Business is, even without unforeseen mishaps, a complicated affair. The nature of this complication becomes all the more intense when businesses scale up, or start offering services and solutions which have an impact on the livelihood, safety and security of others.
When mistakes in these types of industries arise, businesses can be put under immense pressure from personal indemnity claims, which makes having the right kind of cover and legal expertise on hand a crucial affair for them. But some businesses have a greater need for this than others.
So if you operate in any industries that offer the following types of services, you should ensure that you are prepared in the event that claims are made against you.
Advice and Consultancy
Whenever expert advice is given to a client (such is done in the financial and business consultancy sectors), there is always a risk of such advice having adverse results for the client.
When expertly given advice leads to substantial losses, clients may seek to make claims against you for compensation of losses incurred due to any mistakes on your part.
When providing expert services, any errors in designs or calculations may result in incurred losses for your client.
Your design may have oversites that render the solution dangerous, and when injuries are sustained as a result, your firm may be held liable by the client.
Information of a sensitive nature should always be adequately protected from loss, harm or infiltration by a third party. It should also always be used with a certain level of trust (for example it shouldn’t be sold off to a third-party for lead generation).
If your business is mistakenly (or purposefully) at fault when mishandling the information of your clients, you may be held liable for it.
A Matter of Compliance
Highly specialised and risky industries often require that businesses cover themselves against professional indemnity claims as part of their expected compliance to industry standards.
These may include IT consulting, accounting, architecture, engineering, risk management and more. In such cases either your clients or a regulatory body may insist that you are properly covered before even conducting business.
Contact Munro Flowers & Vermaak for Details
If you would like advice or information on personal indemnity claims¸ or would like to benefit from our experienced team of legal professionals, be sure to get into contact with a representative from Munro Flowers & Vermaak Attorneys today, or visit our website for additional information.
Claiming from the Road Accident Fund can be a very tedious and a very draining process, which could consume a large amount of your time. It may seem easier to just accept what they offer you so that you can close this chapter of your life and begin to find the healing that you so righteously deserve. But if you or your attorney believe that you deserve a great sum of financial compensation, it is in your best interest to push forward with the fight to protect your financial security in the future.
It is understandable that after some time dealing with your Road Accident Claim and all the new changes and challenges in your personal life, that when it’s time for it to come to an end that you would welcome it. It is understandable that you need your energy to heal your wounds, the visible ones and the emotional ones. However, you need to put your best interests first, and your best interests are being financially stable to ensure that you will be able to take care of yourself. Unfortunately, that might mean that you will need to continue your fight.
Fighting Your Fight
The best thing that you can do for yourself is to push through every challenge that presents itself because you can rest assured that you will be doing the best thing for yourself in the long run. Any attorney well practiced in RAF claims understands that these cases are exceptionally draining on everyone involved, but that is why they will go the extra mile to ensure that their client receives the financial compensation that they deserve. To continue the fight to receive the right amount is so important. This is to ensure that you have an independent future without falling into debt to try support yourself because work might not always be an option for some people.
Munro Flowers and Vermaak Attorneys
When it comes to something as confusing and as unpleasant as claiming from the RAF it is best to ensure that you have a great attorney that is there to support you as well as have your best interest. Ensure that you have the best legal representation with Munro Flowers and Vermaak Attorneys by contacting them today!
Lately consumers and patients have realised that they have a voice, and that they have the power to make a difference to the world. This is true for people taking action to ensure that companies do not have the ability to take advantage of unsuspecting people. This is just as true when it comes to the abilities and competence of medical professionals and institutions. Individuals and families that have been victim to negligent medical professionals have been taking action against these negligent parties to seek justice for the avoidable suffrage that they have experienced.
Was It A Medical Error?
There is a difference between medical negligence and a medical error. Medical negligence is when the doctor has offered the patient subpar medical treatment, such as prescribing the incorrect medication to a patient knowing the risks of avoidable reactions and consequences, or authorising and performing a medical procedure that the patient did not consent to.
A medical error happens when the consequences of medical treatment occurs during the course of the patient’s medical treatment. This is not due to a doctor or medical provider offering medical treatment below an expected standard. These are the unforeseen and unavoidable risks that accompany medical treatment.
Claiming for Medical Negligence
In the event of a case of medical negligence, the patient or the family that has experienced suffrage have the right to lodge a claim against the medical offender. The best thing to do is compile your evidence to prove your case, and find legal representation. Your legal representation will guide you and your case through each step and ensuring that you are making the correct claim against the offender.
