Elements of a Claim

The elements required for a valid claim are:

  • Compensation for
  • Loss or damage due to
  • Bodily injury or Death
  • Caused by or arising out of the driving of a motor vehicle
  • If due to the negligence or other wrongful act of the driver or owner.

Compensation for Loss or Damage
A claim against the Road Accident Fund is essentially a personal injury claim. Damages recoverable are dependent on the date of collision. You will be entitled to compensation for all losses directly related to your bodily injuries suffered in the accident. This excludes losses resulting from damage to or loss of property, i.e. your vehicle that was written off, or your cell phone or baggage etc.

On 1 August 2008 the Road Accident Fund Amendment Act came into effect. As a result, there is now a clear distinction between claims which arose as a result of accidents that occurred before 1 August 2008 and those that arose thereafter.

For a detailed discussion of specifically what is recoverable depending on the date of your
accident, see:
If your accident happened before 1/8/2008: Personal Injury
If your accident happened after 31/7/2008: New RAF Claims

Suffered Bodily Injury or Death
The loss has to have arisen from bodily injury or death
Bodily injury or death involves physical harm to the person, as opposed to his belongings.
To explain the distinction - A salesman, who is unable to work (or drive) due to an injury sustained in a motor accident, will be entitled to claim his resultant loss of income from the Road Accident Fund, whereas a salesman who is unable to travel and thus generate an income due to his car having been written off will not be entitled to compensation, as his loss is as a result of damage to his vehicle (not bodily injury). 

Driving of a Motor Vehicle

Caused by or arising out of the driving of a motor vehicle
The driving of a motor vehicle must have led to the injuries. The act is specifically designed to cover passengers, pedestrians and drivers. This excludes people who are injured in incidents involving motor vehicles but where no one was at fault as regards the driving of the vehicle, example a motor mechanic working under a vehicle which collapses on top of him – no compensation.

Due to Negligent or Wrongful Act

If due to the negligence or other wrongful act of the driver or owner
Most claims arise from negligent driving.  Negligence can be defined as conduct which is of a lesser standard than that of a sober, careful and responsible individual acting in consideration of those around him/her.

Although we often tend to think that a driver who has skipped a stop street is always 100% to blame because the other driver had right of way.  This is not so, as South African drivers are expected to act with a great deal of caution when driving.  It is expected that we always be on the lookout for other drivers or pedestrians and to regulate our own driving in accordance with that of other road users. See our discussion on Negligence.
 
Other wrongful act - The Road Accident Fund will also compensate you if you have been driven into/over on purpose.

By application of the above principles, a driver who is injured when a pedestrian runs into the road, causing him to lose control thus injuring him will not be entitled to compensation. Whilst his injuries arose out of his driving, they were caused by someone who was not driving a motor vehicle.  (If the pedestrian in this example was negligent, the injured driver will have a delictual claim against the pedestrian, and not against the RAF.)

Contact Details

Phone Phone: (012) 809 1588
Fax Fax: (0) 86 603 0097
WWW Link Website: www.claims4u.co.za
Email Email:info@claims4u.co.za
Address: Block 2, Lombardy Business Park,
Cnr Cole & Graham Rds, Lombardy , Pretoria