SA Seek Compensation for Personal Injury by Parents?

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9 January 2017
I only have a memory of falling off monkey bars at age 6 or 7, but I'm not sure that this was the cause of my injuries. I'm 33 now and clearly have a disfigured face, broken nose fractures on my frontal bone. I can count at least 10. My whole face goes to one side.

My parents or older siblings have given me zero information about it. I won't rule out physical violence. The unknown is the hardest part. I am no longer in contact with my parents, and I've only now had the courage to deal with this, as their continual attempt at controlling my life and guilting me of things and giving me money seemed to have kept me silent and unable to question this.

I have suffered years of physical pain in my head and face and the emotional pain is mounting. What can I do legally in regards to this? I have not yet spoken to a doctor It is my intention to do so in the near future as I am now scared of future repercussions.

I need to know if I suffered brain damage. I'm at a loss as to how I can start to deal with this. The thought of the cost of potential surgery makes me want to pursue compensation for personal injury.


Well-Known Member
31 October 2015
Hi Mich,

This must be very difficult for you. Because you don't have any knowledge or memory of what happened, it can be very difficult.

The first thing you need to do is see doctors, specialists and anyone that might be able to give you answers. Facial injuries or disfigurement can be cause by so many things. Not to make light of your situation, it's hard to know. From what you have said your issues could be caused by abuse, an accident (vehicle/fall/any other trauma incident) or it could be a genetic / congenital defect. Then the problem is, if this was from the actions of another are they liable.

Again I'm not making light of your situation, but in some cases parents keep the truth from children because they think they are protecting them. These sort of injuries could be from something such as a family car accident, were the driver may or may not be responsible but regardless feel responsible so the family doesn't talk about it.

Once you have the medical facts and the likely cause of your situation, there are ways of getting you parents to tell the court what happened, but you might be better off taking the medical facts to your parents and asking for the truth. It's a bit hard to fob you off if you have documented evidence and take someone with you so you have a witness if you need to go to court. Also get your witness and yourself to document the conversation afterwards. It's just a record of conversation.

If that doesn't help, I would think about seeing a lawyer, but only once you have the medical information and you have tried to have a discussion with your family.

Good luck.


9 January 2017
Thank you, Lance, for the help.

Yes, I would feel much better having the evidence from medical specialists before confronting my parents on this and the suggestion to document the conversation is a good idea with a witness as I can only see them denying things even with evidence.

You see, although I know parents don't admit things out of protection for their children, my parents have always been secretive to save their own behinds, which makes this a scary process for me in regards to them. But yes I will seek medical analysis first to get to the what.

The how and why I guess will come later.

Thank you again.


LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
Before you spend too much time and money attempting to pursue a claim, check with a SA lawyer what the statute of limitations is for this kind of case in SA. You may have run out of time.
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