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Car and Truck Accidents
If you are a driver or passenger of a car or truck and suffer an injury in a car accident in Victoria, you are entitled to make a TAC claim (submit a claim to the Transport Accident Commission). This is the case even if the vehicle you are travelling in (or the other vehicle involved in the collision) is not registered, or registered interstate.
No-fault benefits for road accident victims
There is a standard set of benefits which are paid by the TAC which are called No-Fault benefits because the injured person does not have to prove liability. They cover most medical expenses and may even include a relatively small lump sum payment if you have suffered a permanent impairment.
Reasonable benefits and expenses you can claim from the TAC include:
- ambulance expenses
- medical and hospital expenses
- diagnostic services such as X-rays or CT scans
- rehabilitation expenses
- nursing and disability expenses
- attendant care – this covers nursing care and assistance with daily home tasks such as housework and gardening which you are unable to perform as a result of your car injury
- dental services
- post-acute support services
- travel expenses – getting to and from hospital
- replacement income – whether it be full time, part time or casual
- expenses arising from a death (including a possible dependency claim).
The reimbursement of ambulance services is important because they are typically incurred immediately and, because they are costly, can leave you short of money.
Psychological and therapeutic expenses may also be claimed if first approved by your doctor. If your doctor so advises, you be also be able to claim for other types of therapies such as:
Lump sum compensation
Finally, you may also be eligible for up to two lump sum compensation payments from the TAC if you have been left with a permanent physical or psychological impairment.
In order to be eligible for a "no fault" lump sum payment, the TAC must assess you as having an impairment of greater than 10%. Once you qualify as having met the threshold, the TAC calculates the size of the lump-sum payment using their own permanent impairment scale against which they seek to determine the percentage of whole body impairment.
For a "Common Law" lump sum payment, you must satisfy that you have sustained a “serious injury” and by either having an impairment of 30% or greater or proving to the TAC that the injury is "serious".
Car accidents while interstate
If the accident occurs interstate, but you are travelling in a Victorian registered vehicle, you may also be entitled to compensation from the TAC. Interstate claims are complex as compensation schemes vary widely throughout Australia.
If you are injured in an accident involving a non-Victorian registered vehicle or whilst interstate, you should seek advice from RCT to clarify your legal rights.