If you are injured and need to claim from the Road Accident Fund (RAF), it pays to be prepared in order to expedite the whole process. At Simpsons Attorneys, we are here with you every step of the way. Let’s have a look at what you can expect, and what you can do to make the experience as stress-free as possible.

What is the Road Accident Fund and who can claim?

The Road Accident Fund is funded via a national fuel levy and was created to provide the widest possible cover for road accident victims who are injured within the borders of South Africa (this includes persons who reside outside of South Africa but were injured here). If the person involved in the accident has passed away, and was the family breadwinner, then the dependents of that person are also eligible to claim from the RAF.

How do you claim from the fund?

It is important to remember that a claim must be lodged within three years from the date of the accident. However, this does not apply to a claim by a child under the age of 18 years old. If however there accident was a so called “hit and run”, the negligent driver is unidentified, you only have two years to lodge your claim.

Documents you need to gather

When you come for a consultation with us, we will inform you of all the documentation that you need in order to lodge your claim. Remember that we are here to make your life easier, and where possible, we will help you to source the necessary documents such as medical records etc. However, in order to make the process as smooth as possible, we always recommend that you document as much as you possibly can about your accident, medical claims and any other events arising from your accident.

Start a file as soon as possible, and try to include the following documentation Or information.

  • SAPS case number and the name of the relevant police station. Remember to report the accident as soon as possible, injuries permitting.
  • Details of any witnesses.
  • An affidavit or statement detailing your version of events while it is fresh in your memory.
  • Photos of the scene of the accident and vehicles involved. If you are unable to take photographs yourself, ask friends and family to take pictures of the scene. These can be very helpful in your case at a later date.
  • Proof of income, i.e., salary slip, employers’ certificate or letter confirming employment, bank statements, affidavits from suppliers or regular clients if you are self-employed.
  • Details for of all medical treatment you may have received, such as doctor’s bills, contact details, and photos of any visible injuries / scarring where relevant.
  • Policies. If you have claimed from your medical aid, vehicle insurance provider and or against any funeral / life or income policy, keep a record of these claims.

What to expect from the process?

120 days after lodgement of your claim, legal proceedings may begin, this of course being where settlement out of court has not been possible. You may be required to testify in person as well as having motivators testify on your behalf. Usually, our legal team will handle most of the administration and presentation of evidence, however you must be prepared to appear in person if needed. Your legal team will ensure you feel fully prepared and comfortable before the time.

Matters are usually finalised at this stage either by way of a settlement alternatively, after consideration of the evidence and by court order.

How long does the process take, and why?

It is important to realise that a RAF claim might take several years to settle. Although this might be disheartening, remember that our attorneys are with you every step of the way.
Due to a heavy caseload, poor administration and the often-complex nature of road accidents, claiming from the RAF is a drawn-out process. It is also important that any injuries or medical complications that you may have sustained have been properly addressed and treated, and have had time to stabilise. Medical practitioners need to be sure that your injuries will not significantly worsen or improve, before they can make an assessment regarding your possible future losses.

The average claim takes between 3-5 years to finalise however complex arguments and appeal processes can further draw this out. You should always be fully informed and understand what stage of the process your claim is in and why.

Claiming from the RAF might sound like a confusing, drawn-out process. However, if you or a loved one are injured and unable to earn an income as a result of an accident that is not your fault, it is important to consider lodging a claim. It is your right as a road-user. At Simpsons, we are not only experts in personal injury claims resulting from motor vehicle accidents, but also take a personal interest in each one of our clients. Our team will support and advise you during this lengthy process and do everything in their power to make your experience as stress-free as possible.

Contact us today to book your free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. Let’s talk about how we can assist in your claim.