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News > Justice delayed for passenger?s road accident claim

Justice delayed for passenger?s road accident claim

updated: 04-May-10

This is but one of the many frustrations that de Broglio Attorneys, specialists in accident claims, routinely endure with the RAF. Often, the Johannesburg law firm finds that the finalisation of clients’ claims is impeded and unnecessarily delayed by inadequate preparation on the part of the Fund, wasting court time and taxpayers’ money.

Deborah was involved in an accident in the south of Johannesburg in 2008. Another vehicle skipped a stop street and collided with the car in which she was a passenger. She sustained a head injury in the crash, and approached de Broglio Inc to lodge a claim against the RAF.

When a person is a passenger in a vehicle that is the innocent party in an accident, there is no negligence on the passenger’s part – even if the driver of that vehicle was partially to blame for the incident. The passenger only has to prove 1% negligence on the part of the other driver in order to have a 100% claim.

However, the Fund only conceded the merits of Deborah’s case on the day the trial was due to commence in the Johannesburg High Court – in other words, admitting liability for her damages, whether the extent of these would be proven in court or agreed to by both parties. Despite knowing about Deborah’s head injuries from the outset, and de Broglio’s team having the necessary reports to prove it, the Fund had not arranged any medico-legal examinations of its own to investigate the nature and seriousness of the plaintiff’s injury.

This lack of preparation meant that the trial has had to be postponed until 15 February 2010 – which will be two years since Deborah’s accident occurred.

“We are starting to sound like stuck records on this recurring problem, but it is extremely frustrating when our team heads to court, fully prepared and ready to fight for the best possible award for our client, and the Fund has not done its homework properly,” comments Michael de Broglio. “I would be interested to see exactly how much public money is wasted by these needless delays and postponements every year, as High Court matters can rack up exorbitant costs.”

*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality

 


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