Background

PRASA ARTICLE – ENGLISH

A: INTRODUCTION

  1. Rob Menzies specialises in personal injury claims, including but not limited to Metro Rail / Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) claims. 
  2. We work on a no win, no fee basis.

B: CLAIMS RELATING TO TRAIN INCIDENTS

  1. Generally, persons involved in train related incidents can claim from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), however, claims against PRASA should be done within the prescribed period.

C: PRESCRIPTION PERIOD

  1. PRASA requires claims to be reported within the six (6) months period from the date of incident occurred in terms of the Notice of Intention to Institute Legal Proceedings.
  2. If the said notification was not served on PRASA within the six (6) month period one may still apply for condonation to allow oneself the ability to institute his / her a claim against PRASA, but under certain circumstances.
  3. Summons should be delivered within a three (3) year period from the date of the incident. 

D: A GUIDELINE REGARDING THE DETAIL TO BE PROVIDED TO AN ATTORNEY

1. In essence, when consulting with an attorney it is prudent that the potential client provides the following information, documentation and / or evidence for the attorney to properly assess the viability of a claim:

1.1 The date of the incident;

1.2 The time of the incident;

1.3 At which train station did the incident occur;

1.4 Which train line / train route did the incident take place at;

1.5 The train number;

1.6 You will need to produce proof that you were a fare paying passenger on the train at the time of the incident i.e. you need to produce your train ticket evidencing proof that you were a passenger at the time of the incident.

1.7 Witnesses details who witnessed the incident and any type of photographic or video evidence where available.

1.8 Name of the hospital(s) and / or doctors that you received treatment at; and 

1.9 Employment details.

E: WHEN CAN YOU CLAIM FROM PRASA?

1. Anyone affected by incidents falling within these categories may qualify for a claim of compensation from PRASA:

1.1 Persons getting hit by trains;

1.2 Persons getting pushed out of trains due to a lack of safety measures; and

1.3 Train collisions. 

F: EXAMPLES OF CASES WHEN PRASA MAY BE FOUND LIABLE:

1 When a person is being pushed on the station platform;

2 When a person falls on the station platform through no fault of his / her own;

3 When a person is being pushed out of a train, either while the train is stationary or in motion;

4 When a person falls out of a train, either while the train is stationary or in motion;

5 When a person is embarking or disembarking from a train;

6 When a person is injured at a level crossing;

7 When a person is injured due to a fire e.g. a carriage burns out due to lack of maintenance on the part of PRASA;

8 Persons can claim compensation when PRASA fails to ensure proper operation of train doors (PRASA should ensure that the train doors are closed while the train is in motion);

A distinction needs to be draw between PRASA’s failure to ensure that the train doors are closed versus the passengers holding the train doors open whilst the train is in motion;

9 When persons injure themselves due to a lack of maintenance of the trains, property and station platforms;

10 When persons are injured by a rock / stone that was thrown through a broken carriage window;

A distinction needs to drawn when the rock is able to hit a passenger when the windows were not maintained by PRASA versus when the passengers deciding to keep the train windows open; and

11 Dependents of a breadwinner who died as a result of a train accident, may be able to institute a loss of support claim.

  1. The aforesaid is merely a guideline as to who would qualify for a claim or not.
  2. It is prudent to run the specific circumstances surrounding the incident pass an attorney to establish whether you would qualify or not.

G: WHAT COMPENSATION CAN BE CLAIMED FOR A STATION OR TRAIN RELATED INJURIES?

  1. Past hospital and medical expenses, future hospital and medical expenses, general damages, past loss of earnings and future loss of earnings / loss of earning capacity.