Monday, 20 August 2020: South Africans expecting a Road Accident Fund (RAF) pay-out after receiving an approved court order, can wait up to one year before seeing any money. This is another excruciating delay after having typically waited between 2 to 5 years for the case to come to trial.
Payments are delayed due to inefficiencies and serious financial woes at the RAF, reported to have a massive R17 billion in unpaid claims. In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused further trial and pay-out delays with the RAF being largely shut down since lockdown began in March this year.
Beyond the physical, emotional and financial recovery after a car accident, victims with claims against the RAF endure a long and difficult claim process which involves hiring a lawyer and going to court. Those who finally get a court order for the RAF to pay, are usually stunned to find out that they will still have to wait for up to a year to receive their money.
South African start-up RAFPay has stepped in to ensure victims with valid RAF court orders receive up to 95% of the money owed to them. This takes place over two payments: an initial payment of up to 50% of the amount owed is paid within hours of the application. The minimum amount generally paid at this stage starts at R150 000. The balance is settled once the RAF pay-out has been received.
The final payment will depend on the time the RAF takes to settle the court order, with average total pay-outs around R800 000. For victims who have often been unable to work due to injury and who may have high medical bills, this is life changing.
Says Elad Smadja, CEO at RAFPay, “We get hundreds of calls a month from extremely distressed people who are meant to be paid out by the RAF. They have endured medical stress, may have lost their jobs, are in desperate financial positions and often take loans from mashonisas (loan sharks) at very high interest rates while they wait 6 to 12 months before finally getting their pay-out.”
RAFPay helps these claimants to not only end the delay of waiting for the money owed to them by the RAF, but also offers transparency in terms of the amount payable after their attorneys’ fees have been paid. The RAFPay pay-out is not a loan and so there is no interest payable. Instead, the court order is converted into an upfront cash payment.
“The attorney fees and RAFPay’s fee are only paid once the final RAF pay-out is received. The whole process can take hours. The immediate cash relief allows clients to bring finality to the long trauma of their vehicle accidents so that they can finally move on with their lives,” Smadja says.
“One of our clients, Daisy M., was in a serious motor vehicle accident in 2016. Her attorney assisted her over many months to eventually negotiate a settlement of R750 000 from the Road Accident Fund. In July of 2020, the funds owed to her had still not been settled. We paid her an upfront 40% of her claim, with the balance due upon the settlement of her court order by the RAF. These funds were of crucial for Daisy who needed to settle outstanding medical debts as well as support her family as the lockdown had limited her earning capacity.”
“Mr Rampedi was injured in a road accident in 2017. After a waiting over a year for feedback from the RAF and due to the ceaseless efforts of his attorney, he was eventually awarded a court order of R2,5 million. In desperate need of money to look after his family and grandmother, he approached RAFPay and received an immediate payment of 40% of the value owed to him. This life-saving payment gave him peace of mind and means to take care of his loved ones while awaiting the balance of his court ordered fee to be settled by the RAF.”
If you have an attorney and a signed settlement agreement or court order, contact RAFPay which also offers access to a financial advisor at no cost. Visit www.rafpay.co.za or send a please call me or WhatsApp to 066 070 6380.