Accidents happen at any time, and usually when you least expect it. You may be driving to work, taking your children to school, or out running errands. In a split second, you could find yourself hit by another driver, facing serious and even life-threatening injuries.
Injuries resulting from motor vehicle and transport accidents can leave you with a mounting pile of debt, while impairing your ability to work or even engage in activities you once enjoyed. At a time like this, you need an experienced, dedicated law firm that will fight to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. You need Henry Carus + Associates.
Our experienced road accident lawyers understand the pressures you are facing, as well as the stress that can result from wondering how your accident claim will be settled. We provide clients with professional, highly effective legal representation when they need it the most, and can assist you in getting more out of your car accident claim.
The following includes important information regarding these types of claims, as well as how our lawyers can assist you in getting the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
The TAC Doesn’t Want You to Get The Maximum Benefits + Compensation
In the immediate aftermath of your accident, a claim form is generally submitted to the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). The TAC is the government insurer for road accidents in Victoria, and provides some benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
The types of compensation and benefits the TAC provides to accident victims include the following:
- Medical expenses and rehabilitative costs
- Disability and household support services
- Loss of earnings benefits
- Family support services
- Lump sum compensation
While many people are under the impression the TAC will automatically give them the maximum amount of benefits + compensation they are entitled to for their injuries, they are often mistaken. When dealing with the TAC, it is important to remember that their objective is to reduce their costs as much as possible on each claim. The TAC does not want you to get the maximum amounts for your claim, as additional money and benefits for you hurts their bottom line.
Frequently Asked Questions
When receiving medical care for a transport accident injury, doctors and other medical providers will generally send an invoice to the TAC for payment. Sometimes, however, the doctor or other health professional will bill you directly. If you receive a bill for medical expenses related to injuries from a road accident, you can apply to the TAC for reimbursement.
Requests for reimbursement are typically processed by the TAC within 10 business days. To get reimbursed, you will need to send a photo of the receipt and proof of payment via email or by entering the information under the ‘Claim reimbursement’ tab in myTAC. Once the reimbursement is processed, a payment will be made to the bank account you have on file.
Medical expenses are paid at a rate set annually by the TAC. In the event that your doctor charges more than the TAC rate, you may be asked to cover the difference (known as a ‘gap payment’). The TAC will generally not reimburse gap payments.
Clients of the TAC are often unaware of what services the TAC can help pay for following an accident. Sometimes claims for benefits and reimbursement may also be unfairly denied. Henry Carus + Associates can help resolve any payment disputes, at no cost to you.
As of 14 February 2018, the victims of road accidents no longer have to pay for their medical treatment to a certain point before the TAC begins to cover expenses. If you were injured in an accident on or after this date, TAC benefits are available immediately.
Prior to 14 February 2018, accident victims who did not require hospitalisation were responsible for their own medical expenses up to the excess. Once the medical excess of $651 was reached, the TAC would begin making payments for medical care.
The injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident can result in a lifetime relationship with the TAC. If you now require care for an injury you suffered in an accident years ago, a knowledgeable lawyer can determine how the medical excess may apply to your claim and help you lodge a claim for the benefits you deserve.
Maximising your accident benefits requires you to have a thorough knowledge of the benefits and other compensation available from the TAC. Sadly, most clients don’t know what the TAC covers in the event of an accident. To some degree, this is intentional; the TAC functions like an insurance company in the context of road accident claims, and the last thing insurance companies do is publicise everything they will pay for.
At Henry Carus + Associates, we consider it our duty to educate clients on what they can claim following a transport accident. You may be entitled to payments from the TAC for the following:
- Medical care; this includes treatments that are automatically approved in the first 90 days after the accident (such as ambulance services, hospitalisation, surgery, doctor appointments, physiotherapy and allied health services, etc.) as well as additional treatments and services that require TAC approval
- Income support, if your injuries from the accident affect your ability to work or make it so you can’t work
- Services to help you return to work
- Counselling and travel/accommodation assistance for family members
- Lump sum impairment benefit—available to those who suffer serious injuries that meet the threshold for permanent impairment set by the TAC
You may also have a claim for common law damages for serious injuries suffered in a road accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Henry Carus + Associates can review your claim and determine if you are entitled to additional compensation. Call 03 9001 1318 today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
The TAC does provide income support to those who are unable to work after being injured in transport accidents. You can claim income support benefits if your TAC claim is accepted and:
- You are 15 years of age or older
- You have missed a minimum of 5 days of work as a result of injuries from a transport accident
- Your doctor has issued a Certificate of Capacity detailing any limitations to your ability to work
Income support payments are calculated as a percentage of your average pre-accident weekly earnings. As of 1 July 2022, most workers will receive benefits totalling 80% of their weekly gross income. It is important to note, however, that income support benefits will be affected if your income is less than or exceeds TAC’s statutory minimum or maximum ($747 and $1,500, respectively).
