The Road Accident Fund (RAF)
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is an Insurance Company created by the Road Accident Fund Act, and is run by the Minister of Transport of the Government of South Africa. It receives money from the fuel levy, which must be used fairly to compensate innocent victims of Road Accidents.
How do Road Accident Funds (RAF) Claims Work?
You have three years to submit a third party claim to the Road Accident Fund if the motor vehicle or motor vehicles involved are identified and the details of the driver are known. Hit & Run accidents where the negligent driver or the registration details is unknown, you have two years to submit a RAF claim.
If you were under 18 years old when the accident happened, then you have until 3 years after you turned 18 to submit your claim. (As an example; if you are 16 years old and your accident happened 6 years ago, you can still claim 3 years after you turned 18).
The sooner you can start with the legal process, the better. You may lose important evidence of information of your claim if you wait too long to submit your claim.
You may claim for:
- Past medical expenses already occurred.
- Future medical expenses in Terms of an Undertaking from the RAF.
- Past loss of earnings.
- Future loss of earnings if you are permanently disabled.
- According to the new amended act (November 2010) you only qualify to claim for general damages such as for pain and suffering, serious disfigurement, etc. if you are 30% or more permanently disabled.
- You may claim on behalf of a relative. An Attorney will advise on what needs to be done in this case and it may be necessary for the High Court to appoint a Curator ad Litem, to act for or on behalf of your relative. It is important to remember that even if you help to make the claim on behalf of someone else, the money goes to that person, not to you.
You cannot claim against another driver when you claim against the Road Accident Fund.
The Road Accident Fund will not pay for your car to be fixed.
How long does it take for a RAF claim settlement?
Every claim is different. It is very difficult to say how long a claim will take. The RAF may decide to fight liability against your claim in court, and this could take up to 3 years to complete. If you win the case, you will still have to prove how much your claim is worth. Statistics show that cases take an average of 3 years or more to settle. If you were badly injured, it may be necessary to consult many medical experts in order to prepare your case properly. It all depends on the quantification (value) of your claim.
The more we can prove, the more we can get for you.
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- Partial payment: You can get partial payment if you were partly responsible for the accident. The RAF can deduct from the value of your claim for contributing towards negligence. It is called “Contributory Negligence” But remember, you cannot claim for any damage to a motor vehicle or property. This must be done by suing the driver who caused the accident. Personal Liability Insurance or Short Term Insurance will cover for those costs.
- Drivers: Only the innocent driver can claim against the RAF.
- Passengers: Your claim against the RAF is unlimited.
- Pedestrians: It all depends on you “Contributory Negligence” towards the accident.
- Cyclists / Motor Cyclists: It all depends on you “Contributory Negligence” towards the accident.