How to Successfully Claim from the Road Accident Fund | Legal Articles

 

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How to Successfully Claim from the Road Accident Fund

It is not all Road Accident Fund claims that are successful, owing to shortfalls in the technical and legal aspects pertaining to the lodged claims. This happens mostly because many claimants will be lost in the excitement of anticipating a lump sum and not putting pen to paper on the important aspects and requirements that must be satisfied before lodging a claim.

Whilst using an attorney to assist in lodging and driving the claim is strongly advised, having a general good idea of what a Road Accident Fund claim must be, will also help in a way. This article seeks to paint a general idea of what a claim should cater for before being lodged with the Road Accident Fund.

The Road Accident Fund is a creature of statute, being the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996. The provisions of this Act are what govern claims administered by the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

Claiming from the Road Accident Fund

At what point does one claim from the Road Accident Fund?

Claiming from the Road Accident Fund must be done as soon as possible from the date of the incident, but otherwise within 3 years so as to avoid the claim prescribing. If the claim prescribes, it means one has no legal right to claim anymore, no matter how much damages one has suffered. In the event of a hit and run motor vehicle accident, the claim must be lodged within 2 years. Where the claimant is less than 18 years of age, the prescription will start running from the day they turn 18 years. We advise prospective claimants to contact us as soon as possible so that we can assist without delay.

Do I qualify to Claim from the Road Accident Fund?

The following categories of persons are eligible to claim from the Road Accident Fund as long as they did not solely cause the accident;

  1. Drivers
  2. Passengers
  3. Cyclists
  4. Pedestrians
  5. Motorcyclists

In the event that you were the driver, owner of the vehicle, and solely caused the accident you may not qualify to claim from the Road Accident Fund. Further, if you were the only person involved in the accident e.g you crashed your vehicle into a tree and the accident was because of sole recklessness or negligent driving, you may also not claim from the Road Accident Fund.

What can be claimed?

  1. Medical expenses
  2. Lost wages and/or earnings if one could not or cannot work anymore
  3. Funeral expenses
  4. Loss of support if the bread winner was killed in the accident
  5. General damages due to serious injury (as per set criteria).

What details and documents must be lodged with the Claim?

  1. Completed prescribed form
  2. Full details of the accident
  3. Statements by witnesses
  4. Accident Report
  5. Hospital and Medical Reports
  6. Proof of expenses e.g., funeral receipts
  7. Documents that support the amounts claimed
  8. Any other documents relevant under the circumstances.

What immediate steps must be taken soon after the accident?

Sometimes due to shock, situational impossibility or injury, it may be difficult to gain one’s composure and take control of the situation soon after the accident. However where possible, soon after the accident one must take the following information so as to assist in a future Road Accident Fund claim:

  1. Date, time and place of the accident
  2. Registrations of the motor vehicles involved in the accident
  3. Identities of the parties involved and their residential and contact details
  4. Identities and contact details of witnesses
  5. Report the accident to police at the scene
  6. Take pictures of the vehicles with road markings visible
  7. If injured one must seek medical attention and make sure a file is opened
  8. All expenses incurred must be retained and kept safe.

Van Deventers and Van Deventers Inc. – Your Attorneys in South Africa

Claiming from the Road Accident Fund is fraught with a lot of technical and legal aspects which, if not treaded on carefully, a claim may be rejected and proving it may take a long and expensive court process.

Our attorneys stand ready to assist with Road Accident Fund matters on contingency fee arrangements or on an agreed fee structure which we are open to negotiate to suit your requirements.

The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. One should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice. The contents of this site contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address one’s peculiar situation. We disclaim all liability for actions one may take or fail to take based on any content on this site.

Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.


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