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If you're injured in a car accident, motorcycle crash, or as a cyclist or pedestrian, a TAC lawyer fights for your rightful compensation

If you have been injured on the road, you are almost certainly entitled to injury compensation.

A road accident can leave you or your family seriously hurt, physically of course but also financially, with medical expenses hanging over your head and the very real possibility of being unable to continue to work.

Our road accident lawyers are experts in lodging car accident claims and TAC claims in general. It is unfortunate that we are continuing to see rises in the incidence of motorcycle injury and bike and pedestrian injuries. Our road accident lawyers are expert in advising on these matters too.

The TAC may not always be on your side

All claims for compensation and assistance must be lodged with the TAC, but unlike your lawyer the TAC is not always going to take your side. You can lodge a claim by yourself but it helps to have a road accident lawyer with expert knowledge of TAC claims, legal recommendations and requirements, and the claims process on your side.

Remember – if you are injured on the road, it is critical that you lodge a claim immediately with Victoria's Transport Accident Commission (the TAC).

Why is it so important to lodge your TAC claim?

If you've been injured, ensuring the paperwork is done may not be as urgent as medical treatment, but it could make a big difference in the long run.

Many people miss out on compensation because they don't think to lodge their claim with the TAC quickly. It is only natural to report the accident to the police and seek medical help. But it's often the requirement to report it to the TAC that catches people out.

The reason for the urgency is that the TAC imposes a 12-month deadline for notifying them of an injury claim. You may have a serious road injury, in which case your doctor or the hospital will likely ensure your claim is lodged. But if your injury appears to be less serious, a failure to report it to the TAC will mean that you will miss out altogether on financial compensation and even on reimbursement of medical expenses.

The RCT Group has expert road injury compensation lawyers at office locations across Victoria to ensure you are properly advised and covered.

If you are in any doubt about what to do, call our helpline on 1300 366 441 now for a free consultation, or email us using our online contact form.

A car or road accident has more than a physical and financial impact

We've helped more than 60,000 people obtain compensation and we understand the impact a road injury can have on people's lives. It may be a simple whiplash injury or one much more serious. Whatever the type of injury, you need to know how to access the best medical help, and if you are absent from work, how to secure regular income during your absence.

It is important to keep in mind that understanding all of your rights and entitlements increases the likelihood you'll receive fair compensation.

In the case of a serious road accident or injury, you will need support on the path to full rehabilitation. Coping with injury requires professional help that is informed by years of helping people and families deal with the consequences of injury. How best to work with health professionals and hospitals, advice on how best to schedule ongoing medical tests. And not least, just understanding what it is you are going through.

You will also need someone that will help you stand up to the TAC.

Personal Injury forum: Kittys' road injury

Here is Kitty's story. She is a mum who suffered a car accident leaving her having to cope with pain, medical expenses, and surveillance by the TAC. This is a revealing and emotional personal account of how a fight for car injury compensation can unfold, and how you may have to deal with the TAC.

This type of surveillance is common where the TAC suspects that you may be trying to exaggerate your injury. This is just one example of how it can be difficult in wrestling compensation out of the commission. It helps to keep in mind that the TAC is essentially a large insurance company, so it is in their interest to minimise payments.

TAC claims

Problems with reporting a TAC claim late

Too many people miss out on benefits because they don't get around to, or for another reason can not, lodge their claim with the TAC as soon as possible.

Leaving a road injury unreported is a huge risk.

It is common for accident victims to escape a road accident with what seems to be a few scratches or a bump to the side of the head, believing everything is all right. It's not uncommon some time down the track to find you may be suffering from memory problems or bad headaches, or there is something wrong with your hearing.

You may be convinced that your condition is a result of your road injury, but if the injury isn't properly investigated and reported at the time, there is no evidence for any subsequent medical complication being linked to the accident.

You can't upgrade the severity of the injury later.

You can miss out altogether on having your medical bills paid, and if you need to take extended time off work you may also lose your source of income.

What can I claim?

Medical expenses, therapy and counselling expenses may all be claimed.

If you need to take time off work, loss of earnings can also be claimed for up to 18 months.

If you are left with a permanent disability that affects your earning capacity, you may be entitled to additional compensation.

If you have suffered a serious injury, you may be entitled to a lump sum to cover any future loss of earnings and to compensate you for your pain and suffering.

Can I appeal a TAC decision on my claim?

Yes, but only within 12 months of the decision.

The risks of Social Media

Facebook in legal cases

We are seeing Facebook used in evidence in a growing number of injury cases that do go to court for compensation.

It is common for the legal team acting for the TAC or an insurer to try to cast doubt on the plausibility of the plaintiff's testimony. Increasingly, we are finding that opposing lawyers are requesting access to a client's Facebook pages as part of the pre-trial access to relevant evidence, although often this material is accessible to anyone who has some technical ability with the internet.

Innocent photos posted on a Facebook page of you enjoying a BBQ with some friends could be used in trial to suggest you are exaggerating the seriousness of your injury, and to cast doubt on the credibility of your testimony.

We advise all our clients to immediately remove their Facebook profile entirely. If you do wish to continue using social media, we can advise you on how to do this without running an undue risk of having innocent content used against you in court.

You can read more about issues involving social media and injury compensation cases in Ryan Licastro's article about Social Media and Injury Law on our legal blog.

What if I miss work due to a road injury?

First, if you've missed work because of your rehabilitation, you are entitled to income support. There are guidelines on how much you're entitled to.

More seriously, if you've had a major accident and your injury has permanently affected your capacity for continuing employment, you will be entitled to regular income support or a lump sum payment.

Finally, lump sum payments may be made for pain and suffering which are linked to the severity of your injury. If it's a major injury resulting in serious permanent disability, you are entitled to pursue your case in court.

The maximum payment for pain and suffering is $458,450 and for loss of income, $1,031,540. Both sums are indexed.

Always the best first step to take is simply to call us. It won't cost you anything for our initial advice.

External links

Road Trauma Support Services: www.rtssv.org.au

Traffic Accident Commission: Making a Claim

Call 1300 366 441 or find us at an office near you for advice on TAC injury claims, or download our TAC brochure.