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Case Feedback - Another Cager Goes Down !!

We are happy to report back on the outcome of two recent Biker's Law assisted claims, where we assisted bikers who went down due to error on behalf of car drivers, and where we managed to ensure the biker is not out of pocket.

1. Bruce Reynolds - President of Pure Venom MC, and MAWC

Late last year, Mr Reynolds went for a ride on his bike. Less than 3km from his home, a lady turned directly in front of him, and cut him off. As a result he came down. While he sustained no serious injuries, he had damages of almost R100 000 to his Fireblade and protective wear.

We instigated a claim against the car driver, and eventually settled the claim against her insurance. Mr Reynolds was able to repair/replace the damage he suferred as a result of the accident.

As Mr Reynolds hold no insurance on his bike, it was important to be able to stand up against the insurance company of the car-driver, to ensure that the " little-guy" does not get trampled by the giants, as happens so often.


2. Odie Jacobs vs Van Der Byl

After nearly 2 years we have just completed the criminal justice case of a Biker's Law member - Odie Jacobs.

A quick re-cap of the accident:
Odie was riding her bike from Durbanville to Somerset West just after 17h00 on a Wednesday evening. A guy in a white double cab bakkie crossed the road directly infront of her, and subsequently, she smashed into the side of the bakkie.

The bike (800 Intruder) valued at around R25 000 sustained serious damage (repair costs estimated at around R12000), Odie sustained serious injuries, two broken arms, broken jaws and some road-rash.

Biker's Law assisted Odie to draft witness statements, and excercised a "watching brief" in terms of the legal proceedings, basically meaning we monitored that SAPS and Prosecutor, to ensure the case is investigated properly, and prosecuted properly, and not dissapear in the darkhole of incompetence experienced by so many others.

The driver of the bakkie tried all the usual allegations, in an attempt to shift the blame for the accident to Odie.

And on Friday 5 March Mr Van Der Byl, driver of the bakkie, and owner of a well-known roof-trusses company in Kuilsrivier was found guilty of reckless negligent driving in Court 1, Blue Downs Magistrate Court.

We will be publishing the details of the case, including the details of Mr Van Der Byl on our website soon, so everyone will know who he is! Since he shows no respect for bikers, he should expect no respect from bikers either.

He was sentenced to R5000 fine or 5 months jail, suspended.

But most importantly of all, he was also ordered by the court to pay costs and damages directly to Odie Jacobs to the value of R76 300-00.

This constitutes losses and damages to clothing, the bike, leave, expenses, medical expenses,  loss of income etc.

Keeping in mind that Odie Jacobs had neither a learners nor a bike license of any kind at the time of her accident, and that she had no insurance on the bike either, this is a very important judgment, as despite her legal imposition, we were able to show that the cause of the accident was due to the negligence of the driver of the bakkie, and not be penalised for the fact that she holds no license, or a lack of rider ability or experience.

Like we said, you take us down, we will take your house!

Biker's Law is committed to ensuring that the cager with disregard for the biker will pay every last cent of damages. We are tired of being the victims, we will fight you in court to get what we deserve.

As always, ride safe, and ride proud

Jaco Wessels
Biker's Law Team Member
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How did Biker's Law Start

The founder of Biker's Law, Jaco Wessels had this to say when he started off Biker's Law in June 2008:

You all know the story too well by now. Hardly a week goes by, and we get word of one of our fellow bikers going down, because someone driving a car did not see him, or did not hear him, or did not.....

The fact is, if you are riding a motorcycle in South Africa, you too, have come to realize, we are not considered by our fellow road-users. The guy in the car is just not aware of us, and if he is, he could not care less.

And sadly, it seems our justice system is also failing us, either no criminal case is registered against the driver, or if it is, there are no witnesses, or the case gets thrown out of court due to a lack of evidence. All the while, somewhere a biker has to get along with a broken leg, or a broken arm, or even worse.

In the last two months, 3 people I know came off their bikes due to cars either changing lanes, skipping stop signs, or simply driving directly into the way of the biker. And in all 3 cases the biker is worse off. And the driver seems to be without a care in the world.

