Let’s explore South Africa’s Road Accident Fund
Did you know that if you are involved in a road accident inside of South African borders there is a state-funded insurance that will provide you with appropriate cover?
Yes, you read correctly, the Road Accident Fund (RAF) has been put in place to provide financial assistance to those who have been in an accident or to dependents that have lost a loved one in an accident due to negligent driving on South African roads. The RAF is funded by a fuel levy that is attached to the fuel and diesel price.
Who can and cannot claim?
If you fall into one of the below categories, you can claim from the RAF:
- any person who was injured in the accident, excluding the driver who caused the accident
- any driver (excluding the driver who caused the accident), passengers or pedestrians who were injured during the accident
- if you were the driver of the car, however you don’t own the car and the accident was due to negligence on the owners behalf
- dependents of someone that was killed in the accident (this includes spouses, children or anyone else that has been named as a dependent)
- a close relative of the person who died that had to pay for the funeral
*Please remember that if the person who is claiming is under the age of 18, they need to be assisted by their parent or legal guardian.
If you fall into one of the below categories, you cannot claim from the RAF:
- the driver who caused the accident
- if you were the only person and vehicle involved in the accident
What does the compensation include?
If you qualify to claim from the RAF the following expenses will be paid for:
- medical expenses
- funeral expenses
- salary loss due to an inability to work resulting from the accident
What happens if the driver has no insurance?
Whether or not the driver of the car is insured, people who are injured in the accident, or the dependents of people killed in the accident, can get money from the fund to help pay for any medical expenses and to compensate for wages they may have lost as a result of the accident.
How do I go about claiming?
In order to get paid out by the RAF, you need to claim within the first three years following the accident if you know who caused it, and within the first two years of the accident if you don’t know who caused it.
You will need need to submit the following documents to the fund:
- the appropriate claims forms – these can be downloaded here
- the name of the police station where the accident was reported including
- the case number
- a copy of the police report
- a charge sheet
- a sketch of the accident scene.
- receipts and accounts to prove medical claims and expenses
- a medical report and a letter from your doctor stating the amount you may need to pay in the future for medical expenses as a result of the accident
- a letter from your employer stating the amount you lost as a result of unpaid wages.
- a written letter that gives permission for the hospital to hand over your medical records to the RAF
- a sworn statement and statements from any witnesses to the accident
For more information about the Road Accident Fund you can visit their website www.raf.co.za.
There have been cases where people have had difficulties claiming from the RAF. If you find yourself in this situation, there are many lawyers nationwide who will help you get your money.