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Why do I need to use an attorney when claiming from the RAF?

By October 2, 2017 November 12th, 2021 No Comments
Lady Justice

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is a government-run insurance scheme that pays compensation to victims of road accidents resulting from negligence. Members of the public may claim directly from the RAF, but we would like to explain why you would benefit from using a specialist attorney.

Claiming from the RAF is a complicated and technical process. Key to the success of your case is proving that negligence occurred. This requires (among other things):

  • documents from the South African Police Service (which you may need to pay for), and
  • an affidavit detailing what occurred at the time of the accident.

You will also need to specify what you are claiming for. This can include:

  • pain and suffering,
  • loss of amenities of life,
  • disfigurement,
  • disability and shock,
  • loss of income,
  • loss of earning capacity, and
  • future medical costs and past expenses.

In order to claim for pain and suffering, loss of amenities of life, disability, disfigurement and shock you need to lodge a serious injury assessment report (RAF 4) from a suitably qualified medical expert who has assessed your injury as ‘serious’ in accordance with the relevant Act and Regulations.

Specialist attorneys will:

  • Make sure that your claim is properly calculated and submitted in accordance with the relevant laws and within specific time frames.
  • Resolving a RAF claim can be a lengthy process and most specialist attorneys will carry the costs incurred (witness reports, medical examinations, medical reports from doctors and hospitals (which has to be paid for), etc.) until your matter is resolved.
    An attorney specialising in personal injuries will have the knowledge and experience to advise you whether the amount offered by the RAF to settle your claim is fair and reasonable given the circumstances of your particular case.
  • The “once and for all” Rule applies, once the final settlement has been reached, the Plaintiff will not be able to claim again from the RAF for this accident ever again. It is therefore paramount that your specialist attorney ensures that ALL damages are included before settlement has been reached.
  • If, for some reason, the attorney does not attend to your claim properly, such as under settlement-claims, legal avenues are open to you to sue your attorney.