I Decided to see what I can do to help change this, as the passive approach no longer helps. And after many a night, I came upon an idea. Ran it past a few friends in the know, and voila! Biker’s Law was born.

Biker’s  Law will provide you with the following benefits:

1. A Lawyer will evaluate the circumstances, and assist to compile a complete criminal docket, with statements and witnesses where available.

2. The criminal case will be tracked, by means of a “Watching Brief”, which basically means the lawyer will constantly be looking over the shoulder of the state-prosecutor, and ensure that your case gets the attention it deserves. This will in most cases result in a criminal conviction for the driver.

3. Then a lawyer will use the criminal conviction, and file a lawsuit against the driver’s insurance company, if he/she has one, if not, the suit will be filed against the person themselves. This will be a claim for all damages and costs we can claim for. Including damage to your bike, clothes and all extras fitted to your bike.

4. If applicable a lawyer will also file a “3rd-party” claim on your behalf, and will probably be able to half the time it normally takes to have this done. If a “3rd-party” claim is not possible in your circumstances, then the value of what would have been claimed will be added to the civil claim against the  and/or his/her insurance. But yes, wherever possible, the lawyer will instigate both a civil AND a “3rd-party” claim on your behalf.

You will not be asked for a deposit, nor will you have to pay anything as the cases progress, this is for the criminal case, the civil suit and the “3rd-party”claim. The lawyer will act on what is know as a “Contingency Basis”, which means they will pay their own costs, and once they get a successful claim aid, they will take a percentage of the pay-out for their costs, but also will add their costs to the claim, so in fact the other party pays for just about all of it. If they are unsuccessful, they will have to carry the losses in terms of their costs themselves. There are no hidden costs involved. None, Zero. Nada!

By now you are probably wondering how much this will cost you! Well, unfortunately service of this kind does not come cheap, so yes - you will have to cough up, how much exactly you ask? A full R20 per month. Yep, you read it correctly, only Twenty Rand A Month !! Hey - what is stopping you? Join up today!

How do we do it? Simple. We pay the money received from bikers on a monthly base, to a network of lawyers we have contracted every month. This is called a “retainer” for their services to be rendered, and when you need them, they are there - and they have been paid already! 

We have a network of lawyers in just about every town. And where we don’t have them we will get them! So the Biker’s Law service is available to any rider within South Africa, and we will see to it that a lawyer will handle your case wherever you may be so unfortunate to have an accident. We even cover your pillion (at an additional fee of R20.00 per month). And if you have more than one bike, you only need to join one - it does not matter which bike you are on at the time of the accident, it need not even be your own bike! But where you have more than one person regularly using the same bike, each one of them need to register!

We are open to ALL bikers, from the school-girl riding her scooter in the morning to the most hardened biker with 40-years or more in the saddle! 

If you are injured, or suffer any losses or costs, you have the RIGHT to be compensated by the person(s) who are the cause of the accident. If you have a wife and kids, someone has to look after them when you can’t due to injury, or even worse. We will sue on their behalf if you died as a result of the accident. 

Let us get them where it hurts! Their pockets and their pride! And then see how quickly they start taking our safety into consideration, after all, if they stand to lose their houses to pay us our damages, they might start to think twice before getting in our way! We might not be able to get them to watch out for us as individuals, but we sure will get their attention as a group! 

We are not an insurance-house, we do not offer legal insurance, or any other type of insurance. Please read through the terms and conditions document carefully before you join. But ultimately you will agree, you can’t afford not to join!

If you too believe this is something the biker fraternity in South Africa needs, please take time to tell this news to your biker friends, who knows, they may need it before you do!

