Man gets R5.4m from RAF after accident

2017-05-22 12:08
A photo of Gerhardus Johannes Brits after his accident in 2010. (Netwerk24)

A photo of Gerhardus Johannes Brits after his accident in 2010. (Netwerk24)

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Polokwane - A man who woke up in the Polokwane Hospital after a crash and thought he had been kidnapped, is to get about R5.4 million from the Road Accident Fund, Netwerk24 reported on Monday.

Gerhardus Johannes Brits, 28, sustained severe brain injuries and several facial fractures when the bakkie he was a passenger in crashed into the back of another vehicle.

Brits flew through the windshield, according to a medico-legal report submitted to the High Court in Pretoria.

This and several other reports were submitted in support of his claim against the RAF. He had claimed R9.2 million from the fund. A curator is handling his financial affairs.

According to one of the reports, he worked as panel beater, machine operator, barman, carpenter, driver and delivery man.

Quality of life impaired

He was a passenger in a Mazda bakkie his friend Dale Griffen was driving on June 5, 2010. They were on their way home from the Polokwane show grounds in Polokwane.

Brits heard after the accident that they crashed into the back of a truck. According to a medico-legal report, he was found outside the bakkie.

After about four days in hospital he was less confused and realised he was there because of an accident.

He realised then "that he hadn’t been kidnapped", the report said.

He could no longer taste, had less appetite, struggled to hear, and had chronic back and neck pain. 

According to court documents, experts were all of the opinion that his quality of life and his interpersonal and occupational functioning had been impaired as a result of the accident. They agreed that the brain injuries had a detrimental effect on his cognitive functioning.

Despite the fact that he could still live on his own, he relied heavily on his mother, the curator’s report said. 

Disfigured 

His face was disfigured and for that reason he had little interaction with others.  He could no longer walk or drink properly. “He can still feel the glass in his elbow,” the curator’s report said.

Last week, the court ordered the RAF to pay R5 426 659 to Brits’ lawyers.

The RAF agreed to pay 100% of Brits’ future stays in a hospital or nursing home if he needed further treatment.

According to the claim, the accident was caused by Griffen’s negligence. Brits said he was unable to work for about 14 months after the accident. 

Read more on:    polokwane  |  accidents

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