Has my Road Accident Fund claim prescribed?

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Authors – Bavukile Magagula

It is important to note that your Road Accident Fund (RAF) claim is subject to time limits. People are often left disappointed and without the means to treat their injuries or to be compensated for the death of a breadwinner, because they were not aware of the time limits set by the RAF.

These time limits, commonly referred to as prescription are set out in the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996 (Act). According to Section 23 of the Act, a claim will prescribe within a period of 3 years from the date of the accident. In other words, an individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident or who has lost the support of a breadwinner as a result of a motor vehicle accident, will have 3 years from the date of the accident to lodge their claim with the RAF.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. According to Section 23(2) of the Act, a claim for compensation against the RAF will not prescribe against ‘a minor, a person detained as a patient in terms of any mental health legislation, or a person under curatorship’.

Where your matter has been successfully lodged with the RAF, you have a further 2 years to approach an attorney to institute litigation and issue summons against the RAF for the compensation that is due to you.

When an accident occurs and you sustain severe injuries or a breadwinner dies as a result, to avoid your claim from prescribing, ensure that you approach an attorney to lodge and/or issue summons against the RAF.

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