Road Accident Fund Judgement- Kontos v General Accident Insurance Co SA Ltd1989 (Part 3)

Road Accident Fund Judgement Part 3

Due to the fact that the plaintiff is an intelligent, alert and optimistic individual, he has learned to accept his present condition. It must however be kept in mind that the plaintiff is fully aware of his present condition and of everything he has lost in life.

In what I have said so far, I have tried to highlight certain facts. There are many other facts contained in the various medical reports to which I have not referred. I am however mindful of those facts and did keep it in mind in coming to a conclusion on the aspects I had to decide on.

The defendant conceded the merits of the action and accepted that the collision was caused by the sole negligence of the driver of the motor vehicle insured by it. In the minutes of the pre-trial conferences the defendant also undertook to pay the plaintiff’s past medical and hospital expenses.

The plaintiff’s past loss of income was agreed in an amount of R48 540. It was further agreed that this amount is subject to a contingency deduction. The percentage of the contingency deduction to be applied was however not agreed upon.

In respect of the plaintiff’s future medical and hospital expenses and his future loss of income the defendant furnished an undertaking in terms of section 21(1C)(a) and (b) of Act 56 of 1972. For the purposes of calculating future loss of income, it was agreed that, had the collision not occurred the plaintiff would at 1 March 1989 have been earning, all benefits included, R18 960 per annum. It was also agreed that the plaintiff contributed 7,2 per cent of his basic salary to the employees’ pension fund to which he belonged. Again it was agreed that contingency deductions should be made in respect of future loss of income. The parties also could not agree on the percentage of such contingency deduction to be made.

It was common cause between the parties that the award for loss of future income was to be increased in some or other way. During the trial it was agreed that each year as at 1 March, commencing from 1 March 1990 and continuing on each succeeding March thereafter, for as long as the plaintiff survives, the award for loss-off future income will be increased by a formula as contained in exh Y.

The parties could not agree on the amount of general damages to be awarded to the plaintiff.

The Court was therefore called upon to decide —

(a) the percentage of the contingency deduction to be made in respect of past loss of

income;

(b) the percentage of the contingency deduction to be made in respect of future loss of

income, and

(c) general damages.

Continue to part 4—>

 

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