Who Qualifies for RAF Claim? – Guide

Do you know who qualifies for RAF Claim?

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is a crucial aspect of South Africa’s legal and social landscape, providing vital compensation to individuals adversely affected by road accidents. Understanding who qualifies for a RAF claim is essential for victims seeking justice and financial support in the aftermath of such incidents. This article aims to demystify the eligibility criteria, ensuring that potential claimants can ascertain their qualification status effectively.

Who Qualifies for RAF Claim?

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) serves as a public insurer in South Africa, established with the intent of offering insurance cover to all road users within the country. It aims to furnish victims of road accidents with an avenue for compensation, regardless of the fault attributed to the incident. This compensation covers various aspects, including medical expenses, loss of earnings, and, in more tragic instances, compensation for the loss of support to the dependents of deceased victims.

Qualifying Criteria for a RAF Claim

The following is a detailed list of 15 qualifying criteria that determine eligibility for lodging a claim with the RAF:

  1. Involvement in a Road Accident
  2. Personal Injury or Death
  3. Negligence of Another Driver
  4. Pedestrian Involvement
  5. Cyclists and Motorcyclists
  6. Dependents of the Deceased
  7. Loss of Earnings
  8. Medical Expenses
  9. Funeral Expenses
  10. Passengers
  11. Hit and Run Victims
  12. Witness to an Accident
  13. Unidentified Vehicle Accidents
  14. Non-Residents
  15. Time Frame

Involvement in a Road Accident

To be eligible for a claim with the Road Accident Fund (RAF), the claimant must have direct involvement in an accident occurring on a South African road. This criterion underscores the importance of the incident’s location and the claimant’s participation, whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, or motorcyclist. The RAF’s mandate is to offer support for incidents within South African jurisdiction, providing a safety net for those affected by road accidents in the country.

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Personal Injury or Death

Eligibility extends to individuals who have suffered personal injuries as a result of a road accident. Additionally, in the tragic event of a road accident leading to the death of a breadwinner or family member, the dependents of the deceased are entitled to claim compensation. This component of the RAF’s provision ensures that both the physical and emotional damages resulting from road accidents are acknowledged and compensated.

Negligence of Another Driver

A fundamental criterion for a RAF claim is that the accident resulted from the negligence or wrongful actions of another driver. This condition necessitates an evaluation of fault, where the claimant must demonstrate that another party’s failure to observe road safety regulations directly led to the accident and subsequent damages. This criterion highlights the RAF’s role in promoting accountability and responsibility among road users.

Pedestrian Involvement

Pedestrians hit by motor vehicles, through no fault of their own, qualify to claim for damages. This acknowledgment ensures protection for one of the most vulnerable groups of road users, offering them a recourse for compensation. The RAF recognises the high risk faced by pedestrians and provides a means to mitigate the financial and health implications of accidents involving them.

Cyclists and Motorcyclists

Individuals riding bicycles or motorcycles and involved in road accidents are also covered by the RAF. Given the inherent vulnerability of these road users due to lesser protection compared to motor vehicles, the RAF’s coverage extends to ensure they receive fair compensation for injuries, damages, or loss incurred during an accident.

Dependents of the Deceased

The RAF provides for the dependents of individuals who have lost their lives in road accidents. This provision is crucial, as it aims to alleviate the financial burden that can fall on families following the death of a breadwinner, ensuring they receive support for loss of income and other support the deceased would have provided.

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Loss of Earnings

Individuals who are unable to work due to injuries sustained in a road accident can claim compensation for loss of earnings. This aspect of the RAF’s coverage is vital in helping victims maintain financial stability during their recovery period, acknowledging the impact of lost productivity and income as a result of injuries.

Medical Expenses

The RAF allows for the compensation of both past and future medical expenses arising from injuries sustained in a road accident. This provision ensures that victims can access necessary medical treatment without the burden of the associated costs, facilitating their path to recovery.

Funeral Expenses

In the case of fatalities resulting from road accidents, the RAF covers reasonable funeral expenses. This support is critical in easing the financial strain on families during a period of mourning, allowing them to focus on their emotional well-being rather than the economic implications of their loss.


Passengers injured in road accidents are eligible to claim, regardless of the vehicle’s fault. This criterion underscores the RAF’s commitment to protecting all individuals affected by road accidents, ensuring that passengers, who have no control over the vehicle, have access to compensation.

Hit and Run Victims

Victims of hit and run incidents are eligible to make a claim, provided they report the accident to the police within a reasonable timeframe. This provision ensures that those affected by the irresponsible actions of drivers who flee the scene are not left without recourse for compensation.

Witness to an Accident

Witnesses who suffer emotional trauma after witnessing a serious road accident may qualify for compensation to cover psychological treatment costs. This acknowledges the profound impact witnessing a traumatic event can have on an individual’s mental health.

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Unidentified Vehicle Accidents

Claims can be lodged even if the accident was caused by an unidentified vehicle, provided the incident was reported to the police promptly. This ensures that victims of hit and run accidents, where the perpetrator is not identified, still have an avenue to seek compensation.


Non-residents injured in South Africa due to a road accident are eligible to claim from the RAF. This inclusivity highlights South Africa’s commitment to ensuring the safety and support of all individuals within its borders, regardless of their residency status.

Time Frame

The claim must be submitted within three years of the accident, or within two years if the identity of the driver or owner of the vehicle is unknown. This time frame is critical to ensure that claims are processed in a timely manner, allowing for the efficient administration of justice and support for the victims.

Understanding who qualifies for a RAF claim is pivotal for individuals seeking to navigate the aftermath of road accidents. The RAF provides a beacon of hope and financial support, ensuring that victims and their families receive compensation for the losses endured. It is advisable for potential claimants to familiarise themselves with these criteria and seek professional legal advice to ensure that their claim is lodged correctly and within the stipulated time frames.