RAF 4 – The 60 Day Period Rejected

writing on form

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.

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One response to “RAF 4 – The 60 Day Period Rejected”

  1. Anonymous says :

    Hi Roelf

    The judge in fact agreed with the RAF that the 60 day period to object is not in fact applicable as the Regulations makes no provision for a time period – in this regard refer to paragraphs p.4 – 12, p.5 – 13 & p.6 – 21 he did however distinguish it from the Louw Case

    What is important I think is the following :

    1. The AMA Guide was used and the claimant failed on it hence the Narrative but the judge did not, unlike in the Mngomezulu matter, prefer the one assessment to the other or indicated that the claimant can “choose” between the AMA Guide Assessment & Narrative Test. In fact the judge refers to the relevant Regulations prescribing the assessment method (p. 5 par 17) which of course is Regulation 3(1)(b)

    2. Directly after that the Judge in (p. 5 par 18) refers to the lodgement period of the RAF 1 & RAF 4 and again he refers to the Regulations and by implication he agrees with the Regulatory period

    The judge’s view is of course contrary to the article of Klopper in the De Rebus of October, where he tries to argue that the RAF 4 is in essence an amendment to the RAF 1 and need not be lodged within the prescriptive period as per Regulation 3(3)(b)(i) – Identified Claims & Reg 2(1) for Hit & Run Claims

    3. Furthermore he confirmed once again that the Objection should be supported with a reason – thus concurred with the Louw/Mngomezulu & Akaai Matters (p.6 par 20)

    4. Finally by implication he also confirmed that the Narrative Test should be supported with and “involves enquiries & opinion into the seriousness of the injuries” (p.6 par 21)

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