Home South Africa News R4.6m RAF payout for woman whose dream were shattered in road crash

R4.6m RAF payout for woman whose dream were shattered in road crash

accident

A young woman’s dream of working on a luxury yacht based in Fort Lauderdale in the US were shattered after she was involved in a multi-vehicle accident. Marizaan Niemand, 21, suffered multiple injuries in the accident years ago on the N2 between Sodwana Bay and Joburg.

The accident occurred in March 2017, on the N2 highway between Sodwana Bay and Johannesburg. Niemand was a passenger at the time, and was returning to Gauteng from a diving school training course as part of the preparation for her to pursue her career in America working on a yacht.

Her injuries including a fractured humerus and soft tissue injuries to her neck and spine.

She instituted a damages claim in the Gauteng High Court against the Road Accident Fund (RAF) which has agreed to settle her claim and pay her nearly R4.6 million in damages.

The bulk of this amount is calculated for loss of earnings in light of her shattered dream of working abroad in what could’ve been a lucrative career.

Niemand explained she had not been happy with an office-bound job and so she explored other opportunities.

She opted for diving and enrolled on the open water diving course in Sodwana, hoping to qualify as a dive master and then become a diving instructor.

She also planned to develop her skills in underwater photography.

She had been one dive away from her first qualification when the accident occurred. Her dream, she said, had been to go to the US and work in the Fort Lauderdale or Miami Beach area of Florida, a mecca of luxury yachting.

An industrial psychologist, who presented a report to the court, said women who worked as crew on yachts were at the beck and call of the wealthy; they worked hard, were up early and went to sleep late because of the demands of the job. But because of her injuries, Niemand would not be able to manage the job and so her dreams turned to dust.

The court heard how crew members earned hundreds of dollars a month, as well as tips.

It was said that the yachting industry in the Fort Lauderdale area was estimated a few years ago to be in the vicinity of $13billion.

Niemand’s lawyer, JP Rudd of Adams and Adams, said the evidence regarding the potential of work in Fort Lauderdale and the huge losses his client was now facing as a result of her accident, prompted the RAF to settle the matter.

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Source: Pretoria News