Claiming from the Road Accident Fund

Description:

What is the Road Accident Fund? 

If a person is injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident because a driver involved in the accident was negligent, they or their family can claim compensation from the Road Accident Fund (RAF). This means that even if the driver of the car doesn't have insurance, you can get money to help you pay for your medical expenses and to compensate for the time that you are unable to work.

The Road Accident Fund is a public entity which has been set up to pay compensation to people injured in road accidents or the dependants of people killed in road accidents arising from the negligent driving of a motor vehicle in South Africa. The Fund gets its money from a fuel levy that is included in the price of petrol and diesel.

Who is Entitled to Make a Claim?

The following are entitled to make a claim:

  • A person who sustained a bodily injury in the accident (except a driver who was the sole cause of the accident).
  • A dependent of a deceased breadwinner.
  • A close relative of the deceased who paid for the funeral and
  • A claimant under the age of 18 years must be assisted by a parent, legal guardian.

See the Claims Procedure section for detailed information on submitting a claim.

Who Can Claim from the Fund?
  • You can claim if you were injured in the accident.
  • Your dependents can claim if you were killed in the accident.
  • You can claim if you were involved in an accident as a driver, a passenger or a pedestrian.

There is only a claim if the accident was caused by someone else's negligent driving. You cannot claim if you caused the accident. You also can't claim if you were the only person and vehicle involved in the accident, for example if you drove into a pole.

If you were the driver in the accident but are not the owner of the car and the accident was caused by the owner of the car's negligence (for example, if they didn't fix the brakes) and you are injured, then you can claim from the fund.

What Can You Get Money For?

If you are injured in an accident, you can claim for:

  • your medical expenses.
  • funeral expenses.
  • compensation for pain, suffering and disfigurement.
  • lost earnings.
  • Claims for loss of support - If the breadwinner in the family dies in an accident caused by someone else, then the dependants of that person can claim for loss of support.

If you were partly responsible for the accident then you can still claim but you will only receive a portion of the damages. For example, if you were 50% responsible, then you will only get 50% of the damages. If you were 25% responsible, then you will get 75% of the damages.

You cannot claim for damage done to your vehicle or property. To get money for this, you need to sue the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident. If they have insurance, their insurance will pay you. If they don't have insurance, they will have to pay you personally.

What is Neglicence? 

Only accidents caused by someone else's negligence can give rise to claims from the Fund. So you need to prove that someone else was negligent. You do this by proving that the driver did not drive their vehicle in a way in which a reasonable driver would have driven in the circumstances.

How Much Money Can You Claim for? 

If you were not in the vehicle that caused the accident, there is no limit to the damages you can claim from the Road Accident Fund.

If you or your breadwinner was a passenger in the car which caused the accident, you cannot claim more than R25 000 altogether. You can only claim back money that you have spent or will spend because of the accident, for example hospital and doctor's bills that you have paid.

If you or your breadwinner was a paying passenger or if you were in the car because of work, you can only claim R25 000, but you can sue the negligent driver for any money over that. You cannot sue your employer, however.

How Long does it Take for a Claim to be Processed?

Claiming from the Fund is a complicated process and the Fund has a lot of claims to handle, so it can take a long time for your money to be paid out. The Fund has 120 days to investigate the matter after the claim has been lodged, before the final proceedings can go ahead.

Instructions:

How do You Claim from the Fund?

You can claim from the Fund yourself or you can get a lawyer to claim for you but you will have to pay for their services. There are information officers at all RAF offices that can help you free of charge.

You must make the claim within three years of the date of the accident, if you know who caused the accident. If you don't know who the driver or owner of the vehicle that caused the accident was, you need to claim within two years.

You make the claim by completing the Claim Form (Form 1). Every applicable paragraph must be completed. The doctor that treated you immediately after the accident must complete the medical report section of the form. You must also sign the form.

To make the claim, you need to have:
Full particulars of the accident.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Where do You Lodge a Claim?

You can lodge your claim at or find out more information from the RAF offices in Cape Town:
7th Floor, No. 1 Thibault Square, Long Street, Cape Town, 8001
Private Bag X28, Roggebaai, 8012
Tel: 021 408 3300
Fax: 021 419 7417 / 8740
E-mail: customerservices@raf.co.za

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Government Body:
The content on this page was last updated on 5 November 2014