What you can claim
If you’ve been injured as a result of a road accident and the accident wasn’t solely your fault, you can claim for the following:
- past and future medical expenses
You can claim for all medical expenses arising from the injury, provided you can prove that the injury wasn’t sustained before the accident. No limit, or cap, currently applies to the compensation you can claim for medical expenses.
- loss of income
You can claim for loss of income due to your injury, currently up to a limit of R297,877. This value is adjusted periodically for inflation.
- general damages
You can claim general damages for pain and suffering from the RAF if you sustained a serious injury (as determined by legally defined criteria).
This cover applies for all road users, including motor vehicle drivers and passengers, motorcycle drivers and passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Also, if a close family member or a family breadwinner is killed in a road accident, you can claim for:
- loss of support
It’s possible to claim compensation for loss of support, up to R297,877. This value is adjusted periodically for inflation, at the same time as the cap on RAF loss of income claims.
- funeral costs
Compensation for funeral costs is limited to the cost of cremating the deceased or interring the remains.
Adjustments to limits on loss of income and loss of support claims
Whenever the caps on RAF loss of income and loss of support claims are adjusted, the new applicable limits are published in a government gazette. You can check for gazette notices of these adjustments here.
What you can’t claim
The RAF does NOT offer cover for damage to vehicles or personal property.
The RAF also doesn’t provide cover if you were the driver and owner of the vehicle solely responsible for the accident, or if you were the only person involved in the accident and the collision wasn’t a result of anyone else’s negligence.
Factors that affect RAF settlements
The value of a RAF settlement will depend on a number of factors. Key among these are the severity of the injury you’ve sustained and its likely long-term effects, including its impact on your ability to earn an income in the future.
Other factors likely to affect RAF settlements include:
- your age, given that this may affect your potential loss of earnings if you’ve suffered a debilitating injury
- whether you’ve received compensation from sources other than the RAF; for example, if you’ve received an insurance payout, this will be taken into consideration and is likely to result in a decreased settlement amount
- whether or not you’re represented by an experienced personal injury attorney, who can negotiate with the RAF on your behalf.
You can find a few examples of settlements covered in our article on Road Accident Fund Payouts.
For the best chance of a successful claim against the RAF, use the services of a suitably qualified attorney, who can guide you through the claims process and represent your interests.
At DSC Attorneys, all our attorneys are highly experienced in personal injury law and offer many years of combined experience in handling Road Accident Fund claims.