Who can claim from the Road Accident Fund?
Accident victims who were not responsible, or only partially responsible, for a road accident can claim compensation from the RAF.
Claims may include compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings or general damages.
In the event of an accident victim’s death, those who were reliant on the deceased for financial support can claim for loss of support. Close family members can also claim for certain funeral expenses.
Average Road Accident Fund payouts
According to the 2018/9 RAF Annual Report, a total of R41.96 billion was paid out in claims for that period, an increase of 21% from the previous year.
It also reported a 3% increase in the average value of a claim, which was R114,008.
A total of 229,534 claims were finalised in 2018/19 with the average payouts for specific types of damages being as follows:
- R412,464 for loss of support
- R767,506 for loss of earnings
- R462,130 for general damages
- R15,392 for medical expenses
- R18,117 for funeral costs.
Examples of recent Road Accident Fund payouts
A man was awarded R5,426,659 after a road accident left him with impaired quality of life. The brain injuries he sustained resulted in impaired cognitive function, which affects his ability to work.
A man who was a passenger during an accident and was thrown from the vehicle, sustaining head injuries and a disfigured hand, was awarded R4,003,526 in a recent case.
A motorcyclist was awarded R3,573,300 after an accident where another vehicle turned in front of him and caused a collision that left him with a head injury, a fractured pelvis and a broken kneecap.
A young girl was awarded a settlement of R5,995,031 after being hit by a taxi. She was walking to school along the pavement when the taxi hit her, causing very serious injuries.
A passenger in a speeding vehicle that collided with a barrier was left with loss of feeling and function in one side of his body. With legal representation, the man was able to secure a R6,800,000 settlement in early 2019.
The examples listed above weren’t all defended by DSC Attorneys. It’s important to note that they’re examples only. Multiple factors determine the payout for any particular claim.
Road Accident Fund claim limits
For road accidents that occurred on, or after, 1 August 2008, the maximum amount that can be claimed for loss of income is R289,957 per year.
This value is periodically adjusted. It’s calculated as the R160,000 limit that was set in 2008, adjusted quarterly since then for inflation.
There’s no specific cap on compensation for medical expenses, although these are covered only at public healthcare rates.
In the case of a death, dependants or close family of the deceased can claim for the cost of cremating the deceased or for burial.
Note that Road Accident Fund claims must be submitted within specific time limits (known as a prescription period) or the claim lapses.
How to make a claim
Despite many successful claims over the past few years, an RAF claim can still be a lengthy process.
For several reasons, it’s not recommended that claimants try to submit an RAF claim without professional legal representation.
At DSC Attorneys, we specialise in Road Accident Fund claims.
We can assist you in preparing legal documents and substantiating your claim, negotiating a settlement with the Road Accident Fund, and, if necessary, representing you in court. This gives you the best chance of a successful outcome.
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.