This realisation could set a precedence for other related incidence, considering the spate of accident in the country. 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.
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 reports, the man worked as panel beater, machine operator, barman, carpenter, driver and delivery man.
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.
Details supporting court documents, suggest 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.
In spite of the fact that he could still live on his own, he relied heavily on his mother, the curator’s report said.
However, 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.
A court ordered the RAF to pay R5 426 659 to Brits’ lawyers.
RAF agreed to pay 100% of Brits’ future stays in a hospital or nursing home if he needed further treatment.