was dissatisfied with their service. He subsequently engaged the services of de Broglio Attorneys, but the trial had already been set down for May and the new lawyers faced the monumental challenge of preparing a thorough case in only three months.

Undaunted, the legal team at de Broglio set to work, managing to solicit the necessary reports from leading Johannesburg experts such as neurosurgeons and psychologists, who went out of their way to accommodate them despite having busy schedules.

By the time the trial date came around in May, de Broglio’s lawyers were prepared and no postponement was necessary. They went on trial solely on the merits of the case, and settled for R600 000. The High Court judge accepted that the claimant was 25% to blame, considering that he had been speeding while chasing a suspected criminal.

Due to the severe trauma he experienced during and after the accident, as well as his physical injuries, David went from holding a high-risk VIP protection job with extra danger pay before the accident, to being a dispatcher in a control room. However, any loss of income he may have experienced as a result of now occupying a more sedentary post was curtailed, due to the Workmen’s Compensation Fund paying his medical bills and providing him with a pension.

“We are thrilled that we could pick up this case at short notice and achieve extremely good results for our client,” says Michael de Broglio.

“Our seasoned team of attorneys, who have extensive experience in the field of road accident claims, managed to finalise this matter promptly and professionally, pulling it off in record time and without the need for further delays.”

*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.