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Road Accident Fund to assist victims

I cringe every time I see an article like the one you can read here:  http://mpumalanganews.co.za/293285/road-accident-fund-takes-service-to-the-people/.

It is so terribly sad that the Road Accident Fund has managed to make so many people believe, as Donald Trump has with the poor in America that he and they are fighting for their interests.  I don’t think Trump has the interests of anybody other than himself and the wealthy at heart and the Republican Party has traditionally never been the party for lower middle-class people, who are the ones who have now given him power. Likewise, the Road Accident Fund goes out of its way to emphasise again and again that by approaching them directly, members of the public can save on attorneys’ fees.  

Off course what they don’t say is that saving on attorneys’ fees hardly means anything if the Road Accident Fund offers you a small fraction of what your case is worth.  This is something we all need to combat and to combat strongly with the Road Accident Fund settling an ever-increasing percentage of the cases in South Africa directly. Certainly the ones I have come across have been under-settled and sometimes quite dramatically.  I also don’t really understand what the Road Accident Fund is trying to prove by referring to attorneys as “intermediaries”.  That is the term they use in this article. People must go to the Road Accident Fund directly to avoid the fees of “intermediaries”.  Only attorneys are allowed in South Africa to charge fees for doing RAF work, so presumably the reference is to us, but why is there a need to call us “intermediaries”?  It seems to suggest that the Road Accident Fund will do their job just perfectly well without the involvement of attorneys. That is simply not the case and it is something that the Law Societies need to start challenging.  An intermediary, according to the dictionary, is somebody who acts as a link between two parties in order to bring about an agreement or reconciliation – almost a mediator. It is disturbing that the Road Accident Fund is trying to describe attorneys in such a way.

I would suggest that each one of you address this with your own Law Society and demand that they take up what appears to be a new tactic of the Road Accident Fund in suggesting that the role of attorneys is simply to act as mediators in such cases.  Language as you know is very important and it is a little bit worrying that such specific language is being used in this instance to describe attorneys. One wonders what the purpose behind that is.

I would argue that in launching this campaign without disclosing to the public the many claims that they have under settled amounts to a flagrant fraud on the public. They should also be disclosing the qualifications of the persons who will be deciding on the unassisted claimant’s fate. “Meet Peter. He has been working here for six months and doesn’t really know what he is doing yet but he’ll try his best”

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 14-Nov-16


Road Accident Fund to assist victims

Comments

Gerrit  said...
on Tuesday 13-Dec-16 08:22 AM
I am surprised you make reference to Trump. This is not really the forum for a Trump vs Clinton debate. I was relieved to hear Trump won as I am certain the Clinton Mafia were going to dump the world into war. This was confirmed when I saw on the news that the Americans allowed terrorists to invade Palmyra.

What concerns me most are the legal aid insurers that are popping up like poisonous mushrooms. These insurers appoint lawyers or attorneys who work for a fixed fee and offer very little value for money for the client. I am a victim of Legalwise. I received no assistance at all.

Another entity who should be avoided like the plaque is Labour Law Services (aka Retrenchment Assist). This is a company offering labour law services but are not a registered legal practice and as such do not have a governing body. They squeeze you for as much as they can in fees whilst doing as little as they can get away with.


Melissa P  said...
on Wednesday 16-Nov-16 05:18 AM
The exact same thing happend to my grandmother a couple of years ago when the RAF approached her directly and as one would think her claim was undersettled.

Jolene   said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 01:39 PM
Everyone is entitled to legal representation, the RAF should not inform people to not make use of attorneys. Yes we take a percentage of the claim but we make sure you get the best settlement possible. The RAF take years to settled these claims if attorneys doesnt intervene this timeframe will change dramatically. The public doesnt know how these types of claims work. It will definitely be a huge disadvantage to the public if the RAF one day decides to exclude attorneys completely.

Prishani  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 01:06 PM
I think that the Road accident fund's tactics are not fair, especially to lay people who are not sure of the litigation process, and who need a lot of guidance on claiming from the Road Accident Fund. These individuals can be easily taken advantage of if they are not protected by attorneys. I think that everybody has the right to an attorney, and they should decide on whether or not they would like to have an attorney represent them in RAF matters. They should also not be misled by the Road Accident Fund encouraging them to settle their matters, when in most cases they are under settling because most clients are too desperate and are willing to accept any amount without having the advantage of sound legal advice.

Thabitha  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 11:36 AM
If they are so good at what they are doing why do they have to involve attorneys or even telling client's not to claim through attorneys, it is a choice of a person to use them or attorneys. Donald Trump I was so shocked but what can we say Zuma for SA and Trump for America

Sinead  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 10:54 AM
world*

Sinead  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 10:53 AM
I couldn't believe Trump won to be very honest with you. At the same time, I think we should just give him a chance. Maybe he actually does some good for America and in turn the rest of the word...

