PROMOTION: Many unaware of Road Accident Fund

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The Road Accident Fund is described as a public entity aimed at making compensation payments to people injured, or dependants of those killed in road accidents in South Africa as a result of third-party negligence. But most people don’t make use of this opportunity and are not aware of how they can go about doing so.
Director of Rias, trading as Road Accident Claims, Celia Swanepoel, says people involved in accidents where the person who caused the accident was negligent, can claim compensation. A person who is personally injured in an accident, the dependent of someone who has died from a vehicle accident or a close relative of the deceased, can submit a claim for funeral costs. Because the process of claiming can often be long and treacherous, Road Accident Claims manages every step of the process on behalf of the client.
The process begins when an innocent victim has been involved in a vehicle accident where the person who caused the accident, was found to be negligent, and the victim has suffered damage or suffered more than 30% disability or long-term impairment, which is reassessed after a year of injury. If you can prove that you did not cause the accident and that your injuries are severe to the point where your quality of life will not be the same as before the accident, then you can start the process of submitting a claim with the Road Accident Fund.
Once you have proved that you qualify to claim, Road Accident Claims can begin the process. It does a consultation to get all the paperwork together. This includes the evidence and medical records, which are then handed over to lawyers. The lawyers Road Accident Claims works with, do so at a contingency fee, which means they follow a no-win no-fee process. Swanepoel highlights that it is very important that people know that a lawyer can never charge you more than 25% for a claim.
A road scene investigation is conducted next and affidavits from witnesses, if there are any, are obtained. Once all the relevant documents have been collected, the paper work is handed over to the Road Accident Fund, which conducts its own investigation. This can last up to four months, after which Road Accident Claims makes the required medico-legal appointments with a reliable doctor, who will then write a report on how your injuries will affect you for the rest of your life.
All the documents are then sent to an industrial psychologist who combines all the documents into one report, stating the injured person’s loss of income, medical expenses, loss of support for the dependant of a deceased breadwinner, funeral expenses (if there are any) and general damages for pain, suffering and disfigurement in the case of bodily injuries. Road Accident Claims may then issue and deliver a summons to the Road Accident Fund. This process usually takes up to six months. Once both parties have agreed on a payout amount, the client will receive a lump sum and the rest of the money goes towards future medical expenses.
Laying a claim with the Road Accident Fund can be a long, time-consuming process, but the private assessors at Rias, trading as Road Accident Claims, work with clients step by step to ensure they receive their compensation. – Seithati Semenokane 
seithati@centralmediagroup.co.za