The Road Accident Fund is set to be replaced by the Road Accident Benefit Scheme. How beneficial are these benefits, really? Not at all…
The new Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) is currently before parliament.
The Bill is proposed to replace the current fault-based system which was administered by the Road Accident Fund.
The implementation of the RABS aims to both reduce costs and standardize payouts. This may sound all fair and well on paper, but it could spell disaster for South African motorists. Here is why;
Under RABS, accidents will be treated on a no-fault basis.
A no-fault scheme means that any drivers who can prove they have been in a motor vehicle accident will be able to submit a claim to RABS.
What this means, essentially, is that all road accident victims will be able to receive a benefit even if the accident was your fault.
Although a no-fault system could reduce administration, we’ll see an increase in the volume of claims and the amount of compensation to be paid out. As a result, the value of the benefits will have to be reduced in order to keep the plan sustainable.
The scheme is based on the same model as that of the Workmen’s Compensation Commissioner (WCC). Let’s say you’re injured on duty. You’re chopping carrots in a restaurant and you accidentally lose a finger. A claim could then be lodged with the WCC, where your employer pleads your cause on your behalf.
Under RABS, however, you won’t have any representation and you’ll have to lodge the claim yourself. You won’t be able to recover your full loss and the compensation / benefits payable to you will be decreased. There’s no long term financial security offered. All benefits could be withdrawn or reduced at any time by the Administrator.
As it stands under the RAF fault-based system, if you were to cause an accident then you’re not permitted to claim. Victims who do qualify then receive substantially higher payments.
This may seem unfair to those who genuinely make small errors on the road. Maybe the clutch slipped and you ended up bumping the car in front of you. In that light, the RABS may be helpful and seem reasonable.
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However, this brings us to the biggest, most disturbing problem of them all.
A person driving under the influence will have the same rights as you. They will also be able to claim for damages after they cause a huge accident and leave you paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of your life.
Thanks For Nothing, RABS
News24 reported that a Durban Regional Court magistrate has given a drunk driver a sentence of 20 years in prison for causing an accident in which three people died.
Under the RABS, people who show a complete disregard for the rules of the road might be able to claim and receive compensation.
Perhaps, instead of all the inherently crooked bureaucracy, Government should be focusing on better enforcement of traffic laws.
This above content was supplied by CompareGuru.
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