Questions and Answers
Who may claim against the Road Accident Fund?
In order to claim, you must be able to prove that the accident in which you were injured was not entirely your fault.
You have a claim if:
- You were a passenger in a motor vehicle
- You were a passenger in a taxi or bus
- You were a pedestrian
- You were riding a bicycle or motorcycle
- You were the innocent driver
- Your minor or child was injured or killed
- If the breadwinner in your family was killed
You cannot claim if:
- You were not seriously injured or the breadwinner was not injured or killed
- The accident was your entire fault
- The accident was not anyone’s fault.
How much time do I have to claim against the RAF?
If it was a normal accident where the driver’s name, contact and registration details are known, you have three years to submit your claim. However if you were under 18 when the accident happened, you can claim up to 3 years after you turned 18 to make a claim.
Do I need a Lawyer to help me claim?
You can claim yourself, but an attorney-at-law will make sure that your claim is handled correctly in terms of the Act, and that you are fairly compensated. There are many Attorneys specialising in claims against the RAF. If your Attorney does not do a satisfactory job, you can complain to The Law Society of Cape of Good Hope and /or sue your Attorney. If you claim yourself and make mistakes the RAF will not pay and you will not be compensated.
It has come to our attention that a lot of accident victims are being unwittingly ripped off by con artists posing as legal representatives. So make sure you don’t fall prey to further victimisation – we deal with a list of registered specialists in your area, who will help you claim compensation for any damage caused.
How do I know if someone is an Attorney?
There are two ways to finding out if someone is a legitimate Attorney;
- Phone The Law Society of South Africa or;
- Ask the Attorney to show you his/her professional identity card.
What may I ask my Attorney?
- You may ask how much your Attorney will be claiming.
- You may ask how long your Attorney thinks your claim will take to finish.
- You may ask any questions about fees and other costs.
- You may ask for progress reports so you can see how your claim is being dealt with.
- You may ask for a full account at the end of your case.
If you have any queries on this statement, you are welcome to contact The Law Society of the Cape of Good Hope. Please make sure you keep all the copies of papers given to you by your Attorney.
What do you need to do immediately after the accident?
- Report the accident to the SAPS. (All accidents must be reported to the police as soon as possible. If you are badly injured and were not able to get to a police station, you have to ensure that somebody else reports the accident). If you were the driver the law obliges you to report any accident to the police within 24 hours, especially if someone was injured.
- Report the Accident to the RAF
- If the matter is not being investigated by the SAPS, try to get statements from all the witnesses as soon as possible.
- Taking photographs is not a necessity, but it will help your case if you can take photographs of the accident scene and surrounding area, as it may change, as well as the damage to the vehicles and any injuries.
- Make sure that the treating doctor records the visit or gives a detailed account, including treatment.
- Draw a sketch plan of the scene and make sure that it contains a fixed point so that it can easily be traced.
If you cannot remember anything that happened, you may still be in a position to claim. An Attorney will be able to advise you as to whether you will able to prove your case. It is usually possible to collect enough evidence to prove how an accident took place.