Lodgement of a claim against the Road Accident Fund
15 October 2020 | Lize-Mari Viljoen
The procedure to lodge a claim for compensation against the Road Accident Fund is set out in Section 24 of the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996 (as amended) (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”).
Submitting the claim documents:
The prescribed RAF 1 claim form together with all the relevant documentation must be delivered by hand or sent by registered post to the Road Accident Fund. It is vital to obtain proof of delivery in the form of a written acknowledgement of receipt or a registered post slip with a tracking number.
Timeframes to submit the claim documents to the Road Accident Fund:
1. Identified claims (Section 23(1) of the Act)
In the event that the identity of the driver or the owner of the vehicle(s) responsible for the accident has been established, the claim documents must be submitted within three years from the date of the accident or the date of the death of the breadwinner.
2. Unidentified claims – “Hit-and-run” claims (Regulation 2(1)(a) of the Act):
In the event that the identity of neither the driver nor the owner of the vehicle(s) responsible for the accident has been established, the claim documents must be submitted within two years from the date of the accident or the date of the death of the breadwinner.
Documents that need to accompany the Road Accident Fund’s RAF 1 claim form:
- Statutory medical report completed by the medical practitioner who treated the injured person / deceased for the injuries sustained in the accident or by the superintendent of the hospital where the injured / deceased was treated.
- RAF 4 serious injury assessment report form completed by a medical practitioner (registered in terms of the Health Professions Act) who assessed the plaintiff after the plaintiff has reached maximal medical improvement (MMI) – this form may also be submitted after the submission of the claim documents.
- Certified copy of the claimant’s identity document
- Power of attorney authorizing the attorney to represent or act on the claimant’s behalf
- Consent to inspect and obtain copies of the claimant’s medical records
- Compulsory Section 19(f) affidavit by the claimant setting out all the details of the accident, the injuries sustained and the sequelae thereof
- Accident report and plan obtained from the relevant branch of the SAPS
- Copies of any witness statements in the possession of the claimant
- Photographs of the damaged vehicles and the scene of the accident
- Schedule of assessment of damages that deals with all the different heads of damages including but not limited to:
- Loss of earnings / earning capacity
- Past medical costs
- Future medical costs
- Hospital costs
- General damages
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of maintenance
- Proof of the claimant / deceased’s earnings in the form of an employer certificate and/or salary slips and/or income tax assessments and returns if applicable.
- Copies of all hospital and medical accounts
- Proof of funeral expenses
- Medico-legal and other similar reports
- Actuarial report
Additional documents that should accompany claims for loss of support / maintenance:
- Copy of the claimant’s marriage certificate as well as the details of the matrimonial property dispensation
- Copy of the death certificate
- Copy of the estate’s final liquidation and distribution account if applicable
- In the case of minors – copies of unabridged birth certificate
- In the case of a black widow married according to customary law – the certificate required in terms of Section 31(2) of the Black Laws Amendment Act 76 of 1963
- Where the deceased was killed outright – record of the inquest, charge sheet or other documents proving that the deceased was killed in the particular accident
Procedure after the claim documents were submitted:
The Road Accident Fund has 120 days from the date of the lodgement of the claim to investigate the claim and to either repudiate or settle the claim. The claimant may only serve a summons on the Road Accident Fund after the expiration of the 120 days, or in the event of repudiation in writing, immediately thereafter.
In terms of Section 23(3) of the Act, the summons should be served on the Road Accident Fund within five years from the date of the accident or the date of the death of the breadwinner.