How to Claim from the Road Accident Fund: 3 Simple Steps

The compensation paid by the RAF is determined by the RAF Act and the RAF Amendment Act, and is based on the common law of delict.

We asked a test group of 10 people, “Do you know how to claim from the RAF”. All 10 people said they had no idea how or where to go to claim if they were in an accident. So, we decided we needed to get the word out there because many South Africans don’t actually know.

It is the right of every South African to have access and knowledge about RAF claims as most of the money in the RAF is generated through fuel levy which the citizens of South Africa pay.

The Road Accident Fund was established in SA by Parliament and commenced full operations in May 1997. “The Road Accident Fund (RA​F) provid​es ​​compu​ls​or​y c​over to​ all users of South African roads, c​i​tizens and foreigners, against injuries sustained or death arisi​​n​​g fr​om accidents in​volving motor vehicles within the​ borders of South Africa. This cover is in the form of indemnity insu​r​an​c​​​e to persons​ who cause the accident, as​ we​ll as personal in​jury and death insurance to victims of motor ve​hicle accidents and the​ir families.”- www.raf.co.za/

Firstly, Why Was the RAF Established?

The RAF plays an important role in contributing to the economy in South Africa. There is a massive knock-on effect caused by deaths and injuries on the road, negatively affecting victims and their families which impacts economic growth.

The RAF plays a critical role in supporting and directly contributing to the growth of the South African economy. The knock-on effect of serious injuries and deaths caused by road accidents has a devastating effect on the victims and their dependents which in turn, negatively impacts on the growth of our economy. The RAF is basically there to provide a safety net for victims of road accidents and makes sure they get cover until they can work again or in case of a death, dependents are compensated. The RAF is funded by a levy on fuel used for all road users. It extends to all members of society living within the borders of South Africa, but it does not extend to drivers of motor vehicles that are found to be negligent.

How to Claim from The Road Accident Fund:

The RAF is encouraging citizens to claim directly from them instead of using laywers. They have created a campaign called #KeepItSimple which includes a simple 3-step process to submit a claim if you are a victim.

“One myth is that a middleman facilitates speedy claims,” according to the RAF’s Chief Marketing Officer, Phumelela Dhlomo.

1) Gather the Necessary Documents (documents required shown below)

– Police report and/or the case number of the accident,

– Personal details of everyone involved in the accident,

– Medical documents that support a claim of injury,

– Motivating testimonies from medical or legal experts and witnesses if there were any,

– All information relevant to the accident such as damages to the vehicle or structures around the accident.

2) Submit the Claims Forms

The claims must be lodged on claim form 1(download here). This is basic information on the parties involved as well as vehicles in the accident, the date, the place of the accident and the amounts claimed. Including the medical report of the doctor that treated the claimant.

The drivers of the vehicles involved in the collision must give details of the accident to the RAF on a statutory accident report form (Form 3 is to be used in respect of claims arising prior to 01 August 2008 and RAF 3  from 01 August 2008 onwards) together with information of witnesses which the RAF may request. – RAF website

3) Submit the documents

Once the Claimant has completed all the documents and has the supporting documents together they must submit them in hard copy as the Road Accident Fund won’t accept documents emailed to them. The claim will then be registered and investigated. The process should take a few months but can take between 3-5 years based on the state on the RAF in South Africa.

What Does The RAF Cover:

The following is found in the legal framework of the RAF website:

1.1.2.4  Losses and damages compensated

The compensation paid by the RAF is determined by the RAF Act and the RAF Amendment Act, and is based on the common law of delict. Damages paid by the RAF are categorised as special damages and general damages. Special damages are paid for pecuniary losses that have been, or will be suffered – and include:

  • Past and future hospital, medical and related expenses;
  • Past and future loss of earnings;
  • Past and future loss of support; and
  • Funeral expenses.

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