Ride Safe

The Biker's Law Team and Contact Details

Head Office:Jaco Wessels (Founder Member)
Tel No: 084 604 2440
Fax No: 086 684 7897
E-Mail Address:
jaco@bikerslaw.co.za
Jaco has got two purposes for getting Biker's Law going.
He has got two wonderful sons (I can say that because I met them and they are GREAT kids) and one day when they are big enough to take the bikes to the road (they enjoy off road biking at the moment) the roads must be safe for bikers.
He wants to offer a service to bikers to make it affordable to claim what is due to them.
Claims and Admin Office: Odie Jacobs
Tel No:
082 556 5951

Fax No: 086 684 7987
E-Mail Address:
odie@bikerslaw.co.za
Odie was in an accident in 2008. A "bakkie" turned in front of her and she and her bike got seriously hurt.
This accident and circumstances that happened at the scene, made Jaco decide to get the plan, that had been in his head for some time, into action to make roads safer for bikers.
Ray and Hester Erasmus (Southern Cape Ambassadors and Webmasters)
Cell No: 082 977 8488
Fax No: 086 600 8488
E-Mail Address:
hester@bikerslaw.co.za
Both Ray and myself have a passion for biking and bikers. We are on the Whale Rally organizing team and run a few web sites for biking events and clubs.
Promoting Biker's Law and doing this website is a pleasure and service we give to Biker's Law and bikers in general.
Ferdi Van Eck (Eastern Cape Ambassador)
Cell No:
072 305 121

E-Mail Address: ferdi@bikerslaw.co.za
Ferdi is Vice Chairman of the ECCLA (Eastern Cape Club Leaders Association) and a lawyer.
Ferdi's son
Mirco was a young 17 year old motorcycle enthusiast and accomplished rider who was tragically killed by a drunk driver on 24 August 2007. Mirco cared highly for people and had an extreme dislike in criminal activities.
Apart from promoting Biker's law, Ferdi's other passion is the
Mirco's Mile - Biker's Ride Against Crime - project.

Join Today - Tomorrow might be too late!

 
You have learned all you want to know about the service we offer? You want to join and have peace of mind when you go on the road?
 
Your next step will be to download the Registration Form and Register as a Biker's Law member.

Or click here to complete your online registration.
 
You need to pay the R100.00 joining fee upfront by cash deposit or internet transfer, or even choose to have it deducted with your first monthly debit order payment..
You have different options on how to pay for your membership.
  • You can sign a monthly debit order and we will deduct the R20.00 off your account every month.
  • You can pay the whole year's membership fee of R240.00 in advance (by cash deposit or internet transfer) and sign a yearly debit order of R240.00 for the following years.
  • You can arrange at your own bank for a yearly Stop Order to be paid over to our account on your membership "Birthday" (Please fax proof of this to us on 086 600 8488)
  • For the debit order instructions ferdi@bikerslaw.co.za
        For the Terms and Conditions - contact us via our email ferdi@bikerslaw.co.za
Subject: RAIN AND BLOOD (Posted by Jaco Wessels - Big induna of Bikers Law)

The frequency of accidents are creeping up rather alarmingly. And this has a lot to do with the weather.

We losetraction in the wet, stopping distances increase, cars are misted up, their mirrors is distored with rain and spray. So they don'see us (the few who are looking out for us), and the bikers bleed more often. So, please ride more carefully. Biker's Law is really hoping our members never need us. And unless you travel much more carefull in winter, you will need us.

Then I had very interesting call a few days ago, from a newmember of Biker's Law, who also happens to be an attorney.

She was a little perturbed by the fact that we litigate in cases where losses are suferred, as she feels all should have insrance to cover their losses, if not her R20 "subsidise" others, as she does have insurance. And I gave it some thought, and decided to laborate about the not to perfect world we live in.

I would be the first person to advocate adequate insurance. Just as I wold be the first person to advocate adequate medical insurance, healthy living, a good income, job security, and a million other things.

