Dependent children have the right to claim for loss of support from the Road Accident Fund, provided their parent passed away in or from a motor vehicle collision which was not their fault. In other words, the collision must have been partly or entirely caused by the negligent driving of someone else
Parents can also claim for loss of support from the Road Accident Fund following the passing of their children, provided the parents were indigent at the time of the collision. The test for indigency means to be in extreme need or want. It is therefore not sufficient that the parent lives on very little or nothing; the parent must be indigent, which is a step further.
This begs the question whether dependent siblings may have claims for loss of support against the Road Accident Fund, following the death of a sibling who was supporting them at the time of the collision? We cannot ignore that South Africa is marred by children headed households, in disadvantaged communities, where children (usually the older sibling) have the responsibility to support and maintain the family.
As the laws stands, our common law would need to be developed or the Road Accident Act amended, to provide for such a claim. Until such time, siblings are unfortunately not entitled to claim from the Road Accident Fund following the passing of a sibling who was supporting them at the time of the collision.
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.