When the Victorian Government introduced the Transport Accident Act in 1986, they made a promise. A promise to protect the rights of people injured in transport accidents. A promise to provide support and benefits to those injured on our roads.
The legislation was set up to provide fair compensation to the injured, and to do so in an efficient manner. Compensation can be made in a number of different ways, but generally it is classified as either ‘lump sum compensation’ or ‘benefits’. In this article, we focus on ‘benefits’.
The TAC operates as a no-fault scheme, which means benefits can be paid to an injured person, regardless of who caused the accident.
The TAC is responsible, by law, to cover the reasonable cost of “medical and like benefits” to people injured in transport accidents. Medical benefits include ambulance, hospital, nursing, medical, rehabilitation, therapy services, and of course medication. Unfortunately the kinds of benefits people are sometimes unaware of are what we know as “like benefits”. These include the provision of equipment, aids and household support services, as well as covering travel costs. In addition to providing medical support, the TAC are also responsible to provide these benefits to the injured.
It is often the case that injured persons are no longer able to perform their pre-accident domestic duties, including cooking, cleaning, shopping and gardening. The role of the TAC is to provide support to assist injured people in carrying out these day-to- day tasks. You may ask, “what happens to my benefits when my lump sum compensation is paid”? Do they cease? Am I no longer entitled? The answer is simple once we remember the promise made by the Victorian Government – assistance for life. As long as it is reasonable, you are entitled to receive “medical and like benefits” from the TAC for the rest of your life.
For example, we recently negotiated a client’s lump sum compensation claim. He sustained serious injuries in a transport accident and after conducting negotiations with the TAC, we successfully settled the gentleman’s claim for approximately $485,000. Shortly after, a decision was made by the TAC to stop funding the home help services (cleaning and gardening) our client was receiving on an ongoing basis.
Remember, the TAC has an obligation to provide benefits to injured people for the rest of their life. We are currently in the process of challenging the decision, and we are confident that our client’s home help services will be reinstated in the near future.
At Henry Carus & Associates, we are committed to ensuring our client’s receive the level of support they are entitled to, even after your lump sum compensation is paid. For this reason, we keep in regular contact with our clients, and our doors are always open to them.
If you have a dispute with the TAC with respect to benefits not being provided, or provided at a level which is unreasonable, we can assist you. We do this at no extra cost to you, because at Henry Carus & Associates, our clients are “client’s for life”. We enjoy maintaining an ongoing relationship with people we have helped along the way.
Our message to the injured – do not forget the TAC’s promise.