Provided you weren’t solely responsible for the accident in which you were injured, you can claim compensation for medical expenses and loss of earnings, as well as general damages if you qualify for such an award.
If you’re the child, spouse or other person dependent on the income of someone injured or killed in a road accident, you can claim loss of support. You can also claim funeral costs for a close family member.
Average Road Accident Fund payouts
In 2015, the Road Accident Fund paid out a total of R28 billion in claims.
According to the Fund’s annual report for 2015, the average value of a claim was R114 969.
Average payouts for specific types of damages were as follows:
- R368 883 for loss of support
- R732 371 for loss of earnings
- R334 799 for general damages
- R9 799 for medical expenses.
Examples of recent Road Accident Fund payouts
A man who sustained serious injuries – including a fractured knee, broken arm and fractured vertebrae – and lost his wife and 9-month old son in a road accident received a payout of R2 887 387 from the Road Accident Fund.
A young boy who sustained severe injuries to his leg and foot in a car accident received a payout of R2 500 000.
A female passenger who sustained a head injury and multiple fractures, which left her with a speech impediment, was awarded R6 170 487 in damages.
A 6-year-old boy received a Road Accident Fund payout of R4 423 783 for injuries that he sustained when the car that he was travelling in collided with a city power generator that was not visible to the driver.
A cyclist who was knocked down by a motor vehicle and sustained injuries, including broken ribs, a fractured jaw and hearing loss in one ear, received a settlement of R800 335.
The examples listed above weren’t all defended by DSC Attorneys. It’s important to note that they’re examples only – multiple factors will determine the payout for any particular claim.
Road Accident Fund claim limits
For road accidents that occurred on, or after, 1 August 2008, claims for loss of earnings and loss of support are capped at R238,670 per year, regardless of the actual loss incurred. This value is the result of adjusting a limit set in 2008 – R160,000 – 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 interring the remains in a grave.
Note that Road Accident Fund claims must be submitted within specific time limits.
Making a claim
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 – giving you the best chance of a successful outcome.