INJURED IN A ROAD ACCIDENT?
This information has been designed to inform victims of motor accidents about their rights to claim compensation.
Road Traffic Accidents are generally thought of as incidents that happen to other people. However, statistics show that this is not the case in South Africa. Even if you are a safe driver, statistics have shown that reckless and negligent driving are common place in South Africa and you could be the innocent victim of such driving.
HOW DO I CLAIM COMPENSATION?
Your rights are prescribed by the Road Accident Fund Act and by our Common Law.
YOU CAN CLAIM COMPENSATION IF:
- You are the driver of a vehicle and the accident was not entirely your fault.
- In certain circumstances if you are a passenger in a vehicle.
- In certain circumstances if you are hit by a vehicle whilst you are a pedestrian.
No matter how minor your injury you may be able to claim compensation
If you have any doubts at all about who was to blame for the accident or whether you have the right to claim compensation, you should seek legal advice. If you are badly hurt your attorney will visit you in hospital or come to your home.
If you are the driver of a car and involved in a road traffic accident it is incumbent on you to complete certain forms which have to be submitted to the Road Accident Fund within a prescribed period of time. Your attorney will advise you in this regard.
A WORD OF WARNING... TIMING IS VERY
IMPORTANT... PLEASE READ ON...
Seek legal advice and pursue your claim as quickly as possible. If a claim is not submitted to the Road Accident Fund or in certain circumstances Court proceedings initiated within 2 or 3 years of your accident, your claim may prescribe which means that you will not be able to claim compensation at all.
If you were under the age of 21 when the accident happened and the person responsible for the accident or the vehicle responsible for the accident is known to you, your claim will only prescribe 3 years after you have attained the age of 21.
However, you should pursue your claim as soon as possible when witnesses are more likely to be available and to remember what happened. Generally more and better evidence will be available the sooner you pursue your claim.
IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT SEEK
LEGAL ADVICE IMMEDIATELY
It is important that you choose the right attorney. It is essential that you select an attorney who has considerable experience in road traffic accident claims and personal injury claims.
BEFORE CHOOSING AN ATTORNEY ESTABLISH:
- How many road traffic accident claims and personal injury claims has he / she handled in the past 12 months?.
- What is the biggest claim he / she has ever settled?
- What is his / her success rate?
WE HAVE A DEPARTMENT SPECIALISING
IN PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
If we do not succeed in our claim for damages on your behalf we will not charge a fee.
We are prepared to act on a contingency basis, i.e. if we do not succeed with the claim we do not get paid.
Do not decide against making a claim on the grounds of costs without seeking advice in this regard first.
Your attorney at strb Buchanan Boyes Smith Tabata will explain in detail to you what your claim will cost you.
WILL THE CASE GO TO COURT?
Most cases are settled before they go to Court. Only very few cases go to Court or to Arbitration. To finalise a claim satisfactorily may take a long time. The length of time to finalise a claim will depend on many factors, particularly the nature and extent of your injuries, and the experience and ability of your attorney.
You may, depending on the circumstances of the case, be able to claim compensation successfully if you are the victim of a hit and run accident.
You may even be able to claim compensation if you are a passenger in a vehicle where the driver of your vehicle is wholly to blame for the accident.
How MUCH COMPENSATION WILL I GET?
Depending on the circumstances of your case you will be entitled to claim the following:
- Damages for pain, suffering, loss of amenities of life, disfigurement, and loss of income earning capacity;
- Past hospital and medical expenses;
- Future hospital and medical expenses;
- Past loss of earnings;
- Future loss of earnings
If your claim is successful you will be able to recover a certain amount of your legal costs as well.
Compensation may be available to family members of anyone killed in a road accident. Funeral expenses can also be claimed in certain circumstances.