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  1. #1

    Post legal advise required,please assist.

    A close friend of mine is in dire need of specialist legal advice in that he has previously consulted a law company however it was a waste of time as there was simply not much interest shown by this legal firm.

    About 1 yr 6 months ago he went hunting and stopped off in a one horse town to buy some groceries and in a nutshell he fell over a crate that a merchandiser staff member was sitting on and then got up hereby sliding the crate straight into his walkway path in front of him resulting in a very serious fall and injures to his back and knee.

    The manager and his wife actually heard the fall and came to see what had happened and all they did was ask him if he was alright. whilst still laying on the ground for several minutes later.

    He eventually got up hobbled off,went to the nearest chemist to get cataflam and several other pain killers as his knee was by now 5 times it's normal size and incredibly painful which I can confirm.

    He also went to report the matter to the local Police station who told him he could not record the incident in the occurrence book nor make an affidavit but if he wanted to he could lay charges against the supermarket in question.

    He then left the police station after having little success.

    It turns out that he had to undergo an MRI, several x-rays and ultrasound sonars with sonar guided cortisone infiltration injections into his spine and lower back, more cortizone injections into his knee and many chronic pain killers for 1year and 6 months now.

    During this time he contacted a very well known tv marketed Law firm for advice and their response literally was that there was too little financial gain and opportunity for them to pursue this case.

    He was also advised to take it upon himself to get himself sorted out medically as the law suit costs would be many times more expensive than the medical costs that he has and was still to incur.


    My question is does he have any recourse from his insurance company as they have legal advisors too?

    Can his Insurance company even get involved?

    What is he to do as this is killing him physically and mentally as it now seems that surgery is also inevitable in the very near future and furthermore he has not got the funds and security that most people have to see this through.

    Quite frankly he is in a very bad place both physically and emotionally and hence I need to help him here.


    Who can he see that will give him critically sound advice or what could he do?
    Does he have any recourse particularly because it is already 1year and 6 months of suffering ago?

    Is the privately owned supermarket owners/employees even liable for damages or any costs?

    Any expert legal advise or references to one will be highly appreciated as I am really concerned about him.

    Many Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: legal advise required,please assist.

    Hi Ricochet.

    The supermarket should have insurance that might include a personal liability product, which caters for these types of incidences. As to how to lodge a claim against them, I am unsure.

    I am sure Skaaphaas or some of the other legal gents might be able to answer it more comprehensively.

    Best of luck to your friend.

  3. #3
    Moderator SSP's Avatar
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    Default Re: legal advise required,please assist.

    In short, from what you have described, your friend does have a claim.

    His insurer is unlikely to help him.

    There are many personal injury attorneys around. I suggest that he goes to see one.

    He may have to pay them. Legal advice is worth what you pay for it.
    Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
    But I know one thing that never dies,
    the glory of the great dead.
    Havamal

  4. #4

    Default Re: legal advise required,please assist.

    Can't he claim if they (the supermarket) is insured for public liability?

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    Default Re: legal advise required,please assist.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSP View Post
    In short, from what you have described, your friend does have a claim.

    His insurer is unlikely to help him.

    There are many personal injury attorneys around. I suggest that he goes to see one.

    He may have to pay them. Legal advice is worth what you pay for it.
    Agreed. We had a very similar incident outside one of our stores. The claimant was successful and settled by our insurers for a not insignificant amount. There was however compelling evidence in the form of video and it was all handled amicably in short time frame from the incident.

    I fear that time may not be on his friends side as well as the lack of compelling evidence from the sounds of things, other than his word. The owners version of events might be very different if faced with a claim.

  6. #6

    Default Re: legal advise required,please assist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digby View Post
    Agreed. We had a very similar incident outside one of our stores. The claimant was successful and settled by our insurers for a not insignificant amount. There was however compelling evidence in the form of video and it was all handled amicably in short time frame from the incident.

    I fear that time may not be on his friends side as well as the lack of compelling evidence from the sounds of things, other than his word. The owners version of events might be very different if faced with a claim.
    I fear that the time that has elapsed could be a possible issue however he has tried everything possible to avoid litigation.
    There is however about ten people including myself that saw him about an hour after it happened at the hunting lodge despite his bird hunting weekend was ruined.

    One of our mate's wives who is a Physiotherapist also treated him and kept him as comfortable as possible the entire weekend so pretty much everyone including the farmer can vouch for the incident although only he and the shelf packer together with the manager and his wife witnessed the fall and saw him lying on the floor for about ten minutes afterwards.

    If there were cameras in a one horse town supermarket I do not know.
    The in initial and first doctors visit way back then also clearly states the cause and nature of the incident and injuries described to the GP and subsequently the Orthopedic Spesialists.

    I guess it is a bummer as we all thought it was serious but not too serious at the time and expected him to recover sooner than later.

    It turns out that it was very serious.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: legal advise required,please assist.

    One option is small claims court. Its you, the judge and the defendant. Can only claim max R 15 000. You have to proof your case with hard evidence (doctors/ clinic reports, witnesses that saw anything etc. No hearsay allowed

  8. #8
    Moderator SSP's Avatar
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    Default Re: legal advise required,please assist.

    Your friend should see an attorney. Seriously.
    Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
    But I know one thing that never dies,
    the glory of the great dead.
    Havamal

  9. #9
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    Default Re: legal advise required,please assist.

    Best he sees an attorney. He would need to prove negligence on the part of the store. As it could be quite a costly exercise and if he cannot afford an attorney then the small claims court may be his only option.

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