Fact is, many of our members do not have insurance, and even more do not have medical insurance. On top of this, we are in a serious financial crisis, world-wide, and South Africa is now officially in a recession. More than 70 000 South Africans are 4 months or more in arrears with their monthly bond payments, houses ae on avergae worth 12% less now than last year, so many people owe more on their homes than their homes are worth, around a 1000 cars are re-posesed by banks DAILY now, food costs have raised by around 30% in a single year. Thousands hve lost their jobs in the last six months, and conservative estimates reckon hundreds of thousands will be losing their jobs efore end of the year (and there is barely six months left)

We can therefore expect even more people who will have no choice to ride their bikes without insurance or medical insurance. And the cost of an accident wil become even more devastating to those who fall and their families. The cost involved in followng the legal process to get your damages back will now simply be out of reach of just about 90% of bikers in this country.

While Biker's Law is NOT insurance, NOR medical insurance, and we cannot get you into a private hospital, we may be the only thing that could stand between you and bankrupcy or total financial ruin after an accident. We are NOT an alternative to insurance, but we alow you the opportunity to get all your costs, expenses and losses back, or at least a large portion thereof, when you are going down due to someone with a steamed-up rearview mirror inhis mobile disco.

Therefore, if you are one of the people affected negatively by the economy, or do not have insurance, or medical-aid, you need to SERIOUSLY consier joining. Times are not going to get any better soon, and you cannot risk your family's future when you have at least an affordable option available. We may not be the perfect soution in a perfect world, but at R20 a month, we are as goodas it gets in the imperfect world we all have to live in.

Ride Safe & Ride Proud
The Biker's Law Team


This came in a while ago - just thought it might help to change your mind about that other beer you were thinking of drinking! Come on Join!!

Jaco Wessels sent a message to the members of Biker's Law - You Will Be Judged.
 
Everybody knows.... 
 
This morning I had another call from a distressed-mother in Cape Town. Her youngster got smacked off his youth-mobil just around 18h00 last night. 
Car made an illegal right turn from the left lane at a stop street, and took the youngster down. Then the car fled the scnene. Leaving the youngster lying there. 
Fortunately, they have witnesses, and an off-duty cop and his fiance chased the car down, and arrested the driver (And I applaud this guy, as this dedication is seldomly seen these days - just yersterday I was driving the airconditioner around town, and two youngsters was riding one of these pokemon thingies, neither had a helmet on, and a cop car just drove past them and nothing....) 
Anyway I'm getting side-tracked. Needless to say this youngster was not a member of Biker's Law, (although he had an application form sent to him some three months ago by a buddy - that's how the mother got hold of me), but he has no insurance, and no license. The youth-scoot is a write-off, and the medical expenses will undoubtedly be around R100 000. 
Had he been a  Bker's Law member we could have helped him, despite the insurance and license issues, but now this will be another considerate expense on their budget, and would probably set them back a further R60 000 to R100 000 to sue for the costs and damages, despite havig a policeman as a witness. Something they surely can ill-afford, and that just before holidays and Christmas too. 
I have asked you guys so many times to make sure you are members of Biker's Law, that I am not going to ask you again (at least 34 people on this group are not members!!), but if you really believe you are immune to road-rash, so be it, but would you at least consider taking a minute and invite all your facebook friends to join the group? At least then they can decide for themselves whether they are bullet-proof. Silly season is coming (it already got to Checkers, Pick & Pay and Woolies), and we re going to be dropped like flies again  just like like last year, and the year before that, en the year before that and.... (you get the picture). Lets not ruin our own holidays!! Get yourself the best Christmas present you can - help when you need it most. 
Like always, never before did R20 buy so much for so little. Because .... "everybody knows the boat is leaking, and the Captain lied...." 
Ride Safe & Ride Proud.


