I see the Road Accident Fund is at it again, having meetings with people and explaining to them how they can do their claim directly. The theme of the reports in the media on the meetings is always about attorneys who either take all the money, take years to settle the claim or cheat the people in some or other way. I have no doubt that there are such attorneys, and unfortunately they seem to be more prevalent in outlying areas, perhaps because more urbanised clients simply don’t put up with the nonsense that you read about in some of these allegations, but the Law Society does deal vigorously and very aggressively with attorneys who don’t follow the rules.
On the other hand, I come across complaints all the time and comments on my blog at www.debroglio.co.za from people who have tried to do claims themselves with the Road Accident Fund and the general theme of those complaints is that: People who do have claims in terms of the new Act are told that their injury is too minor and that they don’t have a claim; people are not sent to all the experts that they should be to quantify their case properly; people’s cases are not settled by the Road Accident Fund in time or at all and lastly, when they are settled, they are settled for a fraction of what the case is actually worth. In other words, in my experience, somebody is far better off going to attorneys and be able to report their attorney to the Law Society if something goes wrong than going to the Road Accident Fund directly and not being able to report the Road Accident Fund to anybody at all! I believe that you will get better service and a better result by using an attorney but obviously if you have concerns about the attorney make sure, from their website and from doing proper research, that they are an established firm with a history of expertise in this field – and there really are many firms that fit that category.