You may qualify for loss of earnings capacity (LOEC) benefits if your capacity to work and earn income continues to be limited by your accident injuries. Eligibility for LOEC benefits begins 18 months from the date of the transport accident. The TAC calculates loss of earning capacity at the 18th month mark by assessing what you would have been able to earn at that 18th month anniversary from what you are actually able to earn. Sometimes that calculation is simple, and sometimes it can become very complicated.
Income support benefits are taxable. However, the TAC will withhold tax on your weekly payments. As a result, you should not have to pay tax on income support come tax time.
If you suffer injuries in a transport accident, you can apply for the TAC to pay for reasonable medical expenses and like services up to 3 years from the date of the accident. The TAC may pay for medical care and support after 3 years provided that an application for payment is made no more than 2 years from the date the expense was incurred. The entitlement to such medical and like services remains to the end of your life.
The TAC pays income support benefits for up to 18 months. If your injuries affect your ability to work after 18 months have elapsed, you may have a claim for loss of earnings capacity (LOEC). LOEC benefits are paid for up to 3 years (LOEC benefits may be continued beyond 3 years if it is determined that your ability to work is still affected; impairment from any accident-related injuries must be assessed at 50% or more for you to qualify for extended benefits).
Unfortunately, TAC benefits are sometimes unfairly denied or cancelled for seemingly no reason. You Deserve More. At Henry Carus + Associates, we are committed to getting you all of the benefits you are entitled to and resolving any disputes with the TAC in your favour.
We Want You to Get the Absolute Most Compensation Out of Your Claim
At Henry Carus + Associates, our motor vehicle accident lawyers want you to get the maximum amount of compensation for the injuries you have suffered. Our experience in dealing with the TAC has helped us to establish strong relationships with its representatives, and we have extensive knowledge not only about how the TAC evaluates claims, but also about the amount of compensation available to award to injured claimants.
If you are involved in an accident, it is in your best interests to contact us immediately, before filing a claim with the TAC. We can help guide you through the entire process, while making sure you are informed of your rights and the benefits you may be entitled to every step of the way.
At the same time, it is important to be aware of what is required of you at the accident scene. In the event a crash occurs, motorists should do the following:
- Immediately stop at the scene and use hazard lights to alert other drivers.
- Provide assistance to those injured.
- Report the accident to the proper authorities.
- Exchange information with other drivers, including name, address, and the vehicle registration number.
In addition to the above, it will prove helpful to pay attention to the details surrounding the accident, such as the time of day it occurred, where it happened and the road and weather conditions at the time, the presence of any witnesses to the accident, and any other information you think may be relevant later.
Regardless of whether or not you think your injuries are serious, seek medical attention right away, and follow all instructions given by your treatment provider. By doing your part after an accident, it will help us later to ensure you get the most out of your claim.
Ways That Work on Getting More Out of Your Claim
There are several ways our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers can use to assist you in getting more out of your claim with the TAC. These include the following:
- Seeking common law damages: If we can use police reports, accident scene investigations, and witness statements to prove to the TAC that even a portion of the blame rests with another driver, you may be entitled to a lump sum, common law damages claim with the TAC. This type of compensation is generally broader and will get you more compensation fault claim.
- Utilizing the occupational therapists the TAC sends: An occupational therapist will visit to assess and report on your injuries to the TAC. While some firms discourage these types of visits as being inconvenient or intrusive, our lawyers know that it is in your best interest to encourage them. The more the therapist visits, the more they will be able to see and attest to the serious damages and impairments you are dealing with as the result of your injury. Allowing them to see the impacts your injury has had on your quality of life ensures this information will be passed along to the TAC, where it can be documented and compensated in your claim.
- Scheduling and attending regular visits with your general practitioner: Again, this allows them to chart and communicate your progress with the TAC, your prognosis and any additional treatment you may need or impairment you may suffer. The more of this type of communication the TAC receives about your injuries, the better.
Unfortunately, many law firms do not utilise these tactics when handling clients’ claims. At Henry Carus + Associates, we know that the more information the TAC receives about your accident and the extent of your injuries, the more likely they will be to settle for the most amount of compensation.
Let Us Assist You Today
If you or a loved one is injured in a transport accident, contact Henry Carus + Associates today. Our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers can assist you in getting the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to for your injuries. We serve Melbourne and the surrounding areas of Victoria.