Parties who can claim are:
- A party who sustains serious bodily injuries in a motor vehicle accident;
- If a breadwinner dies the dependants who were financially supported by such breadwinner are entitled to recover the same amount of support they would have received from the breadwinner during his lifespan from the Road
- Accident Fund (certain limitations apply);
- Where a minor is injured and has to receive medical treatment. In this case the parent would be the claimant in respect of the medical cost incurred because they are the person who had to pay for such costs and therefore has suffered damages;
- In fatal accidents the person liable for the funeral expenses will be able to institute a claim to recover these expenses.
What is the Road Accident Fund?
The Road Accident Fund is a statutory body established by law to administer the system of compensation for damages suffered due to bodily injury or death caused by the negligent driving of a motor vehicle.
How is the Road Accident Fund Financed?
The Road Accident Fund is financed by a levy on all fuel consumed. The proceeds of this levy are paid into the Road Accident Fund.
Who may claim against the Road Accident Fund?
- Any person, who has suffered damage as a result of bodily injuries to him or herself or to the death or bodily injury of someone else, may claim compensation provided the following can be established.
- That their damages were caused by the driving of a motor vehicle;
- That such motor vehicle was negligently driven;
- That the bodily injury or death resulted from a motor vehicle collision;
- The accident occurred within the borders of South Africa.
- Examples of people who may claim are:
- Pedestrian negligently knocked down by a motorist.
- Passenger in a motor vehicle negligently driven.
- Passenger or driver in a motor vehicle struck by another vehicle which was negligently driven.
Unidentified claims in which neither the owner or driver can be identified can still be instituted against the Road Accident Fund subject to certain restrictions.
A person who is solely responsible for their own injury does not have a claim; however a person whose injuries were caused partly by his own fault and partly by the fault of another motorist is entitled to compensation. (Although it will be reduced in terms of the Act on Apportionment of Damages).
Who may submit your claim?
In terms of the Road Accident Fund, third-party claims may only be submitted by the claimant themselves or their attorneys. If a claim is submitted by anyone else the Road Accident Fund is entitled to refuse to pay any compensation.
Road Accident Fund claims are a complex field of law and to ensure you recover everything you are entitled to we recommend that your matter be dealt with by a specialist personal injury law firm such as ours.
Prescription of a claim
The claim must be lodged with the Road Accident Fund within three years of the date upon which the collision occurred. Summons must be served within five years of the collision occurring.
Should the above time – limits not be complied with the claimant’s claim will prescribe and he will lose his right to claim compensation. (Certain exceptions are applicable)
The prescription period of a minor’s claim will only start running once he turns 18 years old.
In the case of an unidentified vehicle claim, this must be lodged with the Road Accident Fund within two years of the date upon which the claim arose to avoid prescription of the claim.