Process of claiming for Road Accident Fund
1. What process does one need to follow when claiming from the Road Accident
• A claim is lodged on a prescribed statutory claim form (Form 1 is to be used in
respect of claims arising prior to 1 August 2008, and RAF 1 from 1 August 2008
onwards). The form provides basic information on the claimant, the vehicles and
parties involved in the collision, the date and place of accident and the amounts
claimed. It also contains a medical report by the treating doctor.
• The claim form must be accompanied by an affidavit from the claimant setting out
the particulars of the accident. Claimants are requested to provide copies of any
witnesses’ statements, the police report, hospital records, and documentary proof
in respect of the amounts claimed, e.g. receipts.
• The drivers, and owners (if not the driver) of the vehicles involved in the collision
must furnish details of the accident to the RAF on a statutory accident report form
(Form 3 is to be used in respect of claims arising prior to 1 August 2008, and
RAF 3 from 1 August 2008 onwards). Once a claim is submitted, the RAF
registers it on its claim system and commences with its investigations.
• The RAF determines whether the claim is valid (i.e. was there a road accident,
does the claim documentation comply with statutory provisions, was the claim
submitted in time, etc.) and what the merits of the case are (i.e. the degree of
fault, blame or negligence to be ascribed to the drivers of the vehicles and the
claimant respectively). The quantum is also determined (i.e. the amount of the
damages or losses suffered).
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• If a claim is incomplete, the RAF calls for additional information and supporting
documentation to enable it to better assess the matter. If the claim arose after 31
July 2008 and general damages are claimed, a Serious Injury Assessment
Report (RAF 4) must be submitted to the RAF confirming that the injury
sustained is serious for the purposes of the Act. In instances where the claimant
elects to claim directly from the RAF (i.e. without an attorney), the RAF provides
assistance to the claimant to lodge the claim.
2. What actual paperwork do people need?
A claimant must ensure that they have at least the following documents to be able to
lodge a claim:
• A completed claim form (RAF 1 Form).
• A copy of the claimant’s identity document, or passport, or driver’s license, or
unabridged birth certificate.
• A copy of the deceased’s death certificate, post mortem or inquest report (in a
Loss of Support claim).
• An affidavit by the claimant setting out the facts relating to the road accident.
• A copy of the traffic collision report, Officer’s Accident Report; or charge sheet.
• Loss of Support Claims:
❖ A copy of the spouse’s or life partner’s marriage certificate; or registration of
customary marriage certificate; or civil union registration certificate; or, proof
of conclusion in terms of the tenants of a recognised religion; or,
documentary proof of the existence of a domestic life partnership where the
life partner and the deceased had established a contractual reciprocal duty of
❖ Copies of the unabridged birth certificates of each of the minor dependents;
❖ Proof of the deceased’s income; and
❖ Proof of the spouse’s or life partner’s income.
• Funeral Cost Claim:
❖ A copy of the specified invoice from the funeral parlour.
3. What criteria does one need to meet the order to claim?
To succeed with a claim the claimant must:
• Prove a road accident arising from the driving of a motor vehicle by any person at
any place within the Republic;
• Prove (fault), i.e. that someone else caused, or contributed, to the accident;
• Prove that the other person’s actions were wrongful;
• Prove that injuries were sustained / or that a breadwinner died;
• Prove that the injuries sustained / or death of the breadwinner was as a result of
the road accident; and
• Prove the damages claimed was as a result of the injuries / death caused by the
A compliant claim must be lodged within the prescribed lodgment periods, i.e. 3 years if
the wrongdoer’s identity is known, or 2 years in the case of a hit-and-run claim. Where
the claimant is subject to any legal disability, a longer period is allowed for lodgment of
4. Are there circumstances which would exclude one from being able to claim?
Yes. Examples of such instances include where:
• The injured person or deceased breadwinner is solely responsible (at fault) for
the road accident;
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• The road accident resulted in compensation being paid by the Compensation
Fund and such compensation exceeds the claimant’s entitlement from the RAF –
the RAF would not pay the claimant’s claim, but the Compensation Fund will
claim back from the RAF;
• Secondary emotional shock is suffered – this is where a person witnesses or
hears of a road cash but is not physically involved in the accident; or
• Where only minor injuries were sustained, and no other loss or medical treatment
expenses resulted from the injuries.
5. Is there a minimum settlement?
Claims vary according to what the claimant is claiming for. The following are the different
benefits one can claim for:
• Past and future loss of earnings / income;
• Past and future medical expenses;
• General damages for serious injuries;
Dependents of a deceased person can claim for:
• Past and future loss of support; and
• Funeral expenses.
Advantages of claiming directly
• For direct claims, the claimant is consulted throughout the process and is
constantly aware of the amount that they are claiming for. The RAF has a Direct
Claim Management Policy in place that specifically provides for the management
of disputes by direct claimants, should a dispute arise.
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• Direct claims improve service delivery by the RAF through direct interaction
between the RAF and the claimant, something which is not possible where the
claimant is represented by an attorney.
• The direct claimant therefore has first-hand feedback from the RAF on the status
of the claim.
• Payment of the compensation is also made in full directly to the direct claimant.
• The payment received by the direct claimant will also not be reduced by an
attorney in respect of contingency fees and expenses.
6. Post-crash care
Apart from the compensation paid to the claimant, the RAF also assists claimants who
require on-going medical treatment by offering an undertaking to access such treatment
and rehabilitative services through its post claims settlement department. Assistance
takes many forms, including: structural changes to the house (e.g. ramps, bathroom
modification), workplace, and motor vehicles; payment of caregivers in the case where
the injured needs assistance with their daily activities, or future medical care; and access
to assistive devices such as a wheel-chair.
