• Car Accidents
  • What must I do after a motor vehicle accident?
  • These are some of the important things you need to do:
  • Call the police or report the accident to the closest police station within 24 hours.
  • Co-operate with all law enforcement and emergency personnel who respond to the scene.
  • Get the number plates of all other vehicles involved in the accident, the drivers' names and identity numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, description of the motor vehicles the registration numbers; and the date, times and address of the collision and any other information that may be relevant.
  • If an employee is driving a motor vehicle on behalf of an employer, then the details of the employer.
  • Write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all potential witnesses to any accident or injury.
  • Take photographs of the following:
    • the scene of the accident, from all angles;
    • the surrounding area;
    • your injuries; and
    • any damage to property.
  • Draw a sketch plan of the scene and make sure that it contains a fixed point so that it can easily be traced.
  • If you have been injured, consult a doctor immediately even if you think that the injury is not serious.

After a car accident you may NOT:

  • Move your motor vehicle unless it is necessary for safety or required by law.
  • Subject yourself to further injury by standing or waiting in an area near traffic or other safety hazards.
  • Leave the scene of an accident until the police tell you to do so.
  • Throw away any potential evidence such as defective products, important documents, or torn or blood-stained clothing.
  • Engage in discussions of fault with anyone as that can be considered evidence in court - do not admit liability.
  • Agree to settlement terms without discussing the matter with your attorney.

Can I claim for the damages to my car from the Road Accident Fund ("RAF")? 

No the RAF does not cover damages to your property, such as:

  • damage to your car;
  • damage to your other property, for example, your clothes; or
  • damage to your fence or to your house when someone drives off the road and into your house.

If you want to claim money for your damaged property you will have to institute an action in a civil court against the driver of the car and or his employer if s/he was driving a company vehicle.

A person has a right to claim compensation for damages from the RAF if they are a victim of a motor vehicle accident ("accident") as a result of the wrongful driving of another. The RAF compensates a victim of a road accident for bodily injury, and in the event of death it compensates the dependents of that victim for their loss.

How do I know if the other driver was negligent?

These are some examples of negligent driving:

  • driving at an excessive speed or in excess of the speed limit;
  • failing to keep a proper look-out;
  • failing to keep the vehicle under proper control; or
  • drinking and driving.

What happens if you are not insured or the other party is not insured?

  • You will personally have to claim from the person who caused the damages to your vehicle or property.
  • If you have a claim for less than R12 000, you may pursue your claim in the Small Claims Court.
  • If you want to claim more than R12 000, you will have to pursue your claim in the Magistrate's Court with the assistance of an attorney.

Key.

  • COLLISION:  an accident.
  • WRONGFUL:  includes intention to act or negligence.
  • NEGLIGENT:  the failure to take reasonable care.
  • WITNESS:  a person who sees or hears the accident.

How can Legal Eagle help you? 

The Legal Eagle policy covers the legal expenses that are incurred in the pursuit of claims for damage to property provided such property is not used for business purposes. The damage to your car or property must have occurred after your Legal Eagle cover date and you must have a reasonable chance of succeeding with your claim in order for Legal Eagle to cover your legal expenses.