When someone who supports you financially is killed in a road accident, you might be able to make a loss of support claim to the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
RAF loss of support claims can be to cover support that you’ve personally lost or financial support for your children.
Who can claim for loss of support from the RAF?
If a breadwinner is killed and he or she was legally obligated to provide financial support to a spouse or children at the time of the accident, those dependants may be able to claim compensation from the RAF.
An example of this legal obligation would be a parent or guardian who is required to support his or her children.
In the case of underage dependants, the claim would be made by the victim’s spouse or legal guardian on their behalf.
Spouses have a reciprocal legal obligation to financially support each other.
This applies to life partnerships, so the dependant and the breadwinner don’t have to be married.
How to support your RAF loss of support claim
Your loss of support claim needs to be supported by the correct documentation.
If death occurred at the accident site, no medical records are required.
If the victim died in hospital, a medical report will be required.
You also need the following documents:
- certified copies of ID documents for the victim and claimant
- a death certificate
- post-mortem reports
- a marriage certificate (if applicable)
- birth certificates of dependants
- financial statements
- salary slips
- last will and testament (if applicable)
- income tax returns for the deceased.
If the claimant is earning an income but still wants to make a claim, he or she will have to prove that their earnings aren’t sufficient to provide adequate care for the dependants.
It’s highly recommended that you only make a loss of support claim from the RAF with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
An experienced attorney increases the chances of getting the compensation you deserve and need.
Limitations on claims for loss of support
When the identity of the negligent party is unknown, claims must be made within two years of the date of the accident.
If the identity is known and the claimant is over 18, the time limit is three years.
If the claimant is under 18 at the time of the accident, he or she has three years after turning 18 to submit a claim.
Loss of support claims are also capped.
In 2008, the limit was set at R160,000 per annum. This value is periodically adjusted for inflation.
For example, the adjusted limit set to apply from 30 April, 2020 was R294,300 per annum. This value is adjusted quarterly.
Average RAF loss of support claims
The amount you can claim from the RAF will depend on the case, your circumstances, the income and earning trajectory of the breadwinner and his or her dependants.
The RAF’s 2018/19 annual report stated that the average loss of support claim was for R412,464.
RAF claims for funeral expenses
You can also claim from the RAF to cover the funeral expenses of a family member who was killed in a road accident.
If the family covered these costs upfront, they can claim from the RAF for reimbursement.
The time limit on these claims is three years.
The RAF will cover these funeral costs:
- transportation of the body
- provision of the coffin or burial shroud
- preparation of the body (including embalming)
- storage of the body
- arranging for issuing of a death certificate
- burial or cremation of the body
- hiring of equipment to lower the coffin into the grave
- grave fees.
The RAF won’t cover expenses such as catering, flowers, transport for attendees, funeral programmes or tombstones.
Claims must be supported by:
- an ID for the deceased
- an ID for the claimant
- a death certificate
- a port-mortem report
- a copy of the accident report
- an invoice from the funeral parlour.
Medical records and an embalming certificate may be required.
RAF claims with DSC Attorneys
At DSC Attorneys, we specialise in road accident claims, including RAF loss of support claims and claims to cover funeral costs.
Our personal injury attorneys and medico-legal team can assess your claim, help prepare supporting evidence and represent you in legal proceedings, giving you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
We work on a no-win, no-fee basis.
Contact us online or call 0861 465 879 for the very best legal support and representation.