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Other Injury Claims

At Campbell Attorneys, our specialist personal injury practice enjoys an enviable reputation for the successful institution and prosecution of various types of claims arising out of personal injury. We have considerable expertise, skill and experience with all categories of personal injury, inter alia motor vehicle and train accidents. Fatalities arising from other incidents, dog bits, slip and trip matters, product liability and other injury claims.

Our professional team is dedicated to promptly and aggressively pursue justice on behalf of our clients. We pride ourselves on our commitment to provide the best service possible to our clients to ensure the highest possible settlements.

If you were involved in an accident or know of someone who was injured as a result of an incident, it is vital that you immediately seek legal advice from one of our personal injury specialists. We will provide you with a consultation free of charge, at which time we will advise you of your rights and on the merits of your claim. We understand the difficulties, not only emotionally, but financially as well, that is experienced by our clients and as such we are sympathetic to our client’s needs and requirements. Consequently we offer to take on matters, with merit, on a contingency basis, meaning on a “no win, no fee basis”.

OUR FIRM IS ABLE TO ASSIST IN ANY OTHER FORM OF PERSONAL INJURY INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO:

  • Train Accidents (e.g. being pushed off trains, injuries arising as a result of the train doors not opening or closing properly)
  • Medical malpractice claims
  • Claims against the police
  • Dog bite claims
  • Slip and trip (e.g. slippery and wet floor in a supermarket)
  • Wrongful death / loss of support
  • Wrongful arrest / malicious prosecution
  • Product liability claims

In order to succeed in a personal injury claim, there must have been a wrongful / negligent act on behalf of a wrongdoer. If you would like to obtain legal advice on personal injury claims, please call us on (031) 564 6494 or complete the no obligation online claim form and we will contact you.

TRAIN ACCIDENTS

A large segment of our population uses public transport on a daily basis. A significant portion makes use of rail transportation (and with the introduction of the “Business Express” and the Gau-train aimed at the upper-end financial segmant of the population, these figures are steadily increasing).

The rail services industry is largely dominated and run by para-statal agencies. These para-statals in turn have certain obligations to the public (which use their trains) and these include the duty of care: whereby a commuter is entitled to certain levels of safety while being conveyed on public transport.

According to media reports, The Report, titled State of Safety, which was compiled by the SA Rail Regulator showed no fewer than 457 people have died on our South African Railways during the year ended March 2011. The deaths include fatalities causes by train accidents and de-railments, which mostly involved Transnet and PRASA. A total of 1534 people were injured during that period.

Campbell Attorneys are able to assist with the lodging of claims of those unfortunate members of the public who are injured (or dependents in the case of death) whilst being transported by train or even getting on and off at a train station.

Our specialist injury attorneys are able to help you with the proper quantification of your claim, by sending you to medico-legal doctors and other specialists who can determine the future impact of the injuries on your work-life and career and can also estimate what the future medical treatment will cost you.

In addition to the above, you are also entitled to claim money for pain and suffering , as well as monies for loss of support (in the event of death caused by a train accident).

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Medical negligence refers to the conduct of the health / medical practitioner and how that practitioner behaves in certain circumstances, e.g. performing an operation on you in a negligent manner.

Negligent conduct is not just limited to doctors, but also applies to nurses, dentists and treatment received at health care facilities, to name but a few. These medical practitioners / experts are judged according to the degree of skill and care that is expected of a reasonable and competent practitioner. Should the medical practitioner / expert not comply or meet these standards, their conduct could be deemed as negligent.

Examples of medical negligence include but not limited to:

  • A failure to warn patients of certain symptoms that may arise post operatively that require the patient to return for further treatment
  • Performance of unlawful operations (failure to obtain the informed consent of patient) e.g. failed circumcision, wrongful death, injury to babies during and after delivery
  • The use of defective medical instruments / equipment
  • Wrongful blood transfusions
  • Usage of the incorrect or incompetent techniques or procedures, e.g. hysterectomies, removal of cyst / fibroids.
  • Leaving behind medical instruments or swabs inside the patient’s body after an operation / procedure
  • Failing to provide sufficient after care for the patient

The reality is that many people are victims of medical negligence, but due to ignorance of the law and their rights, these persons do not seek legal advice or assistance.

If you are victim of medical negligence or know of any family member or friend who has been a victim, we recommend that you immediately consult one of our specialist attorneys for advice.

At Campbell Attorneys, we are committed to providing efficient and preferential services and can arrange for an immediate obligation free consultation.

Our panel of leading specialists will provide well reasoned advice on evidence and the merits of your matter, to ensure that we obtain maximum compensation for you, in respect of your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of amenities of life, medical expenses (Past and Future expenses), loss of income (Past and Future loss).

Should you have been the victim of medical negligence, we recommend that you contact us for an obligation free consultation and that you do so before lodging a complaint with the HPCSA, doctor or hospital concerned so that we can secure the evidence and records needed to prove your case before files and records becomes “misplaced” or “amended”.

Campbell Attorneys will ensure you are properly compensated for damages incurred due to hospital or medical care, loss of work earnings (including future potential loss of income), and pain or suffering. Should we be satisfied with the merits of your case, we will agree to take the matter on a contingency fee basis, namely that we will run the matter on risk and limit our fees to an amount not exceeding 25% of your claim (Terms and Conditions Apply)

You need to decide what the outcome you are seeking from pursuing your medical malpractice case is. Medical malpractice litigation is generally lengthy and costly. In particular in matters against private hospitals and practitioners where reputations are at stake. As a result we are only able to accept matters where the quantum (the amount of the claim) is significant. If you merely wish to complain without seeking compensation, you can approach the HPCSA (The Health Professions Council of South Africa.
 

