Car accidents can leave you confused and your heart racing, but worse-off – injured. Road accidents are bound to happen but if you do not have motor vehicle insurance, things can become a bit of a bumpy ride.
Road accidents are one of the most common causes of minor car damages and car injury, in South Africa. Your options to deal with it depend on who’s at fault. But, you may have more than one option for getting your car reconditioned for road use.
Car accidents are a common event in which insurance claims are made, but the process is, far too often, a misunderstood area in the automotive industry. When claiming insurance for your damaged car, knowing how to handle the intricate steps will increase the speed of the procedure.
Having car insurance essentially means that you will pay the premium, while the insurance company pays your losses – which, in this case, ‘property coverage’ would cover any car damages. The Sectional Title Act allows trustees to arrange and deal with insurance claims. Here, trustees negotiate premiums, rates and excess; after which documents are signed by the body corporate and becomes legally binding when signed by one or two trustees, and the managing agent.
If claiming insurance, it is important to maintain consistent communication with your vehicle’s insurance company and check-off the necessary steps required to ‘win your case’. Not missing out on any vital steps will enhance your chances of getting your insurance company to pay for any car damages or car theft.
South African Road Accident Fund
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) has provided a safety net for road users and their loved ones. The public road safety insurance has been implemented as a state-supported insurance to cover road accident victims. The purpose of the RAF is to provide security to citizens and foreigners, during accident injury and death.
As long as you are not the negligent driver, passenger or pedestrian, who has cause the road traffic accident, you or your ‘self-paid’ lawyer, can claim road accident insurance from the RAF. In terms of tragic road accidents, if the accident has resulted in the death of a person who had financially supported the passenger, the family member or spouse can claim back the wages they have lost.
Claim Damage Costs from the Negligent Driver
Most car owners, who do not have insurance to claim from, opt to claim the costs of damage from the driver who had caused the accident. If the claim is less than R15, 000, you can follow through with the process at the Small Claims Court. On the other hand, you will need to hire an attorney to support your claim in the Magistrate’s Court.
However, in doing so, you will need the proof to show that the other driver was negligent of the foreseen damages. In this case:
- Contact the police and report the event immediately
- Capture the police officer’s details and report accident reference
- Take down the driver’s name, contact number, car license plate, license number, car model and colour
- Record the details of the event
- Take photographs of the scene and damages caused
- Get the driver’s insurance name and the claim reference.
Pay your Vehicle’s own Damage Costs
To avoid the hassle of time-consuming insurance claim processes, car owners, who have encountered a car accident, sometimes pay for their own vehicle damages. However, in most of these cases, these car owners are those who have caused the accident.
Reconditioning your car after a road traffic accident is important to ensure the car’s roadworthiness. Do you really want to get pulled over by a traffic officer and have a large fine stamped on top of your vehicle’s extensive damage costs? Reconditioning costs are the repair costs required to bring your car back into road-use condition. It is particularly important when you want to sell your car for cash. However, this can sometimes be a hassle. But, luckily at an online car buying service like CarZar, your reconditioning costs are calculated by their inspectors when you book and attend their obligation-free car inspection.
Road Accident Trauma Counselling
After a road traffic accident, victims frequently experience shock, short-temper, anxiety, vehicle fear, short-temper, etc. These are essentially ‘traumatic responses’ to road crashes, knocking over a pedestrian or causing road accident death.
Reactions to traumatic road accidents can be wide, and vary from person to person – some may feel it immediately, while it can take others a long period of time to show-off their emotional, psychological or physical response to a car accident. Trauma counselling is, therefore, best left in the trust of trauma professionals and CarZar advises road accident victims to seek help, despite feeling unaffected by the event.
Here are the best ways to help victims deal with road accident trauma:
- Prepare an emergency response and see to victims’ physical needs
- Create a safe environment for accident victims
- Help victims to connect with people they want in their life
- Help the victim feel self-worth, by respecting for their loss
- Help the victim transcend their traumatic experience, by helping them find meaning
CarZar stresses the importance of road safety by increasing its awareness. With recorded stats in high mortality rates becoming prominent during the South African festive season, value your family’s road safety and avoid tragic road-trips.
Although it is important to be able to weigh out your options after you have been in a car accident, CarZar urges road users and pedestrians to take extra caution when travelling during the festive holiday.