There are over 14,000 accidents on South African roads every year, making South African roads some of the most dangerous roads in the world.
So, if you’ve been in an accident on a road in South Africa, you may need to claim from the Road Accident Fund.
What Does The Road Accident Fund Do?
The Road Accident Fund is financed by the contribution of South African drivers and vehicle owners. Every time you fill up at a petrol station, part of the per litre amount for petrol goes to the Road Accident Fund.
The purpose of the Road Accident Fund is to provide compulsory cover for those on South African roads – including foreign nationals. Then, if you have been involved in an accident within the borders of South Africa, you can claim from this fund.
The fund not only provides financial support for those who have been injured but also provides counselling and other non-financial interventions to help deal with the aftermath of a road accident.
How Does The Road Accident Fund Payout?
The process of claiming from the Road Accident Fund can be arduous and complicated, but we’ve simplified it through a step by step process detailing how to claim from the Road Accident Fund.
Step 1: Ensure You Are Within The Claim Limits
To qualify for a payout from the RAF, you need to submit a claim within a specific period; otherwise, your claim will not be accepted.
If the identity of the driver is known, you have three years to file a claim. If the identity of the driver who caused the accident is not known, you have two years to file a claim.
Step 2: Gather All The Necessary Documentation
To increase your chances of your RAF claim being successful, be sure you have all the necessary accompanying documentation. This includes the police report or case number of the accident, an affidavit detailing the accident, your personal details and the details of all of those involved in the accident. You may also need medical documents that confirm the injuries sustained due to the accident. Additionally, you can include motivating testimony from a legal or medical expert or witnesses who saw the accident take place.
Step 3: Fill In The Necessary Forms
The Road Accident Fund has several different forms you need to fill out depending on what you’re claiming for and the severity of the accident.
These are the forms you need to complete and what each of them means. Remember to print them out before completing them.
RAF 1: 3rd Party Claim Form
The RAF 1 form is the form you need to fill in if you are affected by an accident that was not caused by you. This can include if you are a pedestrian, cyclist, or passenger in a vehicle or if you were the driver in another vehicle. You can also fill in this form if you are not the owner of the car you were driving and the cause of the accident is negligence on behalf of the car’s owner, for example: failing to maintain the car.
RAF 3: Accident Form Report
The RAF 3 form details the report of the accident. This form is mandatory and needs to be completed within 14 days of a road accident by the offending driver if they would not like to be held financially responsible by the RAF.
If the space within the form is not sufficient, you can attach additional documentation detailing witness testimony and information regarding the accident.
RAF 4: Serious Injury Assessment
If you would like to claim because you’ve sustained a serious injury, you need to fill in the RAF 4 form. This form should be completed if you want financial compensation for an injury.
Step 4: Submit Your Forms
Then, to begin your claim process, you need to submit your form to the RAF. You can drop off the forms, as well as the supporting documents, at the RAF regional office or send them via registered post to one of the RAF offices.
RAF Claim Status Check
To check on your road accident fund claim, you can call the RAF head office on (012) 621 1691, or you can call the call centre on 0860 23 55 23. If you’ve hired a lawyer to handle the process, you can also ask your lawyer to complete the status check on your behalf.
Claiming from the Road Accident Fund does not need to be a complicated process. It can be easy and rather successful if you know where to go and what forms to use.
You can also visit the RAF at one of their regional or walk-in offices or call 0860 23 55 23 if you’re having trouble completing the process.