MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
A third party claim does not cover damages to your property, such as:
If you want to claim money because your property is damaged, you must claim separately from the negligent driver or his or her insurance company and not from the RAF.
The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act says that you cannot sue your employer in a civil court for damages if you are injured on the job. (But if your employer caused injury to you while you were not on the job, you can sue him or her.) (See Compensation Fund)
If you are not insured you will personally have to claim from the person who caused the damage to your vehicle or things. If your claim is for less than R7 000 then you can claim it in the Small Claims Court if there is one in your area. (See Small Claims Court; Problem 2: Your car is not insured and it is damaged in an accident)
You may also institute a claim in the Magistrates' Court, it should however be remembered that you may only claim for a maximum of R100 000 in the Magistrates' Court. A claim in excess of R100 000 has to be instituted in the High Court. Then you must follow the civil court procedures. You will need an attorney to help you. (See Civil claims)
Many people pay regular amounts of money (called 'premiums') to an insurance company (the 'insurer') which is used to pay insurance claims. Such insurance usually covers damage to motor vehicles and personal things such as clothes, bags and watches. You choose whether you want to pay for private insurance to cover things like fire, theft and damage to a vehicle. The damage can be a result of the driver of the vehicle which caused the accident being negligent, or of any other person being negligent.
For example, if you are involved in an accident and another person is at fault, then you can claim the cost of repairs for your vehicle from your insurance company. The insurance company might then claim from the person who caused the accident. If the person who caused the accident was also insured, then your insurance company will claim from that person's insurance company.
If the person who caused the accident was not insured, then your insurance company will claim the damages from the person him or herself. If the uninsured person cannot afford to pay, then your insurance company will have to bear the loss.
If you cause an accident and you have insurance, you can also ask the insurance company to pay someone else for the loss that you have caused.
If a motor vehicle accident happens while you are doing your job, then you can get compensation in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA). But if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else's negligent or unlawful driving, even if this is during his or her employment duties, then you can also lodge a third party claim with the Road Accident Fund. (See Third party claims) The money that you receive from the COIDA will be deducted from the third party payment. For example, if the RAF agrees to pay damages of R15 000, but the COIDA has already paid R10 000, then you will only get R5 000 damages from the Fund.
Note that COIDA says you cannot sue your employer for damages if you are injured while on duty. (But if your employer caused injury to you while you were not acting during the course and scope of employment, you can sue him or her.) Therefore if a motor vehicle collision occurs while you are acting during the course and scope of your employment you will not be entitled to sue your employer in a civil court. (See Compensation Fund)
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