One of the most difficult parts my journey with a Road Accident Fund (RAF) claim in South Africa was the complexity of compiling the paperwork, some of which were extensive hospital records from the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and numerous medical reports by different doctors and experts who had to evaluate the long term impact of my injuries, not only in terms of my ability to continue working as I did before the accident, but also for future medical costs I could never foresee. From the day of my accident on 27 March 2004 to my first interim pay out in 2008 and final payment thereafter, I had accumulated about 600 pages in medical-legal reports, something I never could have achieved on my own, but which Malcolm Lyons and Brivik Attorneys helped me to achieve and which resulted in a final claim of about R7 Million and an undertaking from the RAF to pay any future medical costs in addition thereto. As someone who had no idea what to expect submitting such a high claim, having an attorney by my side to guide and support me through the tedious and complex process made a world of difference. The first time we went to the high court in Johannesburg, being on the stand was petrifying but the emotional support I received from Tzvi Brivik, my attorney, eased my fears and prepared me beforehand. As accident victims we go through enough as it is in terms of trauma and loss, in my case I had severely disfigured my face, partially lost my vision and suffered major injuries to my internal organs. I had a growing business at the time which had almost folded too and surmounting stress of having to keep it going between a decade of surgeries.
When you are faced with a life-changing situation like an accident that leaves you disabled or results in the loss of a loved one, you have no idea what you need to do first. It is a confusing and traumatic time. Some people might think they can take on the legalities on their own and that it will save legal costs, but speaking from experience, I realised in the end that my claim was substantially higher because I worked with a firm who understood every angle of the process and their remuneration, after the six years of working together, was more than fair – especially considering the amount I received was substantially higher than I could have achieved alone. I witnessed first-hand how difficult it is to prove to the Road Accident Fund why you should be compensated for various hidden costs we as lay people don’t understand, particularly when it comes to our loss of earnings. I will never forget finally being moved from ICU on life support and my mother who had been caring for me at the time explaining how she had been speaking to different attorneys in hospital, some of them telling her we could get R150 000 “there and then” if she mandated them to submit a RAF claim and then speaking with Tzvi Brivik at Malcolm Lyons and Brivik Attorneys who explained that my circumstances were more complicated and that we needed to do an in-depth investigation using their experts to prove that I was entitled to something better. I am grateful that we listened because we couldn’t compare R150 000 with R7 Million and ongoing paid-for medical expenses. I warn everyone embarking on a RAF claim, it is not an easy process, and it takes time, but choosing your representation carefully is crucial. 17 years after my accident, the assurance that I am able to fall back on those finances, when needed, has made it possible for me to recover and almost live a normal life. I thank everyone at Malcolm Lyons and Brivik Attorneys every day for making that possible – Kathleen, Johannesburg
If you have been involved in a road accident or motor vehicle collision in Southern Africa we are able to assist you. We have represented clients in Namibia, Botswana, every province of South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland etc.
The offices of Malcolm Lyons & Brivik Attorneys Inc. established in 1965 are proficient in the handling and litigating of Road Accident Fund claims. When the law permits, we act on a “no win, no fee” system for medical negligence, personal injury and accident claims.
If you would like to institute or pursue such a claim against a third party or the Road Accident Fund with the assistance of Malcolm Lyons & Brivik Attorneys Inc. please contact us on:
Cape Town, Western Cape:
0861 MLB INC / (021) 425-5570
0861 MLB INC / (011) 268-6697
Virtual legal consultations for RAF claims can also be booked on our secure platform.
With offices and representatives country wide from Cape Town and Johannesburg we are able to represent clients throughout South Africa.