Some of the most common questions we receive from our clients.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle collision and it wasn’t your fault you may qualify for a claim. A claim against the RAF generally arises from the negligent driving of a motor vehicle. Contact us if you think you may have a claim.
Where the identity of the third party/insured driver is unidentified, a victim has 2 years from the date of the accident to lodge a claim. A minor involved in a collision in which the third party is identified has until 3 years after reaching the age of majority to submit his or her claim. Save for hit and run claims where the law is conflicted, prescription does not run against an individual whose injuries are so serious as to render him incapable of partaking in the litigation process.
There have been countless media claims over the last few decades that the RAF is insolvent. These claims have been based on a number of studies performed by an array of experts, yet, to date, the RAF continues, albeit with cash flow constraints, to pay compensation.
These reported cash flow constraints purportedly arise from a number of different factors and further legislative changes have been suggested to reduce the already limited liability of the organisation. The cash flow status is based on arbitrary claim figures cited on claim forms and summonses. These figures are significantly amended once medico legal evidence comes to hand and the figures initially claimed seldom bear any resemblance to the settlements reached. Whether the RAF is factually insolvent is therefore questionable.
The reality is that the fuel levy is paid monthly to the organisation who continues, albeit with a delay in payments, to compensate accident victims fully and in accordance with legislative parameters.
The simple answer is no.
Driving without a valid driver’s license may be negligent, but in order to successfully refute liability, the RAF would have to prove that this was the cause of the collision. If for example an unlicensed driver is stationary at a red robot and another driver ploughs into the back of him, the absence of a valid license can never be stated to be the cause of the collision.
No. You may for example be moving out of a driveway or in the parking area of a shopping centre when a collision occurs. You would still be entitled to claim from the RAF provided that you can prove the negligent driving of another.
Not only regular vehicle collisions can give rise to a claim against the RAF. The law defines many other gas propelled vehicles as “motor vehicles” in terms of the RAF Act. For example a tractor is defined as a motor vehicle.
Contact us if you are unsure as to whether a vehicle constitutes a motor vehicle for the purposes of legislative interpretation.
The legislation requires a driver/vehicle owner to be identifiable rather than identified. By way of example, if a driver is identifiable by way of a license search on a registration number then and in such case, he would be deemed to be identified within the context of the RAF legislation. One has to be mindful of the fact that a vehicle may have a false registration plate. In such a case, successful identification of owner details would not result in identification for the purposes of a claim.
The danger in failing to attempt identification of a driver or owner of vehicle is possible prescription of a claim. If the details of a driver as reflected on supporting documentation turn out to be false, the claim will become an unidentified one and as such will have to be lodged within two years of the collision.
It is therefore imperative that the attempted identification process take place as early as possible and that a claim be lodged preferably within 2 years of the collision.
The RAF has removed your right to claim delictual damages from the negligent driver. You do however have a right of recourse against this driver in respect of material damages suffered by you, such as damage to your vehicle.
Claims are quantified in the reports of various medico- legal experts after perusal by them of existing medical records, thorough consultation and assessment of clients and the compilation of detailed medico legal reports.
Clients are assessed by a top notch set of medical and related experts with expertise in appropriate disciplines and depending on the nature of injuries sustained.
A comprehensive study is then made of the expert evidence and actuaries are employed to convert the expert evidence to monetary terms.