Road Injury and TAC Lawyers
Also under Road Injury And TAC:
Transport accidents can cause serious damage – physically, emotionally and financially. If you have been injured on the roads in Victoria, you are almost certainly entitled to compensation from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). However, when you are recovering from injury, it can be hard to stand up for your rights, and the TAC may not always be on your side.
That is where RCT's road injury and TAC claim lawyers step in. We have a proven track record of obtaining the maximum compensation available for victims of road and transport accidents. We are committed to helping our clients understand their rights and to fight beside them to get the best compensation outcome. We understand the financial strain of being injured in a transport accident – this is why we act on a No Win No Fee OR Expenses basis.
Our car accident lawyers are experts in:
- pursuing Common Law road injury cases
- appealing TAC decisions on injury claims
- restoring TAC entitlements and benefits.
Contact us to arrange a confidential, no-obligation first appointment and let us stand with you.
Who is covered?
Many people assume that you can only make a TAC claim if you have been injured in a car accident. The truth is that there are many other circumstances in which people are injured on the roads and entitled to compensation from the TAC. These include:
- car accident and injury compensation claims
- motorcycle injury compensation claims
- cycling injury compensation claims
- accidents and injuries caused to pedestrians
- compensation for injuries on public transport
Our approach to Transport Accident Compensation claims
The aim of our TAC or transport accident compensation lawyers is to give you, our client, the best chance of securing the best compensation payout possible. We approach negotiations with the TAC as if we were going to court, using the best barristers who have years of experience, and with a clear picture in mind of the compensation range we want to secure on your behalf. We work to get the best results for our clients while making the compensation process as fast, easy and unobtrusive as possible. That's why more than 80% of our claims are settled long before the prospect of going to court. If we do not get a fair settlement, only then will we take the matter to court.
"more than 80% of our claims are settled long before going to court."
First, we listen to you and let you tell your story. It’s your life. We know how difficult and often painful it can be to tell it and to deal with the financial, physical and emotional consequences of injury.
Next, we advise you on the legal strategy we intend to pursue on your behalf. It will be a clear plan for success so that you know exactly what we are both trying to achieve on your behalf.
At this point, we encourage you to ask questions. Put us on notice. It is only when we work as a team that we achieve the best results.
You will then be given a clear account of fees and costs and left with a fee proposal to consider. There will never be any hard sell.
Our philosophy on transport injury claims is to put our best foot forward, undertake a thorough preparation of your case including the research, then present the TAC lawyer with a clear ultimatum – “This is our case and this is the compensation our client is entitled to under law.”
How to make a claim for TAC Benefits
If you have been injured in a transport accident, your immediate priorities will be to obtain medical assistance and report the accident to police.
It is also critical for you to lodge a claim with the TAC as soon as possible. You only have 12 months from the date of the accident to make a claim (unless there are reasons for the delay) and you will not receive any benefits from the TAC until your claim has been accepted. This includes payment of your medical expenses and lost wages.
If you do not lodge a claim within the legal time limit, you will miss out on receiving any compensation, even if you are seriously injured and the accident was not your fault.
You do not need a lawyer to lodge a claim – you can lodge a claim yourself by calling the TAC on 1300 654 329.
However, it helps to have an RCT road accident lawyer with expert knowledge of the TAC scheme standing with you during the claim lodgement process. We can make sure that the TAC has the correct accident details and that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled as soon as possible, allowing you to concentrate on your recovery.
Types of expense you can claim from the TAC
Typical types of reasonable expenses you can claim from the TAC are a result of an accident:
- medical expenses - including ambulance, diagnostic and treatment
- rehabilitation costs
- replacement of lost earnings if you are unable to work
- home help including gardening.
If you have sustained a permanent impairment as a result of your accident, the TAC may also make a lump-sum financial payment.
Road Injury And TAC Claims FAQs
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.
In completing the claim form a person needs to include every injury that you’ve suffered even if it's just a cut or a bruise.
The reason for that is that down the track what might have seemed the lesser injury or even an insignificant injury might manifest itself in a more serious way and to the point where the problem is giving the person problems and is needing treatment.
But if the TAC has not been made aware of that injury from the outset they're likely to resist acceptance of liability for the injury if it wasn't on the claim form in the first place. They will ask the obvious question: “Well how do we know this was related to the accident?”
For more on listing all your TAC injuries, read our blog: Why it's important to list all your injuries on a TAC Claim form.
TAC compensation is available for all injuries suffered as a result of transport and road accidents. Types of injuries we have won compensation for include the following:
- brain damage
- back and neck injury, including whiplash
- spinal surgery
- nerve damage and scarring
- psychological and mental injury
- musculoskeletal injuries
- arm, hand and leg injuries
- loss of a limb or limb function
- loss of eyesight or hearing
The TAC will often seek to deny liability for some or all of the injuries which a person suffers in the accident. For example, TAC may send you a letter stating that it has determined that you suffered from a pre-existing injury or condition and for that reason, you are not entitled to TAC benefits for the claimed injury. However, the TAC is liable for aggravations to pre-existing conditions, as long as it can be established that the transport accident caused the aggravation.
If you are going to pursue a lump sum claim whether it be fault or no fault, further medical examinations by specialists appointed by either your lawyer or by the opposing party will be necessary. This is unavoidable and is a reality in most, if not all cases.
It is quite rare for someone to be put under surveillance merely for lodging a TAC claim. This would only be done in a small minority of cases (usually where there is a strong suggestion of fraud). It can be unnerving and intrusive. However you should remain aware that your social media activity may be used as evidence if your compensation claim is disputed by the insurer due to suspicion it is fraudulant.
Each injury is different, each persons circumstances are different and there is no end to the variations in different cases. Your friends or family may have had some experience with the compensation system but this does not mean they will be able to provide you with accurate advice. Friends and family are great support networks to help you get through difficult times, but they are not the best place to seek legal advice.
Yes. Many people assume that an accident must have been caused by negligence. But in Victoria, we have a no fault scheme. This applies to both the TAC scheme as well as WorkCover. Just because there is no fault on behalf of another driver it does not mean that you will not get your medical expenses and weekly payments paid. In many cases you will also still be entitled to receive a lump sum should your injury meet certain criteria.
With very few exceptions, the test as to whether you are entitled to compensation is very straight forward. If you have been injured in an accident of any kind involving a motor vehicle on a public road, you will usually be entitled to, at a minimum, coverage of medical expenses.
This is a very commonly held belief both before and after a client has read the cost agreement. It is illegal for a lawyer in Victoria to charge a percentage of a settlement sum. If a case is taken on a "no win no fee" basis then the lawyers are entitled to charge an additional amount which is a percentage of the costs incurred by the lawyer and not of the settlement or judgment amount.
At no time is a lawyer allowed to charge a percentage of the settlement sum and if your lawyer tells you this you should be making a complaint to the Law Institute of Victoria or at minimum seeking advice on your costs elsewhere as soon as possible.
For example, if a lawyer says to you: "So Bob, we've settled your case for $200,000. We are charging you 25% of the settlement, so your bill is $50,000", then this is illegal.
If however your lawyer says: "Bob, we've settled your case for $200,000. We have done $22,000 worth of work and can charge you an additional 25% of the $22,000 on top. So your bill is $27,500", then this is acceptable. All potential fees should be made clear to you in a cost agreement before your lawyer begins incurring costs.
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