Published: 02 August 2019
Author: Peter Claven
Making a TAC claim: how to do it and what to consider
Many people who have been hurt in a road accident are confused and worried about how they are going to cope with work, paying the bills, the medical expenses, and so on.
Injury doesn’t just make a physical impact. It’s emotional and very often financial as well.
This series of blogs on TAC injury claims is intended to offer you or someone you know who may have been injured on the road practical advice on how to make a TAC claim, what you are able to claim for, how to calculate your replacement income, how rehabilitation works, returning to work, and hospital and medical expenses.
How to make a TAC accident claim
Making a claim is relatively easy. To do so, an injured person can contact the TAC on 1300 654 329. The TAC will ask you details about how the accident happened. You’ll then receive a claim for compensation summary which contains the information you have provided to the TAC. You should check and ensure that the information in the compensation summary is correct.
Making a successful claim is not always as straightforward though. The most important thing to remember when completing a TAC claim form is to accurately record the details of your accident and injury – whether you were in a car, truck, riding a bike or motorbike, as a pedestrian or on public transport – and if possible attach a copy of the police report. It is also very important to keep a record of the details of any witnesses if there were any, and if you have been able to take their details. If you have been injured severely, you may not have been able to talk to witnesses. Under these circumstances the Police should have a record of any witnesses to the accident.
If the police did not attend the incident, you will need to report it to the police and make sure to take down the details of the officer you dealt with.
Usually within a few weeks after returning the signed claim form to the TAC, they will contact you and inform you if your claim has been accepted.
Now, a tricky aspect of all this is determining whether a claim should be lodged with the TAC in the first place.
TAC or WorkCover claim?
I once saw a client who was injured in a motor vehicle accident driving home from a work conference. From one perspective, this application might be dealt with by the TAC because it involved a motor vehicle. Alternatively, it could have be dealt with by the Victorian WorkCover Authority because the accident occurred while the person was involved in a work related activity. Ultimately, in this instance the TAC accepted the claim.
In another example, I represented a client who was struck by a car while riding his motorbike during the course of his employment. In this instance, his statutory benefits (being his weekly payments, medical expenses and impairment lump sum claim) were paid by the Victorian WorkCover Authority, while his Common Law damages action was the responsibility of the TAC.