In this matter the Plaintiff instituted a claim against the RAF for harm that he had suffered in a motor vehicle accident arising out of the wrongdoing or negligence of the insured driver.

The RAF accepted liability for the harm suffered by the Plaintiff but the issue of quantum in respect of loss of income and general damages remained in dispute[1].

The essence of this summary deals with the issue of general damages. Both parties appointed experts that agreed that the Plaintiff’s injuries were serious, however, the Road Accident Fund rejected the Plaintiff’s injuries as being regarded serious on the day of the trial.

The Court made an award of R800 000.00 in respect of general damages, even though the Road Accident Fund had rejected the Plaintiff’s injuries as being serious. The Court admitted and was not unaware of the fact that it did not have jurisdiction in the determination of whether or not injuries are to be regarded as serious.

Potterill, J stated that the lack of jurisdiction that the court endures in the determination of whether or not a Plaintiff’s injuries are serious or not stands, however, in light of the  fact that both parties’ experts came to the same conclusion i.e. that the Plaintiff’s injuries were serious, the Court did not make that the determination, the experts did. The seriousness of the injuries was recognized in the joint minutes of the experts and was therefore a decided fact.

The court held that under normal circumstances it is not out of the ordinary for the RAF to reject a claimant’s injuries as being serious on trial day. In an effort to curb this process which generally slows the process and progress of RAF claims the court held in conclusion that where experts agree on the seriousness of the claimant’s injuries and “in the absence of a timeous repudiation based on good reasons, not a single matter will be referred to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).”[2]

[1] RS v Road Accident Fund (49899/17) [2020] ZAGPPHC (21 January 2020)

[2] (accessed 30 April 2021)