Trying to lodge your own claim with the Road Accident Fund (RAF) can be a rocky road strewn with obstacles, as a man from Kimberley who was paralysed in a car accident discovered to his own detriment.
Phill Calitz (34) was involved in a terrible motor vehicle accident near Kuruman in October 2008. He was driving his bakkie when another bakkie, which was pulling a trailer, drove into his lane andcollided with him – the trailer smashed into Phill’s vehicle so hard that he broke his neck.
Today, he is more than 85% paralysed from the neck down, with only slight sensation in his arms. He has to use a catheter permanently, and this former builder and plumber has been told by doctors that he will be a quadriplegic for the rest of his life.
Initially he approached de Broglio Inc to do the RAF claim for him, but subsequently decided to go directly to the RAF as he was not prepared to pay any attorney fees. However, this proved extremely difficult. Just one of the obstacles was the fact that he was given the incorrect forms to fill in to detail his serious injury that would form a pivotal part of his claim!
After experiencing several frustrations and roadblocks in the claim process, exacerbating the already severe trauma he had endured during and after the accident, he again contacted de Broglio Inc and enlisted their services. The firm takes on RAF claims on a contingency basis, which literally means “no win, no fee” – translating into no financial risk for the client.
“I started doing it on my own, but realised that I couldn’t manage it,” says Phill. “A friend of mine did his claim on his own after he was totally paralysed in an accident – and was only paid out R16 000. I feel more confident and comfortable with my claim now that I’m in the hands of de Broglio Attorneys.”
The case has yet to go to court, but looks set to result in a substantial settlement to make the life of this artisan – who had been making great strides in building up his own business prior to the devastating accident – a little easier, even though it will never be the same again.
As Michael de Broglio is fond of saying: “Would you do your own heart surgery?” In a similar vein, you shouldn’t attempt to handle serious legal matters on your own – such as a Road Accident Fund claim. Rather entrust it to the experts, who give you peace of mind as they will dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s on your behalf.
He adds: “The RAF will not come forward and tell you what you need to do, and the next thing you know, your claim window has expired and they will simply tell you that you did not provide all the documents. Unfortunately, replying to them that they did not tell you will make no difference in the end. You need a team on your side who knows what is needed to be done and does it. That is de Broglio Inc.
“RAF claims can be a maze of confusion and red tape for the man on the street to tackle, but we have vast experience of dealing with these cases and will take the utmost care to look after your best interests,” says De Broglio.