Accredited Actuarial Service Provider | 30+ Years Industry Experience | 100+ Attorney Clients

Navigating the Road Accident Fund (RAF) Claims Process:

Securing compensation from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) is a process that often takes time, even with expert legal assistance. In this blog post, we will outline the steps and time frames involved in the RAF claims process, shedding light on why a single claim can take years to finalise.

Compiling Evidence

The first step in the RAF claims process is compiling evidence to support your claim. This includes gathering a police report about the accident, witness statements, medical records, invoices for medical expenses, and financial statements if loss of income is claimed. Comprehensive evidence is crucial to building a strong case and establishing the extent of the damages suffered.

Completing Prescribed RAF Forms

Certain prescribed RAF forms must be completed, providing information about the accident, amounts claimed for different types of damages, and a medical report. These forms are essential for the RAF to assess the claim accurately and determine the appropriate compensation for each type of damage claimed. An experienced attorney will guide claimants through the complex process of completing these forms correctly.

Lodging the Claim

Once all supporting documents are ready, they are submitted to the RAF, and the claim is registered on their official claim system. This step initiates the formal process, and from this point on, the RAF will review the claim and investigate its validity.

RAF Investigation

The RAF has 120 days to investigate your claim. During this period, they may request additional information or assessments from doctors or specialists to verify the extent of the injuries and their impact on the claimant’s life. In practice, the RAF seldom offers a settlement or resolves a claim within this time frame, which contributes to the overall time taken to process the claim.

Summons to Trial

If the 120-day investigation period elapses without a settlement offer, and the RAF has not objected to the claim’s validity, your attorney may issue a summons to pursue the matter in court. This step is crucial to prompt the RAF to either make a settlement offer or defend its decision in court. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer in your corner during this phase is vital to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome.

Setting a Trial Date

Setting a trial date can be time-consuming, as it involves navigating mandatory pre-trial processes. Each division of the High Court in South Africa has different pre-trial procedures to be complied with before a matter will be considered “trial ready.” Only then will a trial date be allocated. In some cases, multiple trial dates may be necessary, especially when the liability or negligence aspect of a claim needs separate consideration.

Trial and Finalization

If a settlement isn’t reached during the negotiation stage, the case proceeds to trial. The trial itself may be drawn out, depending on the availability of key experts and the complexity of the case. Expert medical testimony is often required to back up the claimant’s case during the trial. The court will consider all evidence presented before making a final decision on the claim.

Settlement and Payment

After the trial, if the claimant is successful, the RAF may offer a settlement based on the court’s decision. However, RAF’s current cash flow problems may lead to delays of up to 180 days after settlement before payment. It’s essential to have patience during this phase and understand that the RAF will be liable for interest on the awarded amount once the payment is made.

The RAF claims process is intricate and time-consuming, involving gathering evidence, completing forms, investigation, potential negotiations, and trials. Patience and expert legal representation are essential for successfully navigating this process. If you find yourself in need of RAF compensation, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure you receive fair and timely compensation for your injuries and losses. A skilled attorney will guide you through each step, protect your rights, and work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for your claim.

More Posts

Send Us A Message