How to Claim from the Road Accident Fund (RAF)

A motor vehicle accident is an unfortunate reality that many of us, or our loved ones, may have to face in our lifetime. The result could be damage to property, severe injury, permanent disability, or even death. The Road Accident Fund (RAF) was established to provide financial compensation to victims of road accidents and their families as a result of bodily injury/death. Doing so should assist in covering the costs of medical expenses, loss of income/support, as well as other damages which may arise. A claim may arise where the injured or deceased was not the sole cause of the collision and damages were suffered as a result of that person’s injury/death.

What should you know about a claim for compensation from the RAF:

The RAF claim process can be a lengthy one, taking care to do everything efficiently, or engaging a knowledgeable attorney, from the get-go – will be to your advantage.

Time limits for lodging your claim:

It is important to note that the RAF has a strict time limit of three years in which to submit a claim from the date of the accident. If however the accident was a so-called “hit and run” and the negligent driver/owner is unidentified, you only have two years to lodge your claim.

Litigation/court processes must be started within a 5-year period from the date of the accident.

The rules relating to minors or persons who are mentally incapacitated will differ from the aforementioned as these periods are interrupted and accordingly it is best to seek advice relating to the facts of your matter in these circumstances.

Documents you need to gather:

When you come for a consultation with us, we will assist you to obtain the documentation necessary to validly lodge and prove your claim. Remember that we are here to make your life easier, and where possible, source the necessary documents such as medical records, etc. However, in order to make the process as smooth as possible, we always recommend that you document as much as you possibly can about your accident, medical claims, and any other events arising from your accident.

Start a file as soon as possible, the below documentation can be helpful to get the matter started;

  • Copies of identity documents, birth certificates, and/or death certificates where applicable;
  • Accident report/case number as well as the name of the relevant police station;
  • Details of any witnesses;
  • An affidavit or statement detailing your version of events while it is fresh in your memory;
  • Photos of the scene of the accident and vehicles involved. If you are unable to take photographs yourself, ask friends and family to take pictures of the scene. These can be very helpful in your case at a later date.
  • Proof of income, i.e., salary slip, employers’ certificate or letter confirming employment, bank statements, affidavits from suppliers or regular clients if you are self-employed.
  • Details of all medical treatment you may have received, such as doctor’s bills, contact details;
  • Photos of any visible injuries/scarring where relevant.
  • Proof of any policy claims and/or pay-outs.

What to expect from the process?

120 days after lodgement of your claim, legal proceedings may begin i.e. summons may be issued, this of course being where settlement out of court has not been possible. You may be required to testify in person as well as have motivators testify on your behalf. Usually, our legal team will handle most of the administration and presentation of evidence, however, you must be prepared to appear in person if needed. Your legal team will ensure you feel fully prepared and comfortable before the time. It takes time to obtain a court date for trial and we accordingly always do our best to attempt settlement as soon as possible. Matters are finalised at this stage either by way of a settlement alternatively, after consideration of the evidence and by court order.

What to do if you went directly to the RAF and you were unhappy with the outcome?

In the event that you are unsatisfied with the outcome of your direct claim you should consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will be in the best position to consider your matters, relevant time limits and to discuss your options. Here at Simpsons, we pride ourselves on having specialised and committed attorneys in this field.  They are familiar with the relevant laws and processes applicable to these matters and have to know how to navigate through the challenges that may arise.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, the Road Accident Fund (RAF) may be able to provide you with financial assistance It’s important to seek the right advice to ensure that your matter is handled efficiently and guarantee the best possible outcome.

Contact us today to book your free consultation with one of our Personal Injury Attorneys.


For more information contact Simpsons Attorneys Inc.

Tel: (+27) 21 949 2270

WA: (+27) 63 539 2504

[email protected]

Monday-Thursday: 8am – 4:30pm
Friday: 8am – 4pm