Munro, Flowers and Vermaak Attorneys
If you or a loved one has suffered due to the negligent actions of a medical practitioner or medical institution, ensure that you receive the right compensation with professional legal assistance. Be sure to contact Munro, Flowers and Vermaak Attorneys for excellent medical negligence legal assistance.
What is professional indemnity insurance?
Also referred to as professional liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance covers the legal cost and expenses suffered in your defence.
Do you need professional indemnity insurance?
Most professions require to have a professional indemnity insurance. Even if you are not obligated to have PI insurance, you could be liable for thousands of rands worth of compensation payments and legal fees – as well as the loss of income from the time spend defending.
You are probable to need professional indemnity insurance if:
- You would like to be protected against claims of negligence or mistakes in work you have done for your client.
- You give professional advice or services to your clients.
- Your industry requires you to have it.
- You are a consultant, contractor, freelancer or self-employers and your client has asked you to arrange PI insurance in order to take the contract over.
What does personal indemnity insurance cover?
PI insurance covers allegations against individuals for a violation of a professional duty. However, depending on the policy take. Personal indemnity insurance cover may extend to:
- Defamation of character,
- Damages arising from fraud,
- Misleading conduct,
- Defence costs surrounding claims,
- And breach of intellectual property rights.
What you need to do
Averting is better than correcting, so attempt to make sure you are never in a position to have an allegation made against you. This can include keeping up to date with updated requirements, in the fields that you provide advice.
One way to avoid the risk of a potential claim is to ensure all projects are well documented, specifically in areas that have high risk as well as follow ups in order to minimise the risk to your client. In addition, communication should clearly specify responsibilities and areas of potential debates are underlined and dealt with immediately.
If you are in need of assistance of a professional indemnity claim, visit Munro Flowers & Vermaak Attorneys for professional and friendly legal service in Johannesburg. Enquire online for more information and book an appointment today!
The Road Accident Fund was set up in accordance with South African law to assist those who have been involved in motor-accidents on South African roads. Whether claiming for damages, medical expenses or when making third-party claims, many South African citizens have gotten theirs back through the fund.
Most of the time, cases brought forward to the Road Accident Fund are straightforward and fairly simple to define. But what happens in cases where the guilty party cannot be identified or found. Are you able to make claims in cases where injuries and damages have been sustained in a hit & run?
Victim of a Hit & Run? You Can Claim
Hit and run victims have the right to make a claim, just as any other victim of a road accident. This includes those who are motorists, cyclists, motorcyclists, passengers as well as pedestrians.
In such cases where serious injuries are the result of the accident, claims can be made. The nature of serious injuries is often a matter of circumstance, but may include impairment of over 30% of the body, disfigurement, mental impairment, loss of bodily functions and also the loss of an unborn child.
Death can also be a reason to claim, on the grounds that it may upset the livelihood of the families, and may incur expensive funeral arrangements.
In cases of a hit and run, medical expenses can be claimed under the following conditions:
Did the Accident Occur on a South African Road?
Naturally, to make a claim with the road accident fund, the accident needs to have taken place while travelling on a South African road. This means that claims for injuries sustained while outside of the country’s borders cannot be claimed for.
Was the Other Driver Negligent or Driving Illegally?
If it can be proven that the other driver was driving in a dangerous fashion, or indeed was driving in such a way as to not be in accordance with South African road laws, you can make a claim. A hit and run is, of course, in contravention of the law, giving you a case.
Have You Reported the Matter to the Police?
Before starting the process of making a claim, the incident needs to first be reported to the South African police so that a case can be opened and investigated. If the matter is not, for any reason, reported to the proper authorities, it hampers your chance of making a claim.
Looking for Assistance with Claims?
Making a Road Accident Fund claim sounds like it should be straightforward enough, but without the proper legal representation you could hurt your chances of a successful claim. If you would like trusted, professional assistance with the matter, contact a representative from Munro Flowers & Vermaak Attorneys, or visit our website for details.
A claim for loss of support arises as a result of the death of a breadwinner, whether that death results from an alleged medical negligence incident or as a result of a motor vehicle accident. A “breadwinner” can be either a parent or a spouse. In order to be successful in a loss of support claim, the claimant (dependant) must prove the following:
- The breadwinner must have been under a legal obligation to support the dependant. In a marriage, spouses have a reciprocal legal obligation to financially support one another regardless of the marital property regime under which they are married. Similarly, a parent or natural guardian is under an automatic legal obligation to support his / her minor child / children.
