Sometimes both parties are at fault in a road accident situation, but this should not prevent victims from lodging a claim against the Road Accident Fund for their injuries.
So says Michael de Broglio of de Broglio Inc, a law firm that frequently has to handle cases where clients are not entirely blameless for the accidents in which they were involved. However, they are still legally entitled to claim from the RAF for damages, medical expenses and loss of income if they have been injured in any way.
A case in point was that of Martin van Tonder*, who worked as a foreman at a leading construction company at the time of his accident. Represented by de Broglio Inc, he recently received a settlement of almost R1.4-million from the RAF following an accident in the early hours of one Saturday morning in the Boksburg area.
He picked up a severe head injury in the crash – driving a car that he had owned for only three days – and has no recollection whatsoever of the accident or how it occurred.
However, independent witnesses at the scene testified that he had skipped a red traffic light, which led the parties to concede that he was 70% at fault for causing the accident.
What tipped the case somewhat in Martin’s favour was that de Broglio Inc’s accident reconstruction expert could prove that the other driver, who was also in court, was speeding at the time of the accident.
Martin has unfortunately been unable to resume work after the accident due to the severity of his head injury, and the medico-legal experts who examined him agreed that it is unlikely that he will be able to hold down employment for extended periods of time in the future.
Bearing all these factors in mind, the matter was settled between the RAF and de Broglio’s legal eagles for R1 388 949,70, after the 70% apportionment had been deducted.
*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality