Accident victims to fork out more

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Victims of road accidents could find themselves paying more than half the compensation they receive from the Road Accident Fund to their lawyers.

This was revealed in a document that a victim is supposed to sign with an attorney that was leaked to Sowetan this week.

The document, drawn up by Baijnath and Associates, a Durban law firm, sharply contradicts claims made by the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) that accident victims normally receive 60 to 70percent of the total payout made to them by the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

The RAF was interdicted two weeks ago in the Cape high court by the LSSA, SA Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and one accident victim, from paying compensation directly to victims.

The court ruled that the RAF must continue paying the full compensation amount to attorneys who would then pay victims after deducting legal costs.

The document leaked says "the attorney shall charge fees at a higher rate than usual".

It then details a "formula" whereby the fees will be calculated.

It says that victims who are awarded R25000 compensation will pay the attorney "R13000 plus VAT".

Those awarded R40000 compensation will pay the attorney R19200 plus VAT", and those awarded R50000 will pay the attorney R24500 plus VAT.