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Saturday, September 23, 2017, 4:40 pm

MVA Corner

BY NOMAGUGU MAGAGULA - Road accidents have been and continue to be one of the greatest health hazards. Things that can contribute to road accidents are such as poor maintenance of brakes and tyres. Obviously brake failure can be a significant factor in causing an accident, as an unexpected brake failure may leave a driver to slow or stop in order to maintain control of a vehicle, or to avoid a collision.

As we have been experiencing road traffic crashes in the past month, I felt obligated to alert our readers on what causes the road accidents and the consequential types of injuries of these accidents.

Road traffic collisions generally fall into one of four common types which are either a lane departure crash, which occur when a driver leaves the lane they are in and collide with another vehicle or a road side object. These include head on collision and run- off-road collisions.

Collisions at junctions include rear-end collisions and angle or side impacts, collision involving pedestrians and collisions with animals. Although other types of collisions do occur. Some of these are secondary events that occur after a collision in a run-off-road crash or a collision with another vehicle. Accidents that occur and are rollovers are very common and they lead to severe injury or sometimes death.

Head on collisions often have poor outcomes because of the speed involved when the collision takes place. The typical cause of a head on is when one vehicle inadvertently strays into the path of an oncoming vehicle. However, the root cause sometimes lies in a steering over correction after veering to the side of the road as opposed to the centre.

Human factors in vehicle crashes include all factors related to driver and other road users that may contribute to a collision. Examples of these factors include driver behaviour, visual, decision making ability and reaction speed. Almost all drivers who had been in a crash do not believe themselves to be at fault.

Road traffic accidents can lead to various injuries, ranging from bruises, cuts and whiplash to serious head or spinal injuries. Regardless of how serious your injuries are, you will want to make sure that you have an experienced legal team on your side when you seek compensation.

As SMVA Fund, we encourage claimants to lodge claims themselves without involving attorneys. If you have suffered an injury in a road traffic accident that was not your fault, then you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim. This benefit is offered to persons who have suffered bodily injury following the occurrence of an accident.

Claimants for personal injury claims are categorised as follows:

  • Pedestrians – limit is E1million
  • Passengers in public transport vehicle who are fare paying - the limit is E100 000 per passenger. Overall limit per accident is E1million
  • Ordinary passengers (non fare paying) - their limit is E50 000 per passenger. Overall limit per accident is E500 000
  • Members of the same household involved in an accident where the driver is at fault - are eligible to lodge claims for each dependent medical expenses for E60 000 subject to overall limit of E300 000 per accident.

Let me stop here for today until next week.

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