Do I qualify to claim from the Road Accident Fund?

By: Derek Irvine

Anyone who has been involved in an accident on a South African road may be able to claim for damages against the Road Accident Fund (RAF). The first step in the process is to be able to assess the answer to the question “Do I qualify to claim from the Road Accident Fund?”

This article attempts to help anyone facing this question with some guidelines in order to better understand what constitutes a valid claim.

In terms of the current Road Accident Fund Act of 1996, a person may only qualify for a claim against the Road Accident Fund if they meet the following two requirements:

  1. You were injured in an accident, and;
  2. You did not cause the accident you were involved in.

Let’s look at these in a bit more detail:

Proof of injury

When stating that you have been injured in an accident, the long-term and short-term result of the accident will be determined by way of medical expert reports provided after consultation and evaluation, and the initial evaluation thereof is determined in the medical treatment received by the patient after the accident happened by any doctor, hospital or clinic, recorded in medical records.

Understanding ‘fault’

The second requirement as listed above may be a contentious one. If you are slightly at fault with regards to causing the accident then that does not mean you do not have a claim. In South Africa our law makes recognition of the sublime principle of apportionment which states that should it be found that you are equally at fault for the causing of the accident as the other vehicle then your claim may still proceed, however, you will only receive half of your claim amount as you were half at fault for the causing of the accident and cannot claim your half of the fault.

Conclusion

If you have had the misfortune of being involved in an accident on a South African road and you meet or fulfil the 2 requirements mentioned above, you are able to either submit a claim yourself or you can contact your nearest third part claim Attorney and get professional help to guide you along the way in order to get the best possible outcome for your claim.

If you’re thinking of going direct, you may want to read: Thinking of claiming from the RAF without an attorney? Think again