It is not mandatory for an individual to appoint a road accident fund lawyer, however, it is advisable to seek out the guidance of one. Adams and Adams RAF attorneys have seen, and been involved, in many cases where the road accident fund (RAF) either under-settles matters and provides unjust and inequitable compensation, or they take many years to finalise and pay out.
This is often due to the RAF not conducting the necessary, and extensive, investigation of the injuries sustained and the incident itself to make a fair call on compensation.
The benefits of having a RAF lawyer to assist with RAF claims is that they will ensure fair compensation within a reasonable period of time, whilst giving individuals the legal guidance to ensure a smoother experience throughout the process.
What Is the Role of a RAF Lawyer?
The role of a RAF Lawyer is wide-reaching. Firstly, the RAF lawyer has to source all the relevant hospital records; Accident Report and other relevant lodgement documents. From there, they lodge the claim on behalf of the claimant, send the claimant to various medico-legal appointments, and prepare all the necessary court papers from the issuing of summons right up to the day of trial.
The lawyer works on the file for 3-5 years in these cases unless early settlement of the RAF claim is concluded.
Road Accident Fund Claims Required Documentation
A RAF Lawyer will be able to assist you with the necessary documentation for filing for a claim. There is a standard list of the documents that will be required:
RAF 1 Form
All claims must be lodged using the RAF 1 form which can be found here.
The form asks for basic information, including:
- the claimant
- details of the vehicles and parties involved in the road accident
- a detailed description of the incident
- the compensation amount being claimed for
- a medical report from the claimant's doctor (obtained by your RAF lawyer, should you appoint one)
RAF 3 Form
The RAF 3 form is a statutory accident report form. It must be submitted with details of the accident, along with any witness statements.
RAF 4 Form
If general damages are claimed, a RAF 4 form must be submitted.
This must confirm that the injury is serious enough for the claimant to be awarded general damages for pain and suffering.
Other Supporting Documents For A RAF Claim
Alongside official documentation required by the RAF, claimants must have other supporting documents that prove and justify their case and claim. These include:
- official relevant medical reports,
- road accident reports,
- receipts and financial statements as well as medical bills.
The RAF may ask for more if necessary.
How to Check on Road Accident Fund Claim?
If there is a lawyer assisting, then they should be able to advise of the status, otherwise, the claimant can call or visit the offices of the RAF. A claimant should expect a timeline of approximately 3 – 5 years unless the matter settles. Early settlements are best for all parties involved and Adams and Adams has had several successes in this regard.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.