There have been a number of changes to the Road Accident Fund, partly due to a new Act promulgated about 14 days ago.
There are two major events, which seems to be haunting most people. The first is the legal action currently underway between the various Law Societies and the RAF, and the second is the limit on claims to victims.
Let us first deal with the legal action between the legal fraternity and the RAF.
While I am not privy to the inside info and/or consultation process currently underway, based on media statements from both parties, this is how I see and understand it.
The RAF made it known about 14 days ago that they intend not paying out existing claims to the lawyers - as they used to do, but rather directly to the claimants, or then the victims of the accidents.
While this sounds great, it really is not. In the past most people would have consulted and instructed an attorney specializing in personal injury law to process, administer and claim on their behalf against the RAF. The process was rather lengthy, and in the end, the money or quantum claimed was adjusted by a arbitrary forum, and then the RAF made payment of the settled amount to the attorney's trust account. From this point the attorney would pay out costs pertaining to medical bills, medical reports, their own expenses and fess, and the balance would be paid out to the claimant.
Under these terms attorneys, as a rule, acted on a contingency basis, and as such the claimant did not need to pay the attorney any fees upfront or during the process of the claim. The attorney was quite happy to bear the costs involved, as they were assured of getting their money back eventually.
Under the new system, this will change. While you will still be legally liable to pay your attorney's fees (within reason), the attorneys are no-longer assured of their money, and will in all likelihood now demand a deposit to paid by the claimant up-front. Depending on the level of complexity of the claim, I foresee such deposit to be as high as R30,000 per claim.
This will obviously force many people to consider claiming directly from the RAF without the assistance of the legal fraternity. And that is probably exactly what the RAF is hoping for.
Many may not be aware of the fact that every claim is argued before an arbitrator, with a lawyer arguing on your behalf, and a lawyer arguing on behalf of the RAF, and as such opposing your claim, or at least the value (or quantum) thereof.
Should the cost of appointing a law firm to act on your behalf now proof to be prohibitive, then the RAF has won, and you have lost. Not only can you not claim legal fees from them, as lawyers can, but your claim will also be substantially less without the expert argument of the personal injury lawyer arguing on your behalf, and even more so, as you, the proverbial "layman" will be up against another personal injury expert, who will be acting against you and in the interest of the RAF.
So you lose, and you lose big time! Obviously paid-up subscription members of Biker's Law is not affected by this, and they can expect to always have a personal injury lawyer at their side when the need arise. So if you were wondering if your R20 per month was worth it, it now sure is.
As you may know, there are currently legal proceedings underway in an effort to stop this, but I foresee a lengthy period before finality is reached. I have no doubt that all parties involved will utilize the full spectrum of legal forums to their avail to fight to the proverbial bitter-end. And that could be years, during which you will probably be the loser of note! Not fair, but probably accurate.
As to the second issue pertaining to limiting your claims for loss in future income to R150,000 per year, there can be no doubt that a long and expensive legal battle will ensue regarding this as well. But in the interim the rule would probably still apply to you and me. In essence it means that should you for instance be in an accident, and be medically unfit to work, you may now claim a maximum of R150,000 per year for loss of future income, even if you are currently earning 10 times that per year. This will have obvious disastrous affects on all.
But since Biker's Law also sue the driver of the other vehicle on your behalf (wherever applicable and possible), we can claim the shortfall from the driver and/or his/her insurance. While you cannot sue for the same amount as you have claimed for against the RAF, (enrichment), you can sue the driver for costs and losses incurred or reasonably expected to occur, which you can not or did not claim for against the RAF.
While any person, also those not covered by Biker's Law, has the same right, the cost is once again a major problem. Issuing claims against an insurance house is expensive, and while you might have to provide the attorney with a R30,000 deposit for your claim against the RAF as a non-member of Biker's Law, when you sue an insurance house, be sure you would need to provide a deposit of at least R100 000 to your attorney before anything meaningful has transpired. This is to cover the cost of the attorney, correspondents (where applicable), as well as advocates (and R100,000 will only get you a junior advocate, if you are to go for the "big boys", you can double that at least)
I trust this brings a bit of clarity on the issue, and also explain, once again the benefit of being a paid-up member of Biker's Law. Never before have R20 a month bought so much for so little!
So go out and get your friends informed and signed on, and if you have not signed on as yet, now is the time. If you don't have an application form, send us a mail to
bikerslaw@mweb.co.za and ask for it! We will send you the necessary documents by return mail.
Ride Safe & Ride Proud
Jaco Wessels
Biker's Law Team Member
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