Claiming from the Road Accident Fund

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) offers to pay out for injuries and/or death of persons due to wrongful driving by a third party. Claiming from the RAF after an accident can be a complicated and frustrating process, made even more difficult if you are in a tight spot due to the accident. In order to make it a little easier, this guide should help you with the basics of claiming from the RAF

Know whether you can claim or not

Naturally, the first thing to do is establish whether or not you have a valid claim. The guidelines from the RAF indicate that you may apply for a claim if you experienced injury or death as a result of someone else driving recklessly or ‘wrongfully’, which may imply they should not have been driving, are unlicensed, were driving under the influence, or are solely responsible for the accident. You may also claim if you were driving someone else’s car and the accident was a result of the vehicle owner’s negligence in maintaining their vehicle. And you may claim if you’re a family member of someone killed in an accident who was reliant on the income of the deceased.

What costs can I claim from the RAF?

Compensation from the RAF is provided for funeral expenses of someone who died as a result of the accident, medical expenses arising from the accident, general damages for pain and suffering if you’ve suffered a serious injury, if you’ve been disfigured, lost an unborn child, or suffered mental or physical impairment. You can also claim for loss of earnings due to being unable to work, or loss of support to a household if the breadwinner died in the road accident.

How to claim from the RAF

If you meet the criteria above, you can lodge a claim with the RAF yourself – remember that you have between two and three years after the accident to claim, otherwise it prescribes and you won’t be able to apply. The process is often noted as being quite complex and there is a long list of documentation you need to compile, especially if you are claiming for loss of income and mental suffering. While the process can be attempted by getting in contact with the RAF, it’s often advised to seek the help of an attorney specialising in RAF claims – not only will this make the process easier and simpler, as they have the knowledge of what documentation is required, which forms to complete, and what the process is to follow, but it should also speed up the entire process. Some claims have been known to take between two and five years to settle. An attorney will usually take a small portion of the payout in exchange for their services, so if your claim is rejected, it won’t necessarily cost you anything. Now that you know the basics about claiming from the RAF, it may set your mind at ease about any claims you may wish to make.

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