No one knows when an accident will happen. And when it does happen, it often has devastating consequences for those involved. In the case of road accidents, that’s when the Road Accident Fund (RAF) could be liable.
Adendorff Attorneys Inc. specialises in personal injury claims against the RAF, helping clients throughout South Africa.
Read on to learn facts about the RAF that you may not have known.
It gets money every time you fill up with fuel
Every South African motorist pays a fuel levy that helps fund the Road Accident Fund (RAF). Currently, this levy is R2.07 per litre of petrol or diesel sold and provides the RAF with an average annual income of R43 billion. 60% of the funds collected by the RAF are paid out to injured parties/claimants. The RAF spends R17 billion on administrative costs, with R10.6 billion spent on legal expenses.
It doesn’t only cover car accidents
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is a fund to compensate victims who have been involved in road accidents – so it covers more than just victims of car accidents. The RAF also covers passengers and pedestrians. In addition, the term “vehicle” is broad, so it applies to cyclists, motorcyclists, and others. The law defines a “motor vehicle” as “any vehicle designed or adapted for propulsion or haulage on a road by means of fuel, gas, or electricity, including a trailer, a caravan, or an agricultural vehicle.”
You don’t have to be a South African citizen to claim
The Road Accident Fund provides coverage for anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident which occurred in South Africa, regardless of their nationality or legal status – it even covers tourists. In 2010, a motorcyclist from Switzerland won a large sum of money from the Road Accident Fund in South Africa. The tourist was injured in a motorcycle accident. He received over half a billion rand due to a settlement negotiated between the Road Accident Fund, the injured person and a reinsurance company.
Your right to claim has a time limit
If you are injured in a car accident, you are entitled to claim compensation from the RAF. However, you must lodge your claim within three years of the date of the accident. Otherwise, the RAF can refuse your claim on the grounds of “prescription”, meaning that your claim has lapsed in terms of the law.
There are three situations in which prescription is paused:
- If you were a minor (under the age of 18) at the time of the accident; or
- If you were placed under curatorship at the time of the accident; or
- If you were detained as a patient under mental health legislation at the time of the accident.
You don’t always have to have money to pay for a personal injury lawyer
If you need legal help but are afraid of the costs involved, you can turn to a lawyer who works on a Contingency Fee basis – in other words, a “no win, no fee” basis. This means that you only have to pay the lawyer if they win your case, and you do not have to pay anything upfront. Before you sign a “no win, no fee” agreement with an attorney, you should read and understand the contingency fee law. This law spells out exactly how your compensation will be apportioned if you successfully obtain a settlement.
Do you have a personal injury claim?
WhatsApp Adendorff Attorneys Inc. at 076 911 7300 to speak to us about your valid claim for a serious injury. We will contact you to discuss your case free of charge and without obligation to determine how we can help you with your personal injury claim on a no-win, no-fee basis.