#AttorneysWithHeart – The real value in personal injury claims
We often hear or read about people claiming for psychological and personal injuries. The amount of suffering they had to endure usually has a monetary value attached to it and speaks to the impact of the accident on the person’s future. But have you ever wondered what changed after they received their compensation? Was it adequate, did it really help them to continue to live their life?
As personal injury lawyers we should be reminded every day that we work with people’s lives, their emotions and expectations. It can never just be about the numbers.
On 30 October 2011, 22-year old Simone Africa, together with her daughter Mia-Rose, was forced to get into a car with her husband, who was under the influence of alcohol. She was 36 weeks pregnant with twin boys.
Abuse and Death
Getting into the car was also the last thing she remembered, because what transpired that night changed her life forever. Due to the reckless driving of her intoxicated husband they were involved in an accident that crushed her body and caused her womb to burst. Rushed to hospital, she spent two weeks in a coma. When she woke up, she was told her twin boys had died and that she would never be able to conceive again. Simone cannot remember the accident, but the investigation proved her husband was solely responsible for the death of her twins and personal injuries that left her bones shattered, facially scarred and blind in one eye. Her daughter, Mia-Rose survived, but had a broken collarbone and other injuries and was taken to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital for treatment.
Having gotten married early in her life and being confined to an abusive relationship, where she endured physical and emotional abuse on a daily basis, Simone at first accepted that she was a victim of her circumstances. She was married to a Muslim man, and she had to request permission to file for a divorce from him, which he refused. He also blamed her for the death of the twins. She eventually approached the Muslim Fassa to request a termination of the marriage, based on the fact that she was in an abusive relationship.
Simone grew up in a home where she was never told that she had choices in life. So at first, when she was advised to go for counselling, she refused. She honestly believed that you could not change anything about yourself once you reached adulthood, but when her aunt Vivienne told her to contact a personal injury lawyer, everything changed. She recommended that Simone should get in touch with Simpsons Attorneys in Bellville to assess her case.
It has been 5 years since this unthinkable tragedy happened. I am about to meet Simone at the offices of Simpsons. She is a fragile, beautiful 27-year old woman who, despite having to lean on a crutch to walk, is dressed stylishly and has a sparkle in her eye as well as a confident smile on her face. “They opened my eyes”, are her first words. “I know now that I am worth it, that I can depend on myself”. We never really discussed the legalities or the specifics of the case. She merely came to tell me how her interaction with Simpsons got her life back on track. From the first consultation with lawyer Collette Julyan, she knew there was something different about these personal injury lawyers.
They patiently explained to her what she would require in future to be able to live a normal life. Due to the severity of her injuries, Simone lived with constant pain for 3 years. She also lost an incredible amount of weight and all of her hair, but she pushed through. Simpsons always ensured that she had transport from her home to her various doctor’s and psychologist appointments. “Collette was always available and accessible to me when I needed her, I could speak to her directly”, she says and stresses the fact that Simpsons gave her the courage to break away from her abusive relationship and stood by her in the 3 years it took for her to receive a settlement from the Road Accident Fund.
In March 2014 Simone was awarded R2.18 m for what had happened to her. Yet again Simpsons went above the call of duty by arranging a broker to assist her with investing her compensation money wisely. She was able to buy a 2-bedroom home and make provision for her and Mia-Rose’s future.
Dealing with loss
I couldn’t help but ask if she misses her boys. She takes out her phone and shows me a picture of two perfectly formed little baby boys with little heads full of lush black hair, lying next to each other. “I never saw them, as I was in a coma”, she says. “This is all I have. Their names are Luke and Leo”. I miss them every day. It is very challenging and for a long time I couldn’t cry, but now that I am safe, I cry so that I can heal”.
The real rewards
In closing she tells me what it all came down to concerning her relationship with Simpsons Attorneys.
“I could trust them, they never told me what to do – instead they asked me what I wanted to do. So I told them, I want to give my child choices in life and a safe place where she could feel at home.”
Simpsons Attorneys are #AttorneysWithHeart. Contact us today to discuss the merits of your case. The law is for everyone and you are worth it. All cases are undertaken on a No-Win, No-Fee basis.