A Simple Guide to Road Accident Fund Lawyers’ Fees

guide to third party claims

The Road Accident Fund is responsible for providing appropriate cover to all road users within the borders of South Africa; rehabilitating and compensating persons injured as a result of motor vehicles.

Claims must be accompanied by:

  • Full particulars of the accident
  • Statements of witnesses
  • Police reports
  • Hospital and medical records
  • Vouchers and documents in support of documents claimed
  • RAF will then determine whether the claim is valid or not

For many victims of road accidents or family member of victims, claiming from the Road Accident Fund directly can be a lengthy and complicated process.

For this reason, enlisting the help of a lawyer can go a long way towards speeding the process up. Clients should also be prepared to pay significantly for these services.

Why are Road Accident Fund Lawyers’ Fees so high?

Lawyers have the expertise required to handle Road Accident Fund cases. There is a lot of work that goes into the claims process and lawyers are skilled with all the necessary regulations.

What goes into the claims process:

  • Medical reports must be completed by doctors and paid for.
  • Documents must be obtained from SARS and paid for.
  • An affidavit explaining how the accident took place must be prepared.
  • Your claim must be quantified.
  • Your claim must state what you are claiming for, such as various heads of damages, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability and shock, loss of income and future medical costs.

There are time limits that apply to a claim, or else the claim will be unenforceable.

The Contingency Fees Act sets limits on the Road Accident Fund Lawyers’ fees that can be deducted from any award made to you if you claim from the RAF. In 2013, three High Court Judges ruled that lawyers who work on a no-win, no-fee basis cannot charge more than the law allows.

As a client you should keep in mind that there is a limit of 25 percent of an award set in the Contingency Fees Act.  It is a safeguard to prevent all the proceeds being swallowed up in legal fees.

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