Road Accident Fund (RAF)
We see them everywhere – those small white crosses alongside our roads. Memorials to the many fatal road accidents that occur every single day. That’s where the Road Accident Fund or RAF comes in.
If you’ve been in a car accident, for legal and insurance purposes, you need to report the accident to the nearest police station, regardless of whether there are injuries or not. This applies to drivers, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists as well as pedestrians who were not entirely responsible for the accident. If you were a driver in the accident, you’ll need to show your driver’s license at the police station.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident where you weren’t responsible, you can claim compensation from the Road Accident Fund (RAF). Remember, if you want to hire an attorney, make sure to contact a firm of attorneys who have experience in a car accident and RAF claims.
You’re Constantly Contributing – RAF
The Road Accident Fund is a state-supported insurance fund. Their role is to provide compensation to those people who are victims of road accidents. Each time you pull into a petrol station, you’re contributing to a statutorily prescribed levy. It is this levy which actually finances the fund.
The Fund provides personal injury- as well as death compensation to those injured in road accidents. This is only for when the accident wasn’t caused solely by them. The person responsible for the accident is indemnified against claims for compensation.
What can you claim from the Road Accident Fund?
- for medical- and funeral expenses that came about because of the vehicle accident
- for lost earnings from not being able to be at work because of injuries and treatment
- and also for general damages for pain and suffering
- loss of support for when the main breadwinner died in a road accident
A Time to Claim
You need to submit a claim within 3 years of the motor vehicle accident and within 2 years with a hit-and-run accident where you don’t know who the driver was.
How to claim? – RAF
There’s a certain procedure to follow when claiming from the RAF. There are certain forms to submit which includes the amount you’re claiming for. You will need an affidavit with police reports, doctor’s report and statements. Once you submit a claim, the Road Accident Fund starts to investigate the legitimacy of your claim.
You need to realise that in South Africa, even with a legitimate claim, it can take years for an investigation to be rounded up and your claim to be accepted. This is also because Road Accident Fund payouts are dependent on lots of factors.
Some people are bitterly disappointed because settlements take long and when they do materialise, the offered amount seems inadequate for all the trauma they’ve had to endure. It is why many people obtain the services of an experienced attorney, who can help them understand the process.
If your claim isn’t able to be settled through negotiation, it goes to court and then you may again require the services of a qualified attorney to help you.
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All info was correct at time of publishing April 30, 2019