If you or a family member have been injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident because one of the drivers was negligent, you may be eligible to claim from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
The RAF is a publicly accessible fund set up to provide monetary compensation to those who have suffered injuries as a result of an accident on public roads.
This means that even if the driver of the car doesn’t have insurance, people injured in the accident (or the loved ones of people killed in the accident) can get money from the fund to help pay medical expenses and to compensate for wages they may have lost as a result of the accident.
What is the Road Accident Fund (RAF)?
The RAF provides financial assistance to people injured in road accidents or the dependants of people killed in road accidents caused by negligent driving.
The fund is financed by a fuel levy that’s included in the petrol and diesel price.
Who can claim?
- A person who was injured in the accident (except the driver who caused the accident).
- Drivers (excluding the driver who caused the accident), passengers and pedestrians involved in the accident.
- If you were the driver in the accident but are not the owner of the car and the accident was caused by the owner’s negligence (for example, if they didn’t fix the brakes) and you are injured, then you can claim from the fund.
- A child, spouse or other person who depended on the income of the person who died in the accident.
- A close relative of the dead person who paid for the funeral
- A claimant under the age of 18 years must be assisted by a parent or legal guardian.
When can you not claim from the fund?
- A person who caused the accident can’t claim from the fund. You can only lodge a claim if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligent driving.
- You can’t claim if you were the only person and vehicle involved in the accident. The RAF doesn’t compensate individuals who are the primary cause of the accident for example, if someone who drives off a bridge due to their own negligence.
What can you get compensation for?
- Medical expenses.
- Funeral expenses.
- Compensation for pain and suffering.
- Lost earnings if you were unable to work.
- Loss of support. Dependents of the main income provider of the household who was killed in the accident as a result of someone else’s negligence can claim loss of support.
How to claim from the Road Accident Fund?
You can claim from the Fund yourself or you can get a lawyer to claim for you but you’ll have to pay for their services.
You must make the claim within 3 years of the date of the accident, if you know who caused the accident. If you don’t know who the driver or owner of the vehicle was that caused the accident, you need to claim within 2 years.
Article courtesy of the Western Cape Government.
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