Road Accident Fund lawyer: When do I need one?
08 Jun 2021
It is not mandatory for an individual to appoint a Road Accident Fund lawyer, however, it is advisable to seek the guidance of one. Adams and Adams RAF attorneys have seen and been involved in many cases where the Road Accident Fund (RAF) either under-settles matters and provides unjust and inequitable compensation, or they take many years to finalise and pay out.
This is often due to the RAF not conducting the necessary and extensive investigation of the injuries sustained and the incident itself, to make a fair call on compensation.
The benefits of having a RAF lawyer to assist with RAF claims is that he/she will ensure fair compensation within a reasonable period of time, whilst giving individuals the legal guidance to ensure a smoother experience throughout the process.
What is the role of a RAF lawyer?
The role of a RAF lawyer is wide-reaching. Firstly, the RAF lawyer has to source all the relevant hospital records, accident reports and other relevant lodgement documents. From there, he/she has to lodge a claim on behalf of the claimant, send the claimant to various medico-legal appointments and prepare all the necessary court papers from the issuing of a summons right up to the day of trial.
The lawyer works on the file for 3-5 years in these cases, unless early settlement of the RAF claim is concluded.
Documents required for Road Accident Fund claims
A RAF lawyer will be able to assist you with the necessary documentation for filing a claim. There is a standard list of documents that are required.
RAF 1 form
All claims must be lodged using the RAF 1 form, which can be found here.
The form asks for basic information, including:
- the claimant,
- details of the vehicles and parties involved in the road accident,
- a detailed description of the incident,
- the compensation amount being claimed for, and
- a medical report from the claimant’s doctor.
RAF 3 form
The RAF 3 form is a statutory accident report form. It must be submitted with details of the accident along with any witness statements.
RAF 4 Form
If general damages are claimed, a RAF 4 form must be submitted.
This must confirm that the injury is serious enough for the claimant to be awarded general damages for pain and suffering.
Other supporting documents for a RAF claim
Together with the official documentation required by the RAF, claimants must have other supporting documents that prove and justify their case and claim. These include:
- official relevant medical reports,
- road accident reports, and
- receipts, financial statements and medical bills.
The RAF may ask for more if necessary.
How to check on a Road Accident Fund claim
If there is a lawyer assisting, then he/she should be able to advise on the status, otherwise the claimant can call or visit the offices of the RAF. A claimant should expect a timeline of approximately 3 – 5 years unless the matter settles. Early settlements are best for all parties involved and Adams and Adams has had several successes in this regard.
For more information on RAF claims and legal advice, as well as other legal matters, contact our experts.