The Road Accident Fund
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is a public entity set up by an Act of Parliament, namely, the Road Accident Fund Act, 1996 (Act No. 56 of 1996), as amended, to cover and compensate people injured in road accidents, due to the negligent driving of a motor vehicle by another person.
The RAF cover indemnifies the driver or owner of a motor vehicle that wrongfully causes damage or loss to victims of a motor vehicle accident, from being liable for losses or death suffered as a result of the accident.
Collection of contribution
The cover is compulsory and extends to all users of South African roads. The contribution for the cover is collected through a levy included in the price of fuel.
The RAF system is fault based, therefore if the victim has contributed to the occurrence of the accident, the amount that the victim can claim will be reduced in relation to his/her contributory negligence. This means that the victim may get partial payment if he/she was partly responsible for the accident.
The claim must be lodged within the prescribed period stipulated below:
- Identified claims (claims where the identity of the driver or owner of the guilty motor vehicle is known) must be lodged with the RAF within 3 years from the date of the accident;
- Hit and run claims (claims where the identity of the driver or owner of the guilty motor vehicle is unknown) must be lodged with the RAF within 2 years from the date of the accident; and
- Claims in terms of an undertaking certificate issued must be lodged and finalised within 5 years from the date on which services were rendered to the victim.
If the statutory requirements are not met when lodging the claim, the claim will not be considered by the RAF.
What can be claimed from the Road Accident Fund?
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Loss of earnings if the victim is unable to work as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident.
Medical expense claims
In terms of the Scheme rules, the beneficiaries of the Scheme are required to assist POLMED in the recovery of any benefits in which a third party may be liable. Therefore, if you or your dependant are involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA), POLMED (which would have paid the medical costs on your behalf) will have a claim against the RAF for medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident. As a result, the final settlement paid out by the RAF for medical expenses will be due to POLMED.
It is important to note that failure to lodge a claim against the RAF by a member may result in the member being liable to the Scheme.