A common question concerning Road Accident Fund claims is how much the claimant can expect to get paid if their claim succeeds. This is a reasonable question, especially if a road accident victim depends on that money to survive.
Unfortunately, the answer is not straightforward. The value of RAF payouts for claims depends on a variety of factors.
However, one fact is clear. To get the maximum compensation, claimants must use an experienced attorney or risk under-compensation and a rejected claim.
What affects RAF payout values
The ultimate value of your RAF payout will depend on these factors:
- how responsible you were for causing the accident (if relevant)
- the nature and severity of your injuries
- the expected consequences of your injuries (inability to walk, for example)
- medical costs (including future costs) associated with your injuries
- loss of income or support as a direct result of your injuries.
An experienced attorney will look at your case and tell you whether it has merit enough to go forward with a claim.
Cap on RAF loss of income and loss of support claims
On some types of claims, there’s a cap on how much you can get in a payout. This means no matter what the circumstances of your claim, the payout will never exceed this amount.
For loss of income and loss of support claims, the cap is currently R297,877 (December 2021). This is the cap on annual losses. In other words, annual loss of income or support in excess of this cap can’t be recovered.
This amount is adjusted periodically for inflation. You can find notices detailing the new threshold amounts here.
Examples of RAF payouts
These are recent notable payouts to give you an idea of how high some RAF payouts go. These payouts cover various claims, including general damages and medical expenses.
Our client was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident. She sustained compound, comminuted fractures of the right and left tibias and severe crush injuries to both feet, resulting in the amputation of two toes and causing severe deformity.
At the time of the accident our client was 23 years old. She was employed as an articled clerk at an accounting firm.
Our client was compensated for her past and future medical expenses; her loss of earnings and future anticipated losses; and general damages.
A recent RAF payout for R3,470,204.50 was made after an apportionment of 70/30% in favour of our client.
Our client was injured as a pedestrian, when crossing a street in central Cape Town. He sustained a severe rupture of the medial collateral ligament, a fracture of the tibial plateau of the left knee and a partial rupture of the patella retinaculum.
To date, our client has received conservative treatment only; no surgeries have been performed. However, it’s foreseen that a total knee replacement will have to be performed in the next 10 years, with a revision 10 to 15 years thereafter. Our client is a gemologist and lapidarist and conducts his business all over the world.
Our client, a fourth-year nursing student with the intention of becoming an ICU nurse, was a passenger when another vehicle jumped a red robot and collided with the vehicle she was in.
Our client sustained a severe injury to the right hip and required arthroscopic surgery to repair a labral tear. She continued to experience pain and had cortisone injections. It’s anticipated that she will eventually have to undergo a hip replacement.
Our client was compensated for her past and future medical expenses; her loss of earnings as a result of her having to change her career; and general damages.
A recent RAF payout of over R2.9 million was awarded after liability was conceded 100% in our client’s favour. Our client was injured when a vehicle in front of his attempted to overtake another vehicle and collided with an oncoming truck.
Our client sustained serious injuries to the knee, hip and lumbar spine. These limit him to work of a sedentary nature.
Our client was compensated for his past and future medical expenses; loss of earnings as a result of being unable to compete in the open labour market; and general damages.
R2.5 million and 100% of medical costs
In 2020, the RAF paid R2,578,850 and all future medical costs to a man who suffered a severe head injury in a car accident. The injury made it impossible for him to continue working.
In 2020, the RAF paid R4.6 million to a young woman who suffered multiple injuries as a passenger in a road accident. The accident prevented her from working on yachts in the US as planned.
In 2021, the RAF paid R6,509,622 to a child who was hit by a swerving taxi. This amount covered general damages, loss of earnings, future medical treatments and hospital or nursing home accommodation, plus the setting up and administration of a trust for the child.
In 2020, the court ordered the RAF to pay R7,476,619.75 for general damages and loss of earnings when a six-year-old child suffered multiple injuries after being hit by a vehicle.
In 2018, a woman was awarded R6,146,509 after a head-on collision left her with a traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures.
After rejecting the RAF’s initial offer of R600,000, a woman who suffered a severe head injury in a road accident was able to claim R3,609,295 with legal assistance.
RAF claims with DSC Attorneys
At DSC Attorneys, we’re experts in road accident claims, with extensive experience in handling claims against the RAF.
Our personal injury attorneys and medico-legal team are committed to helping road accident victims in our country get the compensation they deserve, in as short a period as possible. We work on a no win, no fee basis.