If you or a family member were injured or killed in a rail/train-related incident, you might have a legitimate claim if it’s because of a train operator’s negligence. It’s up to a train service provider to ensure that its trains and rail infrastructure are safe to use.
So, if you’re injured while travelling in a train, and the injuries you sustain are not due to your own actions, you may be eligible for compensation. You may also have a claim if someone you depend on was killed in a train accident.
Making A Claim For Compensation
When you’re injured while travelling by train, or a breadwinner passes away due to a train-related incident, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) may be held to account.
Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, for example, a minor bruise or cut, you can get compensation for your personal injury in the Small Claims Court without the assistance of an attorney. If your injuries involve a fracture or worse, such as brain damage or the amputation of a limb, you’ll need a personal injury attorney. At Adendorff, we work on a “no win, no fee” basis, so you don’t pay anything out of pocket. Our fees are paid out of the proceeds of a successful claim, and if we don’t succeed, we won’t charge a fee.
You may be able to claim compensation from PRASA for the following:
- Hospital and medical expenses incurred due to the accident
- Future hospital and medical costs
- Past and future loss of earnings or earning capacity, and
- General damages that include damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life
Adendorff Attorneys has an entire team of medical and factual experts that will look at all the aspects of your incident and see how it has changed your own personal circumstances and determine the amount you should be paid out.
When a personal injury claim is filed, the defendant, in this case, PRASA, may offer you a settlement. If you agree to the payment terms, it will be up to you and your attorney to decide whether you should accept or reject the offer.
If it appears that the accident and injuries were due to your own actions, for example, you tried to board a moving train or stood between coaches while the train was moving, PRASA may reject the claim, and it will then be presented to the court. A judge will then decide whether or not you have a valid claim based on the circumstances and evidence produced.
It is, therefore, essential to make sure your injuries were not due to your own negligent actions, and your attorney will assist in making sure any evidence available, such as locating witnesses, are utilised to give your case the best possible chance at success.
What To Do To Help Your Compensation Case
Let’s take a step back and see what you can do that will help support your claim. Professional attorney Le Roux Snyman, who specialises in train accident cases, has the following advice.
- Make sure you convey all the facts
If you’ve been injured in a train accident, you must be absolutely clear of what and how it happened. If you are sure it wasn’t your own fault, then it’s likely a personal injury case, and we will be able to build a strong case for you. However, poorly conveyed facts can severely impact the success of a case.
- Keep records
Keep any records you have, like your train ticket or anything you have that can help prove you were using the train safely and in keeping with the law and regulations. Any photographs of the scene you can get hold of will also help, and contact details of witnesses are often the main reason for success.
- You’re not alone
In some cases, our clients are left with severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries. It can make it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to pursue a personal injury case against a train company based on the injured person’s inability to remember how the incident happened. A friend or family member can approach a lawyer, and we can assist them in pursuing any leads or documents that will help prove a claim.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You
At Adendorff Attorneys, we have the experience you need to make sure you get compensated for your train accident injuries. We have a team of experts who can assess your claim and get you the money you deserve. We work on a no-win, no-fee basis, so you have nothing to lose.
Train accidents are not uncommon in South Africa. If you are injured in an accident, whether by fire, collision, derailment, negligence or unsafe conditions, you are entitled to claim compensation. You can do so by filing a claim against the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).