PE cyclist wins R4m in damages

RAF also to foot bill for his legal costs

A Port Elizabeth cyclist who suffered severe and debilitating injuries after an unknown vehicle, presumably a truck, crashed into him, has been awarded more than R4-million in damages.

In addition, the Port Elizabeth High Court ordered the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to foot the bill for Christian Moolman’s legal fees, as well as give an undertaking that it would pay any future medical bills or future accommodation in a nursing home.

Moolman, 59, a mechanical technician at Continental Tyres, sustained several fractures, as well as a serious head injury, as a result of an accident near Uitenhage on November 4 2013.

On his way to the Cuyler Hospital, where he spent 10 days, he suffered an epileptic seizure.

The fits persisted for several months after the accident.

He sustained several fractures, including various broken ribs.

As a result, doctors believe he will have to undergo further surgery in the future.

His legal team said in court papers that after the crash Moolman became withdrawn, suffered from insomnia, a poor memory, panic attacks and flashbacks.

He had no recollection of how the accident occurred, although it was suspected the vehicle involved was a truck.

From a medical perspective, he was unable to sit for lengthy periods of time, experienced recurring headaches and extreme pain in his upper limbs.

While his injuries did not render him completely incapacitated or unable to ever work again, he was forced to take up a lower-level position at Continental Tyres, which meant he was earning about a quarter of what he earned prior to the accident.

He could also no longer clock up as much overtime.

In addition, Moolman could no longer cycle, which he once loved to do.

According to Moolman’s summons dated July 2015, he was initially claiming R1.9-million in damages.

Then, by the beginning of this month, he had amended his particulars to claim just more than R5-million.

The claim was at all times defended by the RAF.

While the matter was set down for trial before Judge Elna Revelas on March 22, counsel informed her that day that the matter had been settled out of court.

All that remained outstanding was the issue of costs.

On Friday, Revelas said that in the circumstances, Moolman was entitled to costs, “including the costs pertaining to the employment of two counsel”.

Revelas also ordered the RAF to cover the fees of any expert witnesses Moolman’s legal team may have consulted.

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