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”