Personal Injury Claims & Compensation – South Africa

Personal Injury Claims & Compensation – South Africa
Personal Injury Claims & Compensation in South Africa

When you have suffered a personal injury that was not your fault, you may be eligible for monetary compensation to cover the costs of the damages incurred.

These costs are usually related to medical treatment or financial losses as a result of injury.

Personal injury claims can be launched for a variety of incidents, including slip and fall claims, road accident claims, medical negligence claims and any other incident involving another person who was the sole and direct cause of your injury.

Although a personal injury claim may be daunting, it is not always wise to avoid trying to claim compensation for personal injury. If more people start claiming compensation for personal injury, other people may also begin acting considerately and in a way that does not cause others harm.

Many personal injury lawyers offer FREE consultations.

Even if you are not sure whose fault it was, note down all that you know about the incident and call personal injury lawyers for advice about the prospects of your claim.

There are many different ways in which you may suffer personal injury

  • Slip & fall personal injuries as the result of a third party acting negligently
  • Car accidents in which you are the victim and not responsible

  • Motorcycle accident injury, provided it can be shown you were not at fault, or partially responsible

  • Bicycle accident injuries, although it is important to remember that as a cyclist, you are bound by the same laws as other road users.
  • Truck accident injuries, these can also include claiming from the company if you can show they failed to prevent the accident by means of negligence or malpractice
  • A cruise ship incident in which the ship and or its' crew have failed to protect you from the injury, despite their liability 

  • A defective product which may cause injury due to a hazardous part, inferior materials or lack of appropriate warnings and instructions
  • Medical negligence or malpractice, in which it can be shown that the medical professional in question acted negligently or with disregard for the patients health.


First things first

When launching a personal injury claim, you will need to acquire all the necessary documents and evidence, as well as consulting with legal experts. Depending on the nature and size of your claim, you may need to hire a lawyer to represent you. Below are some of the necessary documents and processes that need to occur when launching a claim of personal injury.

  1. You will need to be examined by a medico legal professional as well as your attending doctor. Medico legal experts are trained to identify and quantify injuries and their potential causes
  2. There must be an investigation into the incident in order to identify and prove negligence or fault on behalf of the accused.
  3. You must complete and submit any statutory claim forms, in the required time. For instance the RAF has 120 days to consider the matter before any legal proceedings against the fund can begin.
  4. You must document, in writing, you intend to launch a claim against the accused and furnish your legal representative with this document.
  5. Your lawyer will then request a Summons be granted, and serve the accused with the notice of intent of legal proceedings.
  6. The accused has a period of time in which they will then be required to notify you of their intention, either to fight the claim or settle out of court.
  7. The following stages are set out for communication between the claimant and defendant. If possible, it is preferable to settle the matter outside of court, as a trail is a lengthy and expensive process
  8. If the case does go to trial, a date will be set
  9. The trial will then proceed as a normal trial would, with your legal representative arguing your case, calling expert witnesses and presenting evidence in support of your claim.
  10. The accused will then attempt to disprove your argument
  11. Finally the Judge will rule on the matter and grant you compensation, or dismiss your claim.

Receiving Your Money

Personal injury claims can be lengthy and complex, usually these cases can take up to three years to reach completion.

In cases involving injuries to children, claims should not be not finalised until the long term final effects of the injury are fully assessed. In brain injury cases in children, most medical experts suggest monitoring the injury over a five year period in order to ascertain the long term prognosis of the injury and its' consequences.

Once a claim is finalized either by way of a settlement or order of court, it is usually necessary to instruct the Sheriff of the Court to attach the accused assets, these assets will then be sold at an auction to ensure that the court order payment is met.

Once these moneys are recovered, any legal fees you owe will automatically be absorbed by the compensation granted by the court.

Any monies remaining may be paid to the claimant towards the eventual amount due. Some law firms offer an investment option for their clients to accumulate interest on their settlements. It can take up to six months from the time a claim is completed for the claimant to receive the full compensation.



In conclusion

Don’t hesitate to speak to a personal injury lawyer about the incident, with the prevalence of personal injury lawyers offering free consultations, there is no reason not to at least investigate the plausibility of your claim.

Be aware of the fact that there are time limits in which to file personal injury compensation claims, so speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you were injured.


Personal Injury Claims Lawyers