A man who was paralysed from the neck down following a freak motorcycle accident has been awarded a R2 million settlement from the Road Accident Fund.
Thanks to the excellent accident reconstruction expert brought on board by de Broglio Inc, which represented him in his claim, he was able to obtain a decent sum despite having been to some extent responsible for causing the accident.
Peter Jefferies* (33) is a quadriplegic as a result of a collision that took place in Boksburg in June 2006. Being the middle of winter, it was still dark when he climbed on his bike at 5.45am and set out for work.
Usually, he would use the company car to reach his workplace, a paint and pigments firm where he was workshop manager. However, on this occasion he did not have the use of the vehicle and set out earlier than usual to get to work promptly. Little was he to know that this change in vehicle and routine would almost cost him his life.
Riding down a potholed road in the early-morning darkness, he failed to see a truck reversing out of a business premises. By the time he noticed the end of the truck, it was too late. He slammed on brakes and swerved in a bid to avert a collision, but instead he and his motorbike skidded under the truck.
Peter’s main injury was a fractured neck vertebra – an injury that resulted in him becoming a paraplegic. He has had to undergo extensive rehabilitation since the accident, and remains confined to a wheelchair.
He initially returned to work as a quality controller for the same company, but had to be medically boarded when it was ascertained that the working conditions were not sufficiently hygienic for a person with his disability.
Because he was the one that collided with the truck, Peter may have found it difficult to prove his claim against the RAF in court had it not been for de Broglio Inc, which appointed an accident reconstruction expert. The expert discovered that the truck did not have the correct reflector tapes on its side, and deduced that if it had been clearly marked, Peter would have been able to notice it and stop in time to avoid an accident.
Based on that, the Fund accepted 70% liability for the accident and the matter was settled for almost R2 million. Because the accident has rendered him unemployable, Peter is fortunate to also have the payout plus other insurances to assist him.
“Congratulations to our team on securing a great settlement,” said Michael de Broglio. “But the fact of the matter is that Peter’s accident should never have happened. If all roads were properly maintained and owners ensured that their heavy-duty vehicles were sufficiently visible at night, this crash and countless others could have been averted.”
*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.