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Motor Vehicle Accidents: Your Rights and Avenues for Legal Action

Been in a road accident recently or know anyone who has? Australia’s roads saw 1227 fatal accidents in 2017, so drivers need to be prepared for potential hazards out there, whether this is in the form of other drivers or external sources.

Whether you’re in a car, in a truck or cycling, it’s important to know your rights should a mishap occur.

The TAC:

The TAC (Transport Accident Commission) is the statutory compensation body that insures third parties in cases of road accidents in Australia. In the event of an accident, a compensation form can be submitted to the TAC within 12 months of the occurrence and at their discretion, you may be entitled to compensation.

Who Does the TAC cover?

You don’t have to be in a car crash to be able to claim from the TAC. Their cover provides support for a range of road users. Individuals covered under TAC include:

  • Motor vehicle drivers injured by other motor vehicles or motorcycles, even if the driver flees the scene and is unidentified
  • Pedestrians and cyclists injured by vehicles
  • Pedestrians or cyclists injured by public transport
  • Accidents that occur on road or off road, including vehicles used for farming or industry.
  • Cover applies to drivers as well as passengers including children and includes both physical and psychological trauma that may occur

Even if you, personally, are the instigator of the accident, you will still be eligible for cover under the TAC. 

What types of injuries?

The TAC will also cover a broad array of injuries that include.

  • Psychological trauma as a result of the accident
  • Brain injury
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Whiplash
  • Abrasions, cuts and resulting scarring
  • Whiplash

…and much more

The TAC has made it a point to provide as many avenues to redress as possible for road users, ensuring protections and instilling confidence in road users.

Claims and Cover:

The TAC endeavours to cover a multitude of claims, they will include but are not limited to the following.

  • Ambulance fees
  • Hospital bills
  • Medical expenses that may arise in the initial stages of your rehabilitation and thereafter
  • Some expenses that may arise during your respite, such as housecleaning bills and more
  • Loss of income payments
  • Reasonable travel expenses to and from hospital
  • Child care
  • Disability services
  • Attendant care
  • Counselling costs
  • Workplace rehabilitation services for those returning to work

…and more.

Loss of earnings benefits (LOE):

Should you also suffer injuries that incapacitate you from carrying out your work functions, you may be eligible to receive compensation, starting after the first 5 days you are unable to attend work. This benefit will also apply if your work hours need to be reduced due to your accident.

Who is not eligible for the LOE benefit?

The LOE benefit is followed by strict policy that states that individuals who are identified as the following will not be eligible for the LOE benefit. They include:

  • Individuals who have a blood alcohol level above the legal limit (0.05) during the time of the accident
  • Individuals who have are under the influence of illegal substances during the time of the accident
  • Individuals who are uninsured or unregistered (however in Victoria there is a 28 day grace period that allows you get your insurance affairs in order, thus allowing you to claim LOE compensation once you’re fully insured)
  • Individuals who have were serving a prison sentence during the time of the accident,

The Process

As mentioned previously, you’ll need to apply to the TAC for compensation within 12 months of your accident occurring. However, it’s best to act quickly and apply as soon as possible.

If successful, compensation will be paid to you through a selected insurance company or if you’re located in Victoria, by the TAC. Keep in mind your vehicle will have to be registered to ensure you’re entitled to compensation.  

In order to get the ball rolling, be sure to follow these steps to substantiate your claim.

  1.     At the scene of the accident, be sure to swap details with other parties involved in the indecent. Some key things to ask for include,
  2.     Names
  3.     Car registration number
  4.     License plate details
  5.     Insurance details
  6.     Be sure to document as many details about the accident as possible.
  7.     Time
  8.     Location
  9.     Order of events
  10.     Attempt to take photos where possible
  11.     If anyone else is present at the scene of the crime and witnessed the occurrence, ask  for their contact details for assistance.
  12.     If your incident included public transport, be sure to report the incident to the relevant transport body and take down the identification details of the vehicle and driver. Once again, take photos where necessary and if safe to do so.
  13.     Once these details are collected, you can contact the TAC to make your claim. They will ask for your details and then assess your claim based on the information you’ve provided to them.
  14.     Upon reviewing your claim, the TAC will contact you to inform you if your claim has been accepted.

How Can We help?

We understand the stress, trauma and emotional pressure associated with having an accident. As specialists in our field, we have all the requisite skills to take the task of applying for compensation out of your hands so you can focus on your wellbeing.

We’ll cover every avenue to optimise your compensation returns and ensure that all protocol is being followed to a T(AC).

Contact us today to speak with one of our specialists and we’ll help you get started with your TAC application.

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