Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Car accident can bankrupt you for life

More evidence that life in the New! Improved! South Africa!™ is becoming intolerable under the mis-governance of the ANC regime. There is nothing in the past 15 years that has not been totally, utterly, completely effed up by these troupe of baboons that we, the loyal ever-suffering taxpayer must just put up with.

Remember this when next a group or individual calls for a march to protest the state of affairs in South Africa. Stay at home, shut up and put up - or get active and DO SOMETHING about it. It really is YOUR choice.

A serious car accident can now bankrupt you for life, the Johannesburg Attorneys Association said.

“Regulations implemented this year limit payouts to victims of accidents and places families at severe risk of bankruptcy,” said Michael de Broglio of the Johannesburg Attorneys Association in a statement.

He added that breadwinners who could not work any longer due to an accident could now only claim up to R160,000 a year, “not enough to cover a medium sized bond.

“It's an untenable situation that the RAF has placed motorists in,” added De Broglio.

Even though the fuel price may have come down, this year South Africans paid even more “for yet another undelivered service.”

RAF contributions increased in February 2008 by 12 percent or 5c per litre of fuel sold.

South Africans now pay 46c per litre toward the state insurer.

“The maximum monthly claim of R13,333 a month should a family's breadwinner pass away hardly covers a bond repayment for the average middle class home,” he said.

The monthly maximum was the same for loss of income cases, where those who could never work again would also be limited to a maximum of R13,333 per month, irrespective of what they were earning at the time of the accident.

“On an average of 4 full tanks of fuel per month, at 50 litres per tank,
the average South African pays R1104 annually for a disastrously mismanaged service with declining benefits and in many cases no real benefits at all,” De Broglio said.

In addition, the guilty party could not be sued, “no matter how wealthy he or she is, for those parts of your claim limited by the RAF or excluded in total by them as with money for pain and suffering in most instances”.

Injured parties in road accidents faced an equally bleak financial outlook should serious injuries be incurred.

Traditionally, said De Broglio, medical aid fund rules excluded accident benefits, but paid out because of the RAF protection offered, for which they were in turn reimbursed, but this was no longer the case.

“In terms of new laws ushered in since August this year, hospitalisation is now calculated at public health facility rates.

“Accident victims are now left at the mercy of state health care.”

During the past ten years the death toll on South African roads had doubled, he said, pointing out that “the annual December spin” by the authorities was just that - spin - and simply indicated that fatalities may vary year on year, but the long term trend was worrying.

“Potholes are reproducing faster than rabbits and the number of illegal drivers increase exponentially every year. It is a disgrace that instead of rising to the challenge and protecting South African motorists, the government chose to carve away at the protection once afforded to those whose lives are destroyed in accidents.”

De Broglio said the Law Society of SA would shortly launch a constitutional challenge on the regulations.

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