Does strong evidence lead to one logical conclusion? In third party practice the aforementioned is not merely a question but the answer to a successful quantum judgment, including the defence thereof. The foundation of strong evidence not only directly correlates with a strong expert witness but choosing the correct individual to assist the court in understanding complex and nuanced information whilst being objective and credible.
Leading expert evidence is not only important for a Plaintiff to strengthen and prove its case but likewise for a Defendant to contest and prove the contrary. Opposing and/or denying expert evidence for the mere sake of it without any factual legal basis will not have the effect of swaying a court in one’s favour.
Put simply, and as illustrated in this given judgment, the law of evidence requires a factual rebut, therefore if it’s not before court it does not exist and accounts as inadmissible.
Compiled by: Yolandi Vosloo (LL. B); ; source: https://www.lexisnexis.co.za/
delict :: motor vehicle accident
Mothabe v Road Accident Fund
 JOL 46220 (FB)
|Case Number:||3181 / 2017|
|Judgment Date:||07 / 11 / 2019|
|Division:||Free State, Bloemfontein|
Personal Injury/ Delict – Motor vehicle accident – Claim for damages – Expert evidence – Quantum of damages
In an action for compensation from the Road Accident Fund, the plaintiff accepted the fund’s offer of settlement in which it conceded the merits. The only issue remaining to be determined was the quantum of damages payable.
The plaintiff adduced evidence of five expert witnesses who had examined and assessed him. Apart from their oral testimonies they also compiled detailed medico-legal reports. No oral or documentary evidence was placed before the court by the fund.
Held that the main contention on behalf of the fund was that the plaintiff had not suffered a brain injury. That led to the plaintiff calling expert witnesses. The function of an expert witness is to assist the court in matters that the court does not have the necessary knowledge to decide. Over and above the expert opinion, the expert must be able to satisfy the court that through special skill, training and experience, the reasons for the expressed opinion are acceptable. In the evaluation of such evidence, it must be determined whether and to what extent the opinion(s) is/are based on logical reasons. The court must be satisfied that the opinion has a logical basis.
Based on the evidence, the court concluded that the plaintiff had suffered severe brain injury. Damages were computed in the amount of R1 753 919.83.