CLAIMS AGAINST THE POLICE


Most of us would agree that the Police have a very difficult job to do and they play a very important role in keeping society safe for everyone.  While the majority may be doing their best in trying circumstances but sometimes their actions are wrong, unlawful or even criminal, sometimes they abuse their powers.  Civil actions against the police are important for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it is important that agents of the state, such as the police are held to account.

Secondly, the innocent victims of police abuse should be given a voice. We should never forget that people’s lives can be seriously affected by involvement with the police. Their faith in a just society can be questioned when they are unwittingly, and wrongly, involved with the police.

Thirdly, claiming compensation from the police when they act outside of the law is an important civil right which must be protected. This is particularly so when time and time again, people are completely let down and disillusioned by the ability of the “system” (Police and IPID) ability to deal with Police Complaints.

If you or a family member is injured or killed due to the use of unreasonable force by the police, you may be able to institute a personal injury  or loss or support claim against the South African Police Services or the Metropolitan Police Department in your city. It may also be possible to institute an action on the basis of wrongful arrest.  It is important to note that because an arrest or detention does not result in successful criminal proceedings does not necessarily mean that the arrest qualifies as being wrongful and each case will need to be scrutinised before deciding to proceed with an action

What are actions against the Police?

Actions against the police are civil claims, primarily based in the law of delict, for damages.  Similar actions could be made against other bodies, not just the police. For example, misconduct by prison officers, security staff and others.
 
 
Claimable Damages

Damages you can commonly claim (if proven) include:
  • past medical expenses
  • future medical and hospital expenses
  • past and future loss of earnings, and
  • general damages for impairment of your dignity, loss of freedom  and pain and suffering
  • loss of support, in the event of a fatality resulting from the abovementioned conduct (or failure to act) on the part of the relevant officer(s) / institution(s)
Procedure

All damages claims have to be made within a pre-determined period after the injuries are sustained. Where action is contemplated against an Organ of State (such as the South African Police Services) it is also necessary to give notice of the intended action within 6 months of the date on which the cause of action arose. It is therefore essential that you make contact with us as soon as possible.

However if that 6 month period has passed we would probably still be able to assist by bringing an application for condonation for the notice being served out of time.
In addition to the 6 month period to give notice, in most circumstances you have 3 years from the date of the unlawful action you to have served summons.

Litigating against the Police

You may be able to institute a personal injury claim against the South African Police Services, the Metropolitan Police Department or, if relevant, a private Security Firm, if you have been arrested and / or detained without justifiable cause.  You may also be able to institute a claim against a person or institution for malicious prosecution.

Police abuse litigation in cases involving a physical assault will depend on the severity of the injuries you received (both mentally and physically)

Why you need the expertise of a specialist personal injury attorney

We will make sure that your claim is thoroughly investigated and we will also help you to obtain all the necessary documents, like hospital reports and witness statements.  You should firstly endeavour to follow the instructions of the officer/s.  If you resist an arrest it will probably only escalate matters.

DOG BITES

Amongst the personal injury claims we handle, are claims for dog bites or injuries by other animals. These cases can be brought on the grounds of negligence by the owner of a tamed animal or in terms of an action based on strict liability, where even if the owner of the animal is not negligent, one can still recover compensation from that owner if the animal acted what is referred to as contrary to its class namely aggressive manner that is contrary to the nature of that animal.

In most cases, owners of such animals are covered by their householders insurance who will take over defending and settling the matter.

SLIP & TRIP INJURIES

Slip and trip cases, as the name suggests, arise when personal injuries occur on someone else’s property as a result of slipping or tripping. Such injuries occur as a result of dangerous or hazardous conditions such as slippery floors.

Owners, their employees as well as independent contractors (for example independent cleaning contractors) are obliged to ensure that the necessary measures are taken to prevent any danger or harm that may be caused to the public. Slip and trip injuries could occur as a result of negligence on the part of the owner and / or independent contractor due to failures in one or more of the following respects:

  • Inadequate lighting;
  • Cleaning up of slippery floors;
  • Cordoning off of dangerous areas;
  • Repair holes, unlevelled surfaces, etc;
  • Inadequate warning signage.

Should you suffer from a slip and trip injuries please ensure that you contact an Attorney as well as:

  • Get proper medical attention;
  • Keep proper records of your medical bills;
  • Obtain possible witness information i.e. name, contact number, photographs of your injuries and of the scene as soon thereafter of the incident occurring, etc (details of the managing agent / cleaning service)

Refrain from signing any documents relating to the incident without the supervision of your Attorney.

Campbell Attorneys specialise in personal injury cases and will ensure that you are compensated fully.

INJURIES ON DUTY

Generally we are not able to assist in matters involving work related injuries. The relevant legislation prevents you from suing your employer or fellow employee for injuries sustained on duty and your claim for these matters lie with the Compensation Commissioner. However, there are exceptions, for example if you were employed by a different employer or labour broker then the party whose negligence caused the injuries. We would suggest you call us and explain the circumstances and we can advise if you may have a claim.

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