RAF out­reach on claims process

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - News - SIHLE MAVUSO sih­lem@the­newage.co.za

IN ITS bid to cut out mid­dle­men (lawyers) from the road ac­ci­dent claims process, the Road Ac­ci­dent Fund (RAF) is em­bark­ing on a cam­paign to ed­u­cate the pub­lic about its new pro­ce­dures which al­low vic­tims to file claims di­rectly with it.

The RAF will be in Dur­ban at the eThek­wini com­mu­nity church on Satur­day where ac­ci­dent vic­tims, their fam­i­lies and de­pen­dents will be made aware of cru­cial in­for­ma­tion on the claims process.

KZN re­gional gen­eral man­ager Nt­soaki Kunene said the RAF will also make all its re­sources and fa­cil­i­ties avail­able to the pub­lic so that the com­mu­nity can ben­e­fit from its ser­vice of­fer­ing.

“Our man­date dic­tates that we meet the needs of road crash vic­tims. This in­cludes tak­ing our ser­vices di­rectly to the com­mu­ni­ties who are af­fected emo­tion­ally, phys­i­cally and fi­nan­cially by the dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences of ac­ci­dents. All are wel­come to at­tend, in­clud­ing those who need the ser­vices we pro­vide or sim­ply want to find out more about the RAF’s of­fer­ing,” Kunene said.

She said claimants will be as­sisted with, among other things, the di­rect reg­is­ter­ing of new claims, con­sol­i­da­tion of re­quired com­pli­ance doc­u­ments, set­tle­ment of­fers and re­port­ing of cases in­volv­ing al­leged un­scrupu­lous at­tor­neys and touts.

Ded­i­cated RAF em­ploy­ees will also re­spond to ques­tions and ed­u­cate com­mu­nity mem­bers about the im­pend­ing Road Ac­ci­dent Ben­e­fit Scheme and its pro­posed ben­e­fits.

“Com­mu­nity mem­bers are en­cour­aged to bring their ID to the event for enquiries and in­for­ma­tion on their claim. Other im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion and doc­u­ments which need to be pro­vided for new claims in­clude case num­bers, ac­ci­dent re­ports, a hos­pi­tal re­port, ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tions and de­tails of other par­ties in­volved in the car crash.”

Kunene said the cam­paign doesn’t stop peo­ple who want to visit the RAF of­fices and hos­pi­tal walk-in cen­tres to do so when they want to be helped. She said the walk-in cen­tres were eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble in ma­jor re­gional and district hos­pi­tals through­out the prov­ince.

The RAF has been en­cour­ag­ing ac­ci­dent vic­tims to claim di­rectly amid com­plaints about claimants who are ripped off by some greedy lawyers who pocket large pro­por­tions of pay­outs.

In one such case re­cently in the Gra­ham­stown High Court, an at­tor­ney drew up an agree­ment with a client en­ti­tling him to charge R226000 (25%) of his R900 000 RAF set­tle­ment.

NO LAWYERS: The Road Ac­ci­dent Fund is em­bark­ing on a cam­paign to ed­u­cate the pub­lic on its new di­rect claims pro­ce­dures.

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