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Injured on the road? An overview of the TAC scheme

Injured on the road? An overview of the TAC scheme

Anastasia Eleftheriou, Partner – Gordon Legal

Anastasia Eleftheriou, Partner – Gordon Legal

This guide is intended to provide ANMF members with a summary of how to make a Transport Accident Commission (TAC) claim if you are in a motor vehicle accident while travelling to, from and during work.

I have had an accident on the road. What now?

There are several steps that we recommend taking that will make the process of lodging a TAC claim easier for you:

  • Reporting the accident to police
  • Obtaining details of driver(s) involved
  • Obtaining witness details
  • Photographing any damage to the vehicle
  • Seeking urgent medical assistance
  • Lodging a TAC claim.

How do I go about lodging a TAC claim for my injuries?

The TAC legislation imposes a 12-month period from the date of the accident to lodge your claim by contacting them directly. There are exceptions to lodge a claim within 3 years but it may not be accepted. If the person is a minor at the time of the accident, they have until the age of 21 to lodge.

What does the TAC cover?

In Victoria, the TAC has a “no fault scheme” – regardless who was at fault for the accident, they can cover you for these benefits:

  1. Medical expenses

If you were hospitalised as a result of your accident or it occurred after 14 February 2018, the TAC covers your reasonable medical expenses immediately.

  1. Loss of Income

If injuries prevent or limit your ability to work, the TAC can provide loss of income payments during recovery. To claim, you require a TAC Certificate of Capacity from the doctor or hospital you attended. Loss of income payments can be recovered up to 3 years after your injury and in severe cases, up to retirement.

  1. Lump sum impairment benefit

A one-off lump sum payment is available for permanent physical or psychological conditions caused by an accident. This benefit is in addition to your medical expense and loss of income payments. The TAC imposes a 6-year limit to lodge this claim.

Common law claim

The TAC can also compensate you for common law damages where someone else was negligent (or at fault) as a result of the accident. This includes compensation for pain and suffering, and past and future loss of income. There is a 6-year limit to pursue these potentially significant claims.

Am I covered by TAC or WorkCover?

Scenario 1 of Shelley

Registered nurse Shelley is travelling home from work and crashes her car. The accident leaves Shelley with major injuries, requiring her to have multiple surgeries and preventing her from working. Is she covered by WorkCover or TAC?

Victorian employees who are injured on their way to or from work can apply for compensation under the TAC scheme but not WorkCover. Because Shelley was travelling from work and not conducting nurse duties when incurring the injuries, she obtains compensation from TAC for her medical expenses, loss of income payments and a possible lump sum impairment claim.

Scenario 2 of Shelley

While Shelley is travelling between two patients’ homes, another car causes an accident in which Shelley suffers a major spinal injury preventing her from work. Is she covered by WorkCover or TAC?

As Shelley was travelling to a location for work and was ‘in the course of her employment’, the accident is covered by WorkCover for her medical and like expenses, weekly payments and lump sum impairment claim. If the other driver was at fault, she may bring a common law claim for pain and suffering and economic loss under the TAC scheme.

At Gordon Legal, we can assist you through this challenging time by obtaining compensation from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). It’s important to know your rights and entitlements and the ANMF and Gordon Legal can assist.