RAF 4 – The 60 Day Period Rejected
Van Loggerenberg v RAF
In this case the plaintiff submitted a serious injury assessment form i.t.o. reg 3(3)(a) describing her injuries as a serious long term impairment or loss of a body function. The Dr’s handwritten notes stated that she had lost ¾ of her left index finger.
The defendant rejected her RAF 4 form 5 days before trial informing her that her injury does not constitute a 30% WPI as required i.t.o. the AMA guides and further that her RAF 4 form establishes no basis that the four elements of the narrative test has been satisfied.
The letter continued stating that if the plaintiff wishes to dispute the rejection she can do so by following the procedure set out in Reg 3(4) and 3(13).
Subsequently a special plea was raised that the plaintiff cannot claim general damages unless she complies with the act. The plaintiff did not respond, instead the plaintiff relied on the Louw matter, stating that the Fund had to reject the RAF 4 within 60 days of receiving it, failing which the claim for general damages is a valid claim.
The judge disagreed stating that neither the act not the regulations stated a time period within which the fund had to reject the plaintiff’s RAF 4 form.
The judge further stated that he is of the opinion that there should be a distinction between a claim for pecuniary and non-pecuniary loss in regards to the provisions of Sec 17(1)(b) of the act.
The judge went on to distinguish this case from the Louw matter on the grounds that in the latter case evidence was presented to the court in respect of the seriousness of the plaintiff’s injuries.
In closing the judge stated that the RAF 4 form should deal with the effects of the injury in detail where the narrative test is employed.
The special plea was upheld.