As for the RAF - they shouldn't be approaching clients directly because we see how they under value and under settle big claims. The public just needs to be aware of the attorneys' fee structure because they are actually clueless - thinking attorneys will rip them off. It is much better to go through an attorney because they know what they are doing and they really do have the clients' best interests at heart

Michelle  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 10:37 AM
Attorneys always try to settle a matter as high as possible, so obviously the RAF will have a problem with that. People need to be careful to trust what the RAF tells them. Its actually shocking how unprofessional they are as to go so far and call names.

Angelique P  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 09:53 AM
I was really shocked when I heard Trump is president but maybe he surprise us.
When are the people going to realize that this promises are all false. Why do they think there is Attorneys handling this? They know what to do. I will just leave it in the hands off people that know what is going on. In the end you are going to end up making things worse and then in anyway asking an Attorney to fix it. Do it the right way in the first place.

Jessica Apfel   said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 08:42 AM
It seems to be a deterrent mechanism. However, the lay man is unaware of the fact that the RAF are not exactly a competent body and need the so called 'intermediaries to constantly place pressure on them in order to recieve any result. Moreover, they are not aware of the true value of their claim and as you suggested allows for undersettling, this seems to be a way in which to exploit the average joe who is not familiar with the claims process.  

Mathilda  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 08:40 AM
A lot of people are not happy that Donald Trump got elected president but lets be honest would Hilary really be the better option? The pros and cons are almost equal on both sides..
I totally agree that the RAF is trying to paint this picture that they will give you a better settlement when you do a claim directly through them and this is totally not true, Attorneys try and get the best settlement for their clients that will benefit them not only for a few year but for the remainder of their lives they always have their clients best interests at heart
Most people who go directly through the RAF are under settled

Lourien  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 08:32 AM
I have also heard people saying that they have been approached by the RAF, and the RAF made promises which they never kept. The sad thing is that the RAF wants to reduce the payments as much as possible as they need to limit the claims on their side, how is it possible for them to give the client a payment that is actually worth it, why are attorneys fighting for higher amounts if they are generous ? Because the RAF pays out the minimum that is required. The attorneys fight for higher amounts and take a standard fee, the fees are in fact fixed and attorneys are only allowed to take a certain amount, but settling the matters for far more than the RAF actually offers.

Dave  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 08:31 AM
Subtle head injuries cause problems that very often the patient is not aware of.
A sore toe is a small injury but to a ballet dancer it is a catastrophic event.
A bank clerk can have a memory problem which becomes a big issue if she gives out more money than she should.

Sadly lawyers often get a beating for their fees but in the case above,to be given a lump sum settlement is grossly too low for the injury involved.
Bear in mind that if a person cant work ,what then.

There is no way that the new bill can work as too many seriously ill people will not be remunerated properly.

I hope that you carry on doing the good job you do.

Angelique Jurgens  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 07:42 AM
Indeed it was shocking to see how many people voted for Trump, a chance for racism, encouraging homophobia, discrimination etc etc?

Nevertheless not directly the topic on hand but I certainly see the resemblance. It is extremely sad to know that this is being said to the public, whom are not being properly informed and simply digest the information given and take the advice because it is there. Their cases are under settled daily; the man on the street is not familiar with the law or legislation and perhaps its time for them to ask the question "How can the Road Accident Fund act on behalf of a client as well as against a client". That should be the name of the campaign - it sums it all up! Can the RAF really act in the interests of each and every client while at the same time act in their own interests - major conflict of interest and it boggles my mind how this is even legal.
Isn't it a bout time that the Act then prescribes requirements for claim handlers e.g. That they need a certain amount of experience or certain qualifications in order to be qualified to settle or handle claims? It's time the Road Accident Fund stop focusing on what the call the mediators, who at the end of the day assist clients to get the best possible settlement and change lives; and start focusing on employing staff with qualifications who are better equipped to handle claims and not under settle claims.

Daniella  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 07:42 AM
I don't think Donald Trumps should have been elected but he targeted the correct people because the people who voted for him, either have the same mindset as him or they were easily persuasive. The RAF in this sense is doing the same thing. By taking advantage of people that easily persuasive just so that they can save some money, at the end of the day that's all they care about.

Juliet  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 07:02 AM
It is so frustrating to hear of so many people being taken advantage of by the Road Accident Fund. I hear stories from people about how they were approached by an RAF representative while they were still sedated in hospital and told they would do their RAF claim for free. All the words are totally incorrect! Such as "free". What is free if the outcome is less than the potential payout you would get with the help of an attorney? The only guarantee is a massive loss!

Nicky  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 06:43 AM
Although unrepresented parties get to cut out attorneys fees, I think that they'd get a bigger pay-out even with attorneys fees being deducted than when approaching the Fund directly.

I think that the RAF's approach is to just make the minimum payment to unrepresented people-how do they assess how much the claims are worth-I've heard of matters being paid out by RAF based only on the documents lodged. The RAF sometimes even give their own attorneys pathetic instructions without any solid reason therefore so I can just imagine how much worse it would be with unrepresented parties..

Dune  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 06:16 AM
Victims of motor vehicle accidents are vulnerable and will seek any sort of help after an accident. The RAF is playing a tactical game by by referring to us as intermediaries. Most victims who approach the RAF directly are uneducated and will never know the true value of their claims. We are there to fight for those victims, get fair settlements assure that they will be accommodated in future. Is this the RAF's approach as well? I highly doubt it!

Nina  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 06:04 AM
I can understand that the public feels that attorneys take a very big cut out of the claims that pay out because of some firms not following the law and thus scamming people. But it will be a very big wake up call if they realise that they will only get a fraction of what they deserve when no attorneys are involved at all.

Ashleigh  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 05:52 AM
I feel sorry for clients who believe that going directly to the RAF will cut out the attorneys fees and saves them their money. Yes it may cut the attorney's fees out but little do the clients know that they are going to be under settled. Atleast with Attorney's clients can guarantee that all their injuries that they sustained in the accident are covered as they are referred to various specialists. I do not see this happening with the clients who choose to go directly with the RAF. Defendants only really appoint three specialists for clients to be assessed by, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Occupational Therapists and Industrial Psychologists. What happens to the other injuries that are sustained in the accident of the client? I don't also see the RAF working out past AND future loss of income. I can only see them working out what they lost from the accident until present. And then comes the payment problems as well. Attorney's work hard to ensure their clients are covered and they do deserve to be paid for the job that they do. There are many processes involved in a claim and I really do not know how a client that has suffered from their accident will be able to do these processes alone and without the assistance or advice of their attorneys without being under settled tremendously.

Latoya  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 05:44 AM
With all the money that Donald Trump has, I don't think he is even concerned about having money with being president and wanting to stay in the white house, I honestly think he is doing this to make better for the country and is also concerned about different countries which tells you he wants to make the world a better living place.

Natasha   said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 05:33 AM
I agree with Clare give him a change maybe he surprises all of us. The RAF will only have to pay small amounts to individuals who do not know the true value of their claims.The RAF IS selfish and don't want attorneys involved because they know with attorneys they have to pay more but when they claimant go to them directly they will pay less.

Joyce  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 05:33 AM
I think the term used to describe attorneys sounds with no respect of attorneys

Jessica M  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 05:29 AM
I can't believe how people believe them. I mean I have had a few people phone me after years of trying to get their money out of the RAF. I can't stand that this is happening and that the RAF got it right.

Alexis  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 05:26 AM
So far there has been positive feedback withing two days of Trump being elected - there may be a chance he actually does something.

Second - Attorneys are necessary - working here for as long as I have, I have seen the miserable offers they produce - and I see us doubling or tripling same when we finalise a matter. The RAF will always do the bear minimum and offer you the same.

Clare  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 05:20 AM
Firstly I feel that people need to Give Trump a chance, he is a good Business man so I'm sure he will do what is best for the country. I also agree that you should start a campaign to have under settled amounts shown, and I also show the people what we are working with you can put someone that cant read or speak clearly in front of a compute and on the phone, how does one actually work like that.

Bianca  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 05:18 AM
The Road Accident Fund pray on people that may not be aware of the massive role that attorneys play in ensuring that they will receive the best compensation possible as well as ensuring that all injuries are investigated thoroughly and nothing is missed during proving your case. The Road Accident Fund are trying to stop big settlements by offering clients what looks like a handsome settlement when in the meantime, it is an under settlement. People are generally uneducated in this field unless you are aware of the proper process and people are being taken advantage of and the attorneys being made out to be the bad people.

tamzyn  said...
on Tuesday 15-Nov-16 04:49 AM
They are luring people in by down playing the role Attorneys, or as they put it 'intermediaries', have in ensuring that claimants receive fair compensation. This is a great business tactic in ensuring RAF will only have to pay small amounts to individuals who do not know the true value of their claims. Unfortunately RAF is not a business, and should be dealing fairly with the victims they were put in place to help.

Stacey Lewis  said...
on Monday 14-Nov-16 06:11 PM
There are many cases that are complex and require expert intervention. Making a claim with the RAF is a once off opportunity and it is important that each case is handled expertly. Attorneys are not simply intermediaries. A good intermediary can be the difference between surviving and Thriving.

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