A group of frustrated claimants are taking on Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and the Road Accident Fund (RAF) over a new directive changing the rules under which victims file accident claims. According to a report in The Citizen, law firm Adams & Adams is representing a group of accident victims whose claims have been rejected as a result of a new management directive which stipulates additional requirements for a claim to be processed. The directive is part of a new strategy adopted by the RAF to reduce costs and increase the pace at which claims are processed.
Adams & Adams partner Jean-Paul Rudd argues that the importance and detrimental impact of the ‘unlawful’ management directive on persons wishing to claim compensation from the fund is immense. Rudd states that the additional information requirements stipulated by the directive only compound an already difficult process of obtaining certain documents from public institutions.
The directive effectively makes the RAF the final word on the validity of a claim, he adds. The urgent application was filed in the Gauteng High Court in May, as reported previously in Legalbrief LSSA Weekly. The interim interdict is sought pending the institution and finalization of an application for the review and setting aside of the management directive. The Personal Injury Plaintiff Lawyers Association chair Justin Erasmus said the RAF should have instituted the new regulation as an amendment to the RAF Act in order to subject it to a fairer process. ‘It should be that the regulation is done in an amendment, and it should be published for comment. They should allow various role players in the industry to comment about this so that we come to a collective solution that everybody is happy with.’