The Road Accident Fund is a form of social and public insurance. It was set up to provide compensation for those seriously injured or killed in vehicle accidents on South African roads. If you are seriously injured in a road accident, you can claim for general damages, such as pain and suffering, from the Road Accident Fund.
You can claim for past and future medical expenses, as well as for loss of earnings. The Fund is specifically for pedestrians, passengers and drivers injured or killed due to the negligence of another driver. This means that you cannot claim from the Road Accident Fund for damages to your car, regardless of the circumstances.
Claiming from the Road Accident Fund
The Road Accident Fund is not the correct agency to claim from, but who is? Many of the roads in South Africa have potholes and it is quite likely that your car will be damaged at some time. If your car has been damaged, you need to identify who is responsible for that piece of road where the accident occurred.
In South Africa, National Roads are managed by the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL). These roads are marked with an “N”, for example the N1 that runs from Cape Town to the Zimbabwe border at Beit Bridge. Other roads are managed either by the municipality in which they fall, or the Department of Public Works. Once you have properly identified who is responsible for the road, you can then proceed with a claim.
A SANRAL claim will be processed in the same way as an insurance claim and you will need to prove that the damage occurred on that road as a result of the road condition. For a municipal claim you will need to contact the relevant municipality to confirm what documentation is required for a claim.
What if you are injured in the accident?
If you are seriously injured in a vehicle accident as a result of a pothole, the situation could be different. Contact Paul du Plessis Attorneys immediately. This firm specialises in Road Accident Fund and Personal Injury claims and will advise you on the best course of action to take.