In the past we published an article on why it’s advisable to claim through an attorney as opposed to approaching the RAF directly. If you missed that article you can read about it here.
The first step is knowing whether or not you have a valid claim. There are various criteria set out by the RAF Act which need to be met before instituting a claim, for example:
- Who was to blame for the accident?
- Where the Claimant’s injuries sufficiently serious to allow for a claim for pain and suffering?
- Will there be a loss of past or future income?
- Were you a passenger or the driver or a pedestrian?
- Was a breadwinner killed in the collision?
Every case is different in some way or another and our office will be able to advise on each incident individually. It’s important to note that the claim process should be started as soon as possible as there is a time limit of 3 years within which you are obliged to claim unless the vehicle to blame for the collision is an unidentified vehicle (hit and run), in which event, the claim must be lodged within 2 years from the date of the collision.
Once it has been established that you indeed have a valid claim, our offices will draft a merits affidavit and proceed to obtain the accident report and hospital records on your behalf and your claim will thereafter be lodged with the Road Accident Fund. There is a waiting period of 120 days within which the RAF is required to assess the claim before we are entitled to issue summons against the RAF and commence the Court proceedings. Due to the clogged Court roll, the waiting period to get the matter to Court is currently approximately a year and a half from the time the summons is issued. This time, however, is not wasted. We will utilize this time arranging consultations with various experts who assist in the quantification process in determining the value of the claim and allow the Claimant to reach the point of Maximum Medical Improvement. The costs associated with attending these expert appointments and subsequent obtaining of the expert medico-legal reports are covered by our offices as we ordinarily operate on a “no win – no fee”basis.
Once the Court has allocated a trial date, the Claimant is notified accordingly as he or she must be present at the hearing of the matter. Often the experts we consulted with will be present as well as witnesses, police officers, eyewitnesses etc. Settlements are, however, often reached without the need to enter the Court room but only in the event that the amount tendered is a fair and reasonable one.
If you would like our help with an RAF Claim, please contact Daryl at our office on 041 373 0030 or email@example.com