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Personal - Personal Injury

Accidents happen. Doctors make mistakes. The sheer volume of traffic on South African roads means that statistically you will be involved in a motor vehicle accident at some or other time in your life. Or you might require routine surgery; after all, everyone gets sick at some point. Hopefully you'll come through these experiences unscathed. But you might not.

Our skilled team will assist you in obtaining fair compensation for injuries suffered as a result of another's negligence, whether from the Road Accident Fund, the party responsible or his/her insurers, depending on the nature of the claim and the extent of your injuries. We'll assist you in obtaining the vital medico - legal reports, help quantify your damages and vigorously pursue payment thereof in court, if need be.

We are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (SAAPIL) and the South African Medico Legal Society (SAMLS)

We have the resources to pick clients up from their homes and to transport them to various specialists in the major centers for Medico Legal Reports. For this reason we are able to accept referrals from colleagues in our services areas.

Don't leave compensation to chance, as you'll possibly live with your injuries long after the people have forgotten about the incident. You have only one shot - make it count.

Road Accident Fund ( RAF) Claims

What is the Road Accident Fund?

It is a public entity which has been set up to pay compensation to people injured in road accidents or the dependants of people killed in road accidents arising from the negligent driving of a motor vehicle in South Africa.

Where does the Fund get its money from?

The fund gets it money from a fuel levy included in the price of petrol and diesel.

Time period to make a claim?

If the identity of the offending driver or owner is known, the claim must be lodged within three years from the date on which the claim arose. (This does not apply to a claim of a minor). If the identity of the offending driver or owner is unknown, the claim must be lodged within two years from the date on which the claim arose.

Who is entitled to make a claim?

  1. A person who was personally injured (except a driver who was the sole cause of the accident)
  2. A dependant of a deceased victim.
  3. A claimant under the age of 21 years must be assisted by a parent or legal guardian

What can you claim for?

  1. Medical expenses (past and future)
  2. Funeral expenses
  3. Loss of earnings or income if person is disabled (past and future)
  4. Loss of support for a dependant of a deceased victim (past and future)
  5. General damages for pain, suffering and disfigurement. This is determined after examining the extent and severity of the injury.

Medical Negligence claims

What is Medical Malpractice / Medical Negligence?

Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission on the part of a health care provider in which care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. Standards and regulations for medical practice vary by country and jurisdiction within countries. Medical professionals are required to maintain professional liability insurance to offset the risk and cost of lawsuits based on medical malpractice.

What is Informed Consent?

Your doctor is ethically obliged to inform you of the risks and benefits reasonably to be expected of the procedure recommended. Further as to the consequences of your declining to have the recommended treatment as also alternative treatments which might be available.

Unless you are adequately informed concerning the above, you will not be able to give your informed consent to the treatment or surgery. Surgery in the absence of informed consent is an assault on the victim.

1.1 Consent must be voluntary and without constraint
There can be no question of legally valid consent when it has been obtained by using physical force on a patient. Consent also is invalid when a patient has been persuaded by fraudulent misrepresentation to agree to some or other medical treatment.

1.2 Consent may be express or implied

A patient can expressly consent to a medical intervention by way of speech or writing. Written consent is generally required from a patient who is admitted to a hospital or on whom an operation is to be performed.

1.3 Consent must not go against good morals (contra bonos mores)

Consent will only be a defence where the treatment consented to is not in conflict with public interest. Consent for, e.g. reckless medical experiments, euthanasia or unlawful abortions will not exempt a practitioner from liability because such acts are considered contra bonos mores.

1.4 Person who consents must be capable of forming an intention

1.4.1 Children
Consent of a parent is required, however where the child is over 12years of age, the child may consent. Where life saving treatment is required and the parents refuse to consent, the medical practitioner can approach the High court as the upper guardian of minors for consent.

1.4.2 Mentally ill persons
Where the illness has resulted in the person being certified as insane, a curator is normally appointed by the court to attend to the person's affairs and such person would be able to give consent.

1.4.3 Married women
According to the general principle every spouse is free to consent to a medical intervention without considering the desires of the others spouse. This principle is subject to an important qualification: where the operation is such a nature that it affects procreation abilities or the ability to have sexual intercourse , the treatment should not be undertaken without the consent of the other spouse.

1.5 Consent must be given by the patient himself

Only in exceptional cases may consent for medical treatment or operations be given obo such person, e.g. a parent obo his minor child or a curator obo a mentally ill person.

"Slip & Trip"

If you have suffered a "slip and trip", you might well need to find yourself a reliable personal injury attorney for your personal injury claim. "Slip and trip" is the term used to describe personal injuries that occur on someone else’s property, usually as a result of a flawed surface, a slippery floor or other dangerous conditions. These injuries happen most frequently in shopping centres, convenience stores or restaurants.

Slip and trip injuries are not always someone else’s legal responsibility. Owners of businesses or property are required by law to keep their premises in as safe a condition as possible from potential hazards to the general public. At the very least, owners or managers are required to warn the public of any potential danger they have either caused, are aware of, or believe could occur.

If these requirements are not met and you are injured on their property as a result of failure on their part to meet regulations, you may have a valid claim against the business owner or manager. Some examples of possible faults that might lead to a "slip and trip" injury include:

Failure to;

  • Clean up slippery surfaces
  • Demarcate dangerous areas
  • Remove obstructions from walkways
  • Light an area adequately
  • Repair holes and cracks in the pavement
  • Put up railings or barriers
  • Swiftly remove ice and slush, particularly excessive amounts

If you have suffered a "slip and trip" injury as a result of someone else’s fault, there are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Firstly, take care to find proper medical attention. If not treated promptly, even minor injuries can become major problems. Keep your medical records for your case.
  • If you can, take photographs and write down a detailed record of names, dates, numbers and witness information, as this will increase your chances of receiving adequate compensation.
  • Refrain from discussing your case with anyone other than your personal injury lawyer. Don't sign any documents relating to the accident under any circumstances unless you have discussed it with your personal injury attorney first.

For more information about whether you might have a personal injury claim, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Our Fees

ADA work on a "no win-no fee" basis with regards to Personal Injury claims . Clients may choose either a contingency fee structure or a special power of attorney structure. Both these fee structures are subject to terms and conditions and the cost implication of your claim will be discussed with you at the first consultation, which is free.

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