In Victoria, the Transport Accident Act 1986 provides a compensation system for persons who are injured in motor vehicle accidents. This is a ‘no-fault’ system that helps pay for support and treatment for persons who are injured in a motor vehicle accident. The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) scheme is additional to the common law right to claim compensation from a road user who causes injury through negligence. 

Initial steps 

Immediately after an accident, it is essential to call the police if anyone is hurt, if property is damaged, or if the other driver fails to stop or give their details. It is an offence to leave an accident scene without exchanging relevant information with the other parties involved in the accident.  

Next, it is important that any persons who are involved in a serious accident see a doctor, as the extent of their injuries may not be immediately evident. This will also provide a contemporaneous record of any injuries a person has sustained during the accident.  

TAC Claims

Victorian vehicle registration fees include an insurance premium called a ‘TAC charge’ which fund the TAC insurance scheme. A person who is injured in a motor vehicle accident in Victoria can make an application to TAC online. 

The type of information the TAC application requires includes details about: 

  • The accident, including the circumstances, location, and injuries; 
  • The vehicles involved in the accident, such as registration numbers and the names of drivers and passengers; 
  • The witnesses at the scene of the accident; 
  • Police attendance at the scene, with officer names, station, and badge numbers; 
  • Name of the medical professional that the injured person consulted after the accident; 
  • Employment and income details; and 
  • Bank account details. 

In claims for public transport accidents, the TAC claim will require further information, including the name of the driver, the public transport operator (for example, Metro Trains Melbourne), the supervisor that received the accident report, and accident details such as date, time, location, route of travel, and vehicle number. 

The type and amount of compensation that TAC provides depends on the circumstances of the persons injuries. The compensation varies based on the extent of the person’s injuries, age, their employment history and lost wages, and their ongoing medical needs. 

Broadly, TAC can provide support for the following: 

  • Medical treatment; 
  • Rehabilitation and care services; 
  • Income support; 
  • Return to work support; and 
  • A lump sum payment. 

TAC does not provide compensation for:  

  • damage to a vehicle; 
  • the cost of towing or storage; or 
  • non-medical personal items such as clothes, mobile phones and motorcycle gear. 

Common Law Motor Vehicle Accident Claim

An injured person can make a common law motor vehicle accident claim if their injury was due to another driver’s failure in their duty of care. Under the Wrongs Act 1958, a person can receive compensation through a negligence claim for personal injury or wrongful death.  

Examples of driver negligence include: 

  • Drug and alcohol impairment;  
  • Fatigue;  
  • Speeding;  
  • Distracted driving (manual distraction (such as texting), visual distraction (watching a screen instead of the road), or cognitive distraction (such as talking to someone, even on a hands-free device)); and  
  • Tailgating.  

The Wrongs Act 1958 also provides access to damages for what is called “non-economic loss”, for lost enjoyment of life and pain and suffering. Compensation for non-economic loss is only available for persons who suffer a significant injury and who can establish a breach of duty of care. 

Time Limits

In Victoria, an a person typically has six (6) years from the date of injury to commence proceedings in relation to a motor vehicle accident.  

The Victorian law requires a person to lodge a TAC claim within 12 months of the date of the accident or within 12 months of the persons injury first manifesting itself. It is only in special circumstances that the TAC has the discretion to accept a claim lodged within three (3) years of the date of accident.  

Emily Wright and our team are specialist personal injury lawyers who can assist you with your claim on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. If you would like advice in relation to a personal injury claim, please reach out to Emily Wright and Littles Lawyers today. 

Like? Share it with your friends.