LEGAL WRANGLING: Cousins clash over car crash

October 21, 2016
A policeman carries out an investigation at a crash scene.
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Two cousins are now having frequent quarrels over an accident that took place in 2011 in which one of them was injured.

According to one of the cousins, she was on her way to work when her cousin stopped and offered her a ride in his motor car and she accepted. She said that when he stopped, she noticed that one of his neighbours was in the car.

"My cousin is a very fast driver and while we were on the way, he began speeding and I told him to slow down," she said.

"He began to quarrel with me, saying I like to complain too much and I was a very ungrateful person. I told him there was something called accident and so I had to try and protect myself. He continued driving and playing loud music and at one stage, I told him to let me out.

"He refused to let me out and remarked that I was a coward. Even his neighbour told him to cut down on the speed, but he did not listen. He began telling us that he was driving for the last ten years and had never had an accident.

"I told him that he may not crash into another vehicle, but one could crash into his car, so he should not drive so fast. He ignored us and even drove faster. I even told him that he was just showing off.

"Well, as we were going around a corner, the car got out of control and crashed into a wall. I broke my left foot while his neighbour broke both legs. A passing motorist took us to the hospital. My cousin got a cut on his forehead.

"It cost me a lot of money in medical expenses and I could not go to work for several weeks. When I managed to start going back to work, I had to charter a taxi to take me to and from work.

"I told my cousin some months after the accident that I needed compensation for my injuries, medical expenses and taxi fare. He said I was too greedy. I told him if he had listened and stopped the speeding, perhaps there would have been no accident.

"I told him last month that I was going to get a lawyer on the case. My cousin began cursing me. He said he was sorry he gave me a ride and I told him I was very sorry that I accepted the ride," she said.

The Limitation of Actions Act places a timeline in which civil suits must be filed, and that is within six years. In order to prevent your suit from being statute-barred, you must file your claim in the court before the expiration of six years from the time of the accident.

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