Frequently asked questions
When you have sustained personal injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault.
If you sustained personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, you can claim damages under one/more or all of the following heads of damages, provided that you can prove same in court.
- Past Medical Costs
- If you can prove that you paid medical costs for medical treatment of your accident-related injuries out of your own pocket in the form of invoices and the proof of payment slips
- If you can prove that your medical aid or another person/institution paid the medical costs on your behalf (invoices and proof of payment slips required) in which case the medical costs will have to be reimbursed to the medical aid/another person/institution upon receipt of the medical costs from the RAF
- If you can prove by way of medico-legal reports from medical experts that you lost your ability to earn an income in the future as a result of loss of work capacity, productivity, or the fact that you will need to go on early retirement or if you have lost the ability to work completely, due to your accident-related injuries
- The above loss of future earning capacity must then be actuarially calculated by a qualified Actuary.
- This is damages for your pain, suffering, discomfort, emotional and psychological trauma and loss of amnesties
- You need to be able to prove that you sustained serious injuries.
- Serious injuries mean that your accident related injuries have a permanent and life-changing effect on your daily circumstances, social circumstances/hobbies, work-related circumstances/ability and your need for medical treatment.
- You need to obtain a serious injury report (RAF4 reports) from a medical doctor who is qualified to complete such a serious injury assessment and report
- After you have obtained the serious injury report, this report must then be able to convince the RAF (and not the Court) that your injuries qualify for serious injuries under the RAF act.
- If the RAF rejects the serious injury report, your claim for general damages must be referred to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) who will then instruct a panel of doctors to consider the medico-legal reports and to make a final decision as to whether the injuries are serious or not
- If the HPCSA decides that the injuries are serious, the RAF must pay general damages
- If the HPCSA decides that the injuries are not serious, the decision can be taken on revision if there are good grounds to show that the HPCSA should have come to a different conclusion
Loss of Support / Dependency Claims:
- If you can prove that the deceased person died in a motor vehicle accident that was not his / her fault
- If the deceased had a legal duty to financially support you or your dependents
- If the deceased actually paid financial support to you or your dependents before the motor vehicle accident
- If you and your dependents lost the financial support of the deceased due to the motor vehicle accident
- If you can prove that you paid for the funeral costs of any deceased person who died in a motor vehicle accident that was not the fault of the deceased
- You need to prove that you paid the funeral costs out of your own pocket in the form of a funeral invoice and proof of payment slips
- The RAF is only liable to pay the costs that were actually necessary to put the body in the ground / cremate the body
Medical negligence or a medical negligence claim is when you are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering and general damages arising from the negligent conduct or negligent oversight of a medical practitioner or supporting medical staff that resulted in personal injury to you or a dependant.