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Thread: MVA Claims - Good news for attorneys

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    MVA Claims - Good news for attorneys

    No direct payments to accident victims (2009-06-12)

    The Cape High Court has stopped the Road Accident Fund (RAF) from paying claims directly to accident victims, instead of making payments via their attorneys.

    The court also set aside a RAF administrative decision, made in June 2007, to forthwith implement the new direct payment system, and declared the decision invalid and of no force or effect.

    Thursday was the return date for an interim interdict granted to the Law Society of South Africa last August by the Western Cape's Acting Judge-President, Jeanette Traverso.

    Thursday's proceedings, before Judge Denis van Reenen, were for the RAF to present reasons why Traverso's interim interdict should not be made final. Van Reenen made it clear, however, that he could not permanently interdict the RAF from making further decisions concerning the system, but that the interdict applied only to the decision made in June 2007.

    Senior counsel for the RAF, Anwar Albertus, said the fund accepted the 2007 decision was flawed, and for this reason would not implement the it without further discussion and correcting the flaws.

    However, senior counsel Jeremy Gauntlett, for the law society, countered that the RAF had in fact tried secretly to implement the system, despite the Traverso interdict, and for this reason the fund could no longer be trusted. He said the RAF had so far acted with such irregularity, and against the public good, that the final interdict was in fact essential.

    Gauntlett said the system was irrational and unreasonable and in breach of constitutional rights. He said it was designed to ensure that road accident victims -- many the most vulnerable in society -- would not have effective legal representation in their battles to obtain RAF compensation.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    A thought occured reading that - If clients could be relied upon to pay their lawyers before they splurge the payout, there wouldn't have been this problem.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Ha - I see you have been talking to Sieg lately. Now I was under the impression that the whole reason this story came about was that the victims were unable to get anything out of the fund as a result of the lawyers creaming the payout and leaving nothing for the distribution.
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    Graeme (12-Jun-09)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Touché, Marq. One of a number of problems that occur, I suspect.

    Maybe the solution is for the lawyer to file a valid cession for his fees. The risk is this will increase complexity - from what I hear the RAF is not known for its efficiency.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    I have no doubt that the RAF is mainly to blame for this scenario.

    With proper record control, audited distribution systems and feedback solutions in place the system should not be a problem.

    Once the initial vetting of the claim is done (which is probably the bulk of the work load, legal and problem area) the balance of the system is purely an application of administration and paperflow control. Most of this can be automated and the human effort can be put to ensuring the victims are properly compensated. The attorney side could be just a claim against the case number and paid out as part of a distribution award according to tariffs and rates.

    If compensation is based on the injury and its effects over time with a middle of the road living standards applied, they can do away with this loss of earnings basis where huge debate occurs. There should be adequate history to draw up this list. So its a case of pick an injury and the effect from a predetermined list and thats the claim. No more claims from brazilianaires that destroy the fund, no more debate on how this guy is more affected than that one, no more huge expectations from a legal system trying to suck everything they can out of a system that cannot give.

    The medical systems like Netcare etc should also be part of the solution by offering victims medical care at reasonable rates or predetermined rates as set up on the agreed list.

    This whole thing should not be a legal issue with legal solutions - It is a medical issue with trauma, counseling and future survival issues that need to be addressed by a different set of professionals. It is about the victim and their rehab not about some attorney and their ability to sue for the greatest amount ever and reap the rewards off the misfortune of others.
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    Dave A (14-Jun-09)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Great points, Marq!

    And yet another thought occurs -

    The MVA could save a whole lot of money and the whole process would probably run a lot better if the MVA dropped a few bar into your bank account to get the ship running properly.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Full Member totius54's Avatar
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    the problem is very complex. This for many years been a cash cow for the lawyers where they have exploited the RAF and their clients.

    I would support a system where the lawyers put in a claim for his fees to the RAF independently from the one he submits for the RA victim. ( victim gets paid by the RAF . And the lawyers are payed by the RAF)

    This would stop the stealing blind of the victim by the lawyers(yes they are steeling) and the RAF would have a incentive to stop delaying the conclusion of the case and pay out to the RA victim

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