Road Accident Fund Claims in South Africa

The influx of foreigners to South Africa with the upcoming sporting events means that the Road Accident Fund (RAF) will once again be in the spotlight should it face hefty claims from visitors. In 2008, a R1.6 billion payout to a Swiss tourist after a road accident that left him paralysed meant that the Road Accident Fund exhausted almost half of it’s annual payout limit to settle just one claim. With this in mind, the Road Accident Fund should consider more stringent criteria for payouts given that some first world countries do not settle claims from visiting foreigners.

The Road Accident Fund derives its budget from a small portion of the fuel levy that South African motorists pay regularly when filling fuel. It is this levy, constantly paid by South African motorists, that is used to reimburse victims of road traffic accidents. The purpose of the fund was to assist persons or the families of those injured, maimed or killed in a road accident with the financial impact of their injury or death. From whiplash to quadriplegia, the Road Accident Fund has been a lifeline for accident victims throughout the years.

Unfortunately, the lack of regulation meant that any accident victim on a South African road can now claim from the fund even if he or she has only been in the country for a day or two. This has impacted significantly on South African victims who have ultimately had their payouts reduced due to the financial state of the Road Accident Fund. Unscrupulous lawyers, fake claims and foreigner’s payouts (in dollars, pounds and Euros) are bound to continue with the upcoming World Cup soccer 2010 and the onus lies on the South African public to assist in policing the financial lifeline that they fund.

If you have had an accident and have not sustained any injury, do not be drawn into making claims from the Road Accident Fund by any broker, lawyer or medical practitioner. Common sense should dictate whether you have truly been affected and lost a portion of your income after experiencing a road accident. Whiplash claims , a common condition experienced by road accident victims, continues to flood the Road Accident Fund and while the payout has been reduced, the overall effect of tens of thousands of whiplash claims undoubtedly affects the fund.

Many of these whiplash injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident resulted in nothing more than slight neck pain, a stiff neck or headaches for a few days.

Fraud costs the Road Accident Fund both in payout of claims as well as the administrative costs associated with processing and rejecting certain claims. This essentially affects a fund that is paid from your fuel levy which adds to the cost of your fuel, bus or taxi fare.  In an effort to reduce RAF claims fraud, the Road Accident Fund has setup an anonymous fraud reporting facility for members of the public. If you are aware of any party committing RAF fraud or any claim that may be fradulent you can use the RAF website form anonymously or call the RAF fraudline.

If you have a legitimate Road Accident Fund claim, you can use the Road Accident Fund claim form available on the RAF website or alternatively you can login and monitor the status of a pending claim.

26 thoughts on “Road Accident Fund Claims in South Africa

  • January 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    My husband was involved in a motorcycle accident in April 2006. We have used a local attorney that supposedly specialised in RAF claims but we are still waiting. They cannot even inform us as to how much the claim is and if I contact their Cape Town branch they take my details and never contact me back. Who can I contact regarding this matter as it is almost 4 yrs since we logded our claim.

  • January 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Monica,firstly the time frame to lodge the claim must be within 3yrs after the date of the accident, yours is 8,and the best way to get answers as to who and how to claim i would suggest that you consult a lawyer or just go RAF Act 56 0f 1996 Section 3, 17,18 read with Section 24 on the net you will have all the answers

  • January 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Hi Lorraine,there is a body that is specifically set up called NPA/RAF Fraud investigations task team situated in Randburg 372B Oak Avenue. you can visit those offices,maybe an investigation as to the attorneys conduct(with the help of the Law society) and the employee of the RAF may be investigated. you may find there was foul play somewhere,go there with all necessary documentation if you want to pursue this matter.

  • January 15, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Monica

    Please note that we are not affiliated to the RAF in any way so you should be directing this question to them. This comment box is just left for related issues to be discussed regarding the RAF and so on. As far as I know, you can only claim from the RAF if the death was due to a car crash or if he was run over by a car.

    Car hijackings, crime on a South African road and deaths related to it have no bearing on the Road Accident Fund if it was not a crash. You can call the Road Accident Fund. We did clear up this issue with them last week. They were very easy to reach and the staff is helpful.

  • January 15, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    To whom it may concern. I need to know if I can claim from the Road Accident Fund. My fiancee died in a car highjacking 8 years ago. We have two children and I want to know if I am entitled to claim. Thank you, Monica

  • January 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Hi Chris

    If your injury was sustained from the shooting or assault, then you cannot claim from the RAF. However if you had a car crash, even if it was due to the hijacking, then you may have some grounds to lodge a claim. You need to discuss the matter with a lawyer.

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