Road accidents can result in serious, life-changing injuries, and even a minor crash has the potential to cause major harm. Injuries that appear at first to be mild or inconsequential can end up as permanent impairments, costing you money in medical treatments and lost earnings, as well as impacting your ability to enjoy activities you would normally engage in with family and loved ones.
At Henry Carus +Associates, our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers know how important it is in the aftermath of an accident to get the compensation you need to recover. Regardless of how severe your accident was, filing a claim with the TAC is vitally important in order to ensure your rights are protected.
The TAC Always Wants You to File a Claim
The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is the government insurance scheme that pays benefits to people who suffer injuries as the result of transport accidents in Victoria. The TAC urges Victorian residents to make use of all of its services, including following the TAC’s road campaigns to improve driving and traffic safety and reduce road accidents, as well as by filing a claim for services and compensation when you are involved in an incident, regardless of the severity of your injuries.
In the Henry Carus + Associates Guide to Making a Compensation Claim from the TAC, we list the types of services the TAC offers to injured victims, which include the following:
- Ambulance and hospital services
- Medical care and nursing services
- Treatment services, including diagnostic testing and X-rays
- Payment for medication and medical equipment
- Rehabilitation and therapy services
- Household services while you recover
- Dental care
- Traveling expenses for medical appointments related to your injuries
- Lost income and wages
In addition to the above no-fault benefits provided to all motorists regardless of who was responsible for an accident, the TAC also provides lump sum, common law compensation for those injured as the direct result of another driver’s reckless or negligent conduct. The services the TAC provides are funded through payments made by Victorian residents during yearly registration of their vehicles, and the TAC encourages all those who pay into the system to take advantage of what it has to offer.
Small Accidents May Seem Pointless to Report, but You Always Should
According to injury reports from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), only 26 percent of all transport accidents involve serious injuries. The remaining drivers and passengers involved in 74 percent of road accidents suffer injuries that may be considered moderate, mild, or even non-existent.
While a less-severe accident resulting in seemingly minor damages and injuries may seem pointless to report, you should always report any road accident you are involved in immediately to the local authorities. TAC legislation requires that the authorities be notified before you can file a TAC claim. While you may not think your injuries require assistance or compensation, failing to report your accident could stand in the way of being able to receive compensation and benefits in the future if you need it.
Hidden Injuries Behind Road Accidents (Injuries That Show Up Later)
According to the AIHW, transport accidents are one of the main causes of serious injuries in Victoria and throughout Australia. When you are involved in a road accident, you should seek medical attention immediately, regardless of how minor your injuries appear to be. The symptoms for certain types of injuries may not show up immediately, but can end up causing serious and potentially life-impacting problems in the future.
Examples of these types of injuries include the following:
- Muscle and tendon strain, sprains, and tears
- Back and neck injuries, including slipped or herniated discs
- Internal injuries and bruising
- Head injuries, including concussion and traumatic brain injury
For any of the above and similar injuries, it may take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to appear, while the impact of these injuries and their effects on your home, work, and social life may be felt far in the future.
The TAC’s Timeline to Report Accidents
While the full extent of your injuries may take some period of time to appear, you are under a limited timeframe in which to report them to the TAC. The deadline for filing a TAC injury claim is 12 months. This time limit begins either at the date of your accident or after your injuries become apparent, and may be lengthened if there is a reasonable excuse to warrant the delay.
Additional timelines for filing a claim with the TAC include the following:
- Even if it is several months past the date of the actual accident, you will still be required to report it to the authorities prior to filing your claim with the TAC.
- Once your claim is reported, the TAC will send a representative with the proper forms to fill out, as well as a medical authorisation release for you to sign, granting the TAC permission to access your information.
- The TAC then has 21 days to accept or deny the claim, or to request more information.
- You have 28 days to provide additional information if requested. Once it is received, the TAC has 14 days to review that information before making a decision.
- If the TAC denies your claim or fails to respond to your claim within the 21-day period, you have the right to request a hearing with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
At Henry Carus + Associates, our experienced road accident lawyers can advise you throughout the process of filing a claim with the TAC, making sure all procedures are adhered to while ensuring the TAC adheres to its policies. We provide passionate, professional service to assist you in getting your claim approved, while using our experience with the TAC to ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation.
Let Us Assist You Today
If you or a loved one suffers even minor injuries as the result of a transport accident, contact Henry Carus + Associates today. Our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers have extensive experience in dealing with the TAC, and can provide the kind of highly effective legal representation and guidance you need to assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to.