De Broglio Inc has scored a victory for senior citizens by showing that those who are still working after retirement age may be entitled to loss of earnings after a car accident.
One of the law firm’s clients, Tom Bezuidenhout* of Johannesburg, was involved in an accident in 2006 on the R21 highway. The vehicle he was driving was struck by another car, which spun out of control after skidding through a deep puddle on the road.
Tom, a 65-year-old diesel mechanic, sustained soft tissue injuries to his shoulder and spine in the accident. He subsequently returned to work and resumed his duties, but the collision had affected his productivity.
Despite the fact that the client was technically meant to be retired at his age, de Broglio Attorneys managed to get the merits settled 80% in his favour and to obtain a settlement from the Road Accident Fund that included a payout for loss of earning capacity.
The award of R132 509 was ratified in the Johannesburg High Court.
Michael de Broglio says the matter highlights the fact that even accident victims who are past the first flush of youth are still entitled to reasonable payouts from the Fund.
“Just because you are supposed to be retired after 65, it doesn’t mean that you cannot still be an economically active and productive member of society,” he says.
“In fact, many robust golden oldies are still working and contributing greatly to the economy – especially in this day and age, when people are living longer. Their decades of experience and acumen can prove invaluable to a business, and this RAF payout for our client is a positive sign that the contribution of our over-60s is being acknowledged and recognised.”
*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality