Each year thousands of South African road users fall victim to road traffic accidents. The consequences of these accidents vary greatly – if you are lucky you may walk away unscathed and only face the cost of repairs to your motor vehicle and other damaged assets – those less fortunate could face serious injuries accompanied by spiralling medical bills or even death.
“Road traffic accidents can have major financial consequences for individual road users and it is therefore essential that you know your rights and responsibilities should you be involved in one,” says Karin Verster, senior manager at Acuideas. She adds that yourfailure to follow the letter of the law could compromise subsequent claims for compensation against your insurer and / or the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
It helps to consider your post-accident response in two stages. The first stage is immediately following an accident when your adrenalin is sky high and everything is coming at you at light speed; the second is a few hours later, when you’ve had a chance to recover from the shock and reflect on the incident.