In the landmark judgement of Paixão v The Road Accident Fund, the Supreme Court of Appeal held that a loss of support is not only limited to married couples but can be extended to those who are in permanent life partnerships where a reciprocal duty of support is established by tacit agreement between the parties. The common law has therefore been extended to afford protection to dependants in such relationships.
- Secondly, the breadwinner must have been factually financially supporting the dependant at the time of his or her death.
A spouse may bring a claim for loss of support in respect of themselves and on behalf of their minor children. In order to determine the value of the claim (known as the quantum) an actuarial ratio is applied. The joint total income of a household is calculated and then apportioned in such a way that each adult receives two parts thereof and each child receives one part. For example, if a household exists of two adults and two children, 1/6 of the deceased’s income would be apportioned to each child whilst 2/6 would be apportioned to each adult.
Of importance is that the surviving spouse has a duty to maintain themselves as well as their children. Should the surviving spouse be employed at the time of the breadwinner’s death, the value of the surviving spouse’s duty of support, on the same ratio, will be deducted from the dependant’s claim.
A claim for loss from specifically the Road Accident Fund is subject to a maximum cap which is applied to the loss of support of the dependant. The annual loss which the Road Accident Fund is liable for, irrespective of the actual loss, is limited to R276 928.00 as at 31 October 2018. This cap is increased and published in the Government Gazette on a quarterly basis so as to take into account inflationary increases.
A minor may claim loss of support until the age of majority or until financial independence. A minor may therefore claim loss of support for a longer period where it can be proven on a balance of probabilities that such child would have been financially dependent on his or her parents for longer, for example, if such child were to pursue tertiary education. For a surviving spouse, the claim would continue up until the retirement age of the deceased. The retirement age is normally taken to be at age 65 years but this may vary depending on the particular facts and circumstances of the deceased’s employment and company policy.
Our client approached Munro Flowers and Vermaak to bring a case of medical negligence against the MEC for Health for the negligence of the hospital staff of the Tambo Memorial Hospital in failing to render reasonable treatment to him during his admission to the Hospital.
The client was assaulted and sustained a head injury as a result thereof. The following day he went to the Tambo Memorial Hospital where he was admitted for medical treatment. Despite him presenting with reduced consciousness and confusion, no brain scan was administered for a period of 4 days. A CT scan done on the 4th day of his admission identified a bleed on the brain resulting in increased intracranial pressure. Such pressure could be relieved by way of surgical intervention and which would prevent further harm being caused to the client’s brain, however no treatment was rendered for a further 7 days and when a second CT scan was performed which identified increased intracranial pressure surgical intervention by way of a craniotomy was finally undertaken.
The hospital’s failure to appreciate the severity of our client’s head injury on admission and further their failure to render surgical intervention following the performance of a CT scan which identified intracranial swelling on the brain lead to the client suffering from increased harm thus rendering him unable to care for himself and being confined to a wheelchair.
This case went to court in the South Gauteng High Court where the Judge, despite the evidence that we presented on behalf of our client that early intervention would have prevented further damage being caused to his brain, found in favour of the hospital.
Munro, Flowers and Vermaak Attorneys believed that sufficient evidence to the contrary had been led and after leave to appeal the judgment was denied by the initial court, we petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein who granted leave and the Appeal was heard by a full bench, namely 3 judges in the South Gauteng High Court.
Having regard to the evidence presented to the trial court and the extensive expertise of our expert who has practised in Trauma surgeries around the world, the Appeal Court found that the original Judge was wrong in his acceptance of the Hospital’s evidence and overturned its judgment in favour of the client.
In a case where negligence of the hospital staff and the resulting harm to the client seemed clear the issue of causation proved a big hurdle to us in attaining successful Judgment in his favour. Munro, Flowers and Vermaak is a firm of steadfast lawyers who pursue their cases with unwavering tenacity. What was a blow of defeat in the original court where the case was initially heard, we managed to get the judgment overturned as a result of the perseverance and determination to achieve a favourable result for our client where we believed the presiding Judge failed to appropriately evaluate the evidence before him. Our tireless pursuit of justice resulted in us obtaining life changing success for our client.