The RAF has case managers who visit accident victims during their recovery at home,
providing full on-going support for claimants with serious injuries.
7. Caregivers Programme
The RAF assists to rehabilitate claimants. To do this, the organisation issues an
Undertaking Certificate to the claimant. An Undertaking Certificate is a contractual
agreement between the claimant and the RAF to provide for current and future medical
needs that the claimant may have relating to the injuries sustained in the road accident,
while the remaining portion of the claim is being processed.
The payment of caregiver costs is one example of benefits provided by the RAF to the
claimant under the Undertaking Certificate. Caregivers care for claimants who are living
with, for example, paraplegia, quadriplegia and amputation because of the accident.
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They may be a professional nurse or an informal caregiver, such as a family member,
friend, neighbour or any other person who monitors the claimant and attends to his, or
her, needs. Their duties include taking care of the physical well-being (such as hygiene
and exercise) of the claimant, helping the claimant take their medication, looking after
the claimant’s travelling needs, and performing light household duties in, and outside,
the house (such as meal preparation), that the claimant may no longer be able to do due
to his, or her, functional impairment flowing from the injuries sustained in the accident.
Claimants commonly choose a family member as a caregiver because of the intimate
nature of the required care.
8. Road Accident Fund Benefit Scheme
The RAF supports the Department of Transport’s proposed Road Accident Benefit
Scheme (RABS) which will eradicate extended and costly litigation, high administrative
costs and prolonged claims finalisation. The clogging of court rolls with RAF cases will
also be a thing of the past.
RABS will usher in a new social benefit scheme that will provide a social security safety
net – based on social security principles – to those injured in road accidents and to the
dependents of breadwinners who are killed because of road accidents. It will also
indemnify those responsible for road accidents from civil liability, but not from criminal
liability. Under the new dispensation claimants, especially the most vulnerable in society
who are currently excluded from claiming under the RAF, will be entitled to benefits
under RABS. The Bill will also provide pre-defined benefits, on a no-fault basis, paid
directly to the beneficiary in a structured manner. The RABS Bill’s legislative process is
9. Psychological Damage, Pain and Suffering
If a person develops Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, other than secondary emotional
shock, they can claim if there is a proven causal link to the accident.
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10. RAF’s Achievements during the 2016/2017 Financial Year
The RAF concluded the 2016/17 financial year on a high note achieving 90% of its
Annual Performance Plan targets for the second year in succession, as set out by the
Board and approved by the Minister of Transport and Parliament.
Highlights of the work conducted in 2016/17 include the following:
• A total 202,100 new claims were registered and a record of 209, 561 were
finalised. In comparison: 188,864 claims were registered and 188,759 were
finalised in 2015/2016; 173,174 claims were registered and 183,933 finalised in
• During the year under review, the RAF finalised an average of 794 claims each
working day of the year compared to 715 in the previous year.
• Total revenue for the year remained stable at R33.34 billion compared to R33.21
billion in the previous financial year, mostly because of a zero % increase in the
RAF Fuel Levy, together with a reduction in diesel refunds recouped from this
• Claims expenditure in cash (excluding the increase in the claims provision) of
R29.8 billion accounted for 93.2% of total expenses, with the balance being
made up of employee costs i.e. R1.435 billion (4.5%) and administration and
other costs, i.e. R694 million (2.3%).
• The primary target of reducing the number of open claims was exceeded. The
number reduced to 173,740 from 184,899 in 2015/16 on the back of increased
registrations of new claims.
• Total expenditure for the year, excluding the increase in the claims provision,
deceased by R2.26 billion to R31.96 billion (2015/2016: R34.22 billion) because
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of maintained productivity in claims settlements and reduced earnings and
support claims average values.
• It is noteworthy that the sustained cash flow constraints have resulted in
significant increase in the amount of interest paid during the year.
• Of the individual claim payments/settlements made per category:
➢ R2.1 billion was paid in medical costs;
➢ R130 million towards 8.795 settlements/payments for funeral costs;
➢ R7.9 billion was spent on legal and other expert costs;
➢ R7.6 billion was paid in general damages – primarily to persons not
seriously injured; and
➢ R13.5 billion was paid for loss of earnings and support for those who
• A total of over R901 million worth of fraudulent claims were identified before
payment was made and 418 cases were referred to the South African Police
11. Clean Audit
The 2016/17 financial year marked the 4th Clean Audit in recent years from the Auditor
General. It is a noteworthy achievement and indication that the RAF has transformed
from an institution perceived as incompetent, uncaring and wasteful, into one driven by a
pursuit of excellence in service delivery and making a difference in the lives of those
affected by road accidents.
The improvement in performance is attributed to many factors: the relentless pursuit of
excellence in the execution of duties, a sound strategy, strong and competent
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leadership, recognition of staff who went beyond the call of duty, as well as adherence to
individual contracts and performance agreements linked to the Fund’s mandate.
12. How do people get in touch with the RAF?
• Claimants can access the RAF’s services at any of its five Regional Offices in
Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, East London and Cape Town; 100 Hospital
Service Centres at public hospitals countrywide; or six Customer Service Centres
in Durban, Bloemfontein, Mafikeng, Polokwane, Kimberly and Nelspruit.
• The RAF can be contacted through the Call Centre on 0860 23 55 23 (Mon-Fri:
07h45 to 16h00). Claimants will be assisted in any of the 11 official languages.
• A detailed list of RAF’s Regional Offices, Hospital Service Centres, Customer
Service Centres, and Walk-in-Centres is available on the website: www.raf.co.za.
• Follow us on social media – RAF on Twitter: @RAF_S A, Instagram: Raf_road, or
Facebook: RAF SA Road.
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