Only certain injuries are applicable for claims for General Damages to the Road Accident Fund. Determining the severity of an injury is a technical process required by the relevant expert, but here is a basic guide to understanding the kinds of injuries applicable to General Damages in RAF claims.

What Is A “Serious” Injury in Terms of the Road Accident Fund?

You can submit a claim to the Road Accident Fund for General Damages (pain, suffering, loss of the amenities of life, disfigurement etcetera, all “lumped” together as General Damages if you have sustained an injury that is classed as “serious” – but what does that mean?

There is an established list of criteria used to determine the severity of injuries, and these are based on guidelines as presented in the “American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition.” These criterions are there to take some of the subjectivity out of the injury assessment process.

However, injuries can be classed on a very broad spectrum. Your best bet in terms of assessing an injury is to consult with Davidson Attorneys. We have well-established relationships with a wide network of medical professionals who will assist you in evaluating and classing your injuries before you make a claim to the Road Accident Fund.

The basis of the guidelines that your injuries will be held against is the “Whole Person Impairment” rule (WPI). This is a percentage that correlates to the portion of the body that is disabled or impaired through an injury.

In order to claim General Damages from the Road Accident Fund, your injury must meet or exceed a threshold of a 30% WPI, meaning that 30% or more of your body is impaired through the injury in order to qualify for the award of General Damages.

The only way that the percentage of damage can be determined is through an assessment by a medical professional who is qualified to conduct such an assessment. The assessment can only be conducted once the injured party has reached maximum medical recovery – meaning that the injury has stabilized, and no medical improvement or deterioration has taken place over a period of several months prior to the assessment.

A few examples of injuries that meet the threshold are:

  • The loss of a limb
  • Brain damage
  • Paraplegia
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You will have to consult with various medical professionals to verify and classify your injuries.

What If I Can’t Prove 30% WPI?

If the injury can’t strictly adhere to the 30% WPI criteria, it may still be possible for you to submit a claim for General Damages, by a medical professional submitting a “narrative test”. Through this process, an injury can be classed as serious if it has resulted in:

  • Long term impairment of a bodily function
  • The loss of a bodily function
  • Severe and/or permanent disfigurement
  • Long term mental or behavioural disturbances or disorders
  • The loss of an unborn child

 What Are the Next Steps?

If you believe that the injury you have sustained may meet the criteria mentioned above, you will need to be examined by a suitably qualified medical professional.

A “Serious Injury Assessment Report” will be compiled, but oftentimes, this is not enough on its own.

You will likely need to submit annexures and substantiating reports.

The process of undergoing and collecting these evaluations and reports can be incredibly daunting – we’re here to help.

How Can Davidson Attorneys Help Me?

At Davidson Attorneys, we have established relationships with a wide network of medical professionals who specialize in these assessments. We can give you the advice, contacts and tools that you need to make this process as easy as possible.

You can rely on us to facilitate this process, and connect you with the medical practitioners you will need to help you inform your claim.

Contact us today for your free consultation. We work on a “no win, no pay” basis, meaning that if we do not win your claim, you will not pay any attorney’s fees.