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How Long After an Accident Can I Make A TAC Claim?

After you’ve had a road accident, it’s very likely the last thing you’ll think of is making a TAC claim.

But after you’ve dealt with your own injuries, put your car in the garage and notified work, it’s something that really is worth your time, especially as there’s a timeliness factor to it.

TAC claims must be made within a set period of time, depending on a few factors. If you’re looking to get fair compensation for your hospital bills and potential loss of income, it’s vital that you understand how quickly after your accident you need to act to secure it.

Read on and let u-Law show you how you can make the smarter choice after your accident regarding compensation with the right timing.

Understanding Statute of Limitations  

As the TAC provides payment strictly for expenses arising from a transport accident, it must be able to make an accurate assessment of liability. Its concern is that were a sufficiently long period of time to elapse, any assessment made would be inaccurate or would potentially include irrelevant or exclude relevant factors in the application.

To minimise the chance of such an event occurring, the TAC has made the requirement that applications be submitted within a timely manner. Depending on the nature of your injury and of your claim, this can mean a number of different things.

What Does the TAC Say?

Depending on the nature of your injury and the nature of your claim, you may have more or less time in which to make a claim. For the most common claim – payment of medical and like expenses – the Transport Accident Commission can fund the reasonable cost of expenses when applications for payment are made within:

  • 3 years of the date of the client’s date of accident, or
  • 2 years of the date of incurring the expense in any other case.

Note that the latter case refers to situations wherein an accident results in an injury that only manifests later.

The date of application for payment refers to the initial point of contact between the person making the claim and the TAC – this can be them making a phone call, sending an email or their provider submitting accounts for payment. This must be within the time frames specified above.  

According to the TAC, where a transport accident results in what is referred to as an impairment – a permanent physical or psychological condition caused by your accident – an application for the resulting lump sum impairment benefit can be made up to:

  • 6 years after the accident occurs, or
  • 6 years after the injury first manifests.

Has Anyone Successfully Made a Claim After this Period?

Despite this, people suffering injuries from a traffic accident have successfully made claims well beyond the stated time limits. Most notable was the case of Anderson v Transport Accident Commission [2016] VCC 895, in which a man injured in Lalor, Victoria in 1989 successfully brought a claim for permanent impairment more than 27 years after the original accident occurred.

Your circumstances may differ from the above case, but it’s vital that you explore your options.

What Should I Do?

At u-Law our position is always that you should make a TAC claim as soon as possible after your accident. Doing so means that details will be fresher in your mind, leading to a potentially shorter and less arduous process.

However, should you find yourself looking to make a TAC claim months or potentially even years after the accident occurred, don’t feel like it’s too late. At u-Law, our in-depth knowledge of the claims process and of law surrounding transport accidents means that you’re always in good hands. Regardless of the age of your claim, we can provide guidance that helps you achieve the optimal outcome for your circumstances, advising you on the range of options open to you.

If you’d like to learn more about our services or wish to speak to our firm’s principal Jonathan King, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Make an enquiry via our website or call us on 1300 656 765 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. You can also book a consultation directly through our site should you wish to discuss your matter further.  

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