had a Injury on duty. RMA finalized and...

Asked by PUNISHER17971 on 11-08-2020 20:22:02
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Western Cape

 had a Injury on duty. RMA finalized and said according to all the dr Reports and test I have A 12% Permanent disibility on my dominent arm and hand. I have been retrenched due to closure of SaldanhaSteel. My Injury was in 14May 2018 while permanently employed by Arcelor Mittal S.A i have been struggling ever since. Al reports was done on July 2020. With me having a 12% permanent disibility in my dominent arm. Due to injury sustained while on duty for Arcelor Mittal. Do the have any obligations to compinsate me. I am 34 years young. And worked for the company for 12years permanently. RMA compinsated me R120k for the 12%. My question, how does that seem fair. Does Arcelor Mittal have any obligation towards me and compinsation

Information Requested by Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 25-08-2020 12:09:45

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.

When you say "RMA", do you mean that the insurance company compensated you the R120k figure as a result of your injuries?  Or what?

Att. Patrick

Information provided by client

Yes, RMA paid R120 000. I worked for Arcelor Mittal SA. Being forcefully retrenched and with my dominent arm damaged due to the injury on duty I wanted to know if the Company has any responsibilty towards me or not? And difficult as it is to find work, now I have a damaged dominent arm as well. So after all the dr tests etc thier medical side determined I have a 12% permanent disibility to my body due to the injury sustainde while on duty.

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 26-08-2020 22:56:20

My concern is that the company has already settled your claim against it for your injuries, in that they put in a claim with their insurance company and the insurance company offered you an amount of R120,000 for your injuries, and you then accepted that. If you signed some documents, like an letter of acceptance or another agreement or release document, then you've already settled your claim against the company. 

This means (if what I think is correct) that you are no longer able to sue the company because the company has already settled your claim. This would mean that the company has already accepted that it is responsible, to whatever degree, and has settled your claim. The company's responsibility has therefore ended. 

Surely somebody explained all of this to you, and went through the documents with you, or explained what the implications of you accepting the R120,000 from RMA meant?

Does the above sound correct? Or what?

Information provided by client

No one explaimed anything. AMSA said they have nothing to do with me. I only recieved the documemts together with a paper stating I have 120 days from recieving the amount to appeal. I recieved it the 6th of July. RMA PHONED ME and said that I mus get a job where I dont have to use my dominent hand etc. I still have all the money. AMSA said that They have no obligation I must corispond with RMA. How does that seem Correct? Why is It me who should handel this alone? All forms was emailed to me, stating I can appeal the amount of 120k if I am not sattisfied. And a form on how they calculated the R120000. Not even using my income Iwas getting. And with the covid 19, and all or most working from home. Well, it slows everything down. They sent me an affidavit form. I filled it in. And than they sent the amount I will recieve and EFT in to my account. After wich I asked how the amount was calculated. And they did not use my income that I was earning. On the form It states I have 180days from recieving to appeal.

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 27-08-2020 11:08:02

I think that AMSA are telling you that they have no obligation to you because you have been retrenched AND because you accepted the settlement which was put forwards by RMA, as their insurer, and you accepted the settlement. This means that you have settled the dispute with AMSA and you no longer have a claim against them, and they no longer owe you any obligations.

This all happened (I assume) after you received the R120,000 payment? In other words, after the matter was settled.

Did you appeal the amount of R120,000 within the 120 day period? I'm not entirely sure why there is an appeal provided for in that process. 

Did you complete and sign the affidavit and send it back to them? I'm sure that this affidavit sets out that you agree to settle the matter with them for the R120,000.

Why did you sign the affidavit, or agree to the EFT of R120,000, if you didn't even know how the amount of R120,000 was calculated? It makes no sense to me. 

I really do think that you've got a major problem here. 

What I suggest that you do is that you take ALL of the documents that you have to a labour lawyer to read and give you a second opinion on. He must explain to you what the documents mean, and what the implication is of you signing them.

What you should have done, before signing the affidavit, is to ask questions - How do you calculate the R120,000? What does the appeal mean? How does this affect me? Is this a settlement, or something else? etc.

Information provided by client

It is a normal Affidavit. Prove of residence and the ammount of settlement came about 2days after affedavit. And I did ask them. I have all the emails. After the money was deposited in my account they sent the form with how they caculated. I have all thier emails and corrispondence. Thanks for your time and effort to try and help. And no AMSA ignored me before the case was even settled or RMA payd the 120k

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 27-08-2020 18:19:48

You should have been more careful in asking for information before you agreed to settle your claim!

Information provided by client

Lastely, solidarity said that I can not make a civil case against Arcelor Mittal SA and sent me a example of a simmular case as well. Because They were my union.

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 03-09-2020 17:00:50

What I'm saying is that you could have made a civil claim against AMSA, but you settled the case by accepting the R120,000 payment. 

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