What Does the TAC Cover After a Public Transport Accident?
Most people in Victoria are aware of the role the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) plays in the event of a transport accident. If you are injured in a crash with a car, truck or motorbike as the occupant of a vehicle, as a pedestrian or as a bicyclist in VIC, you are entitled to lodge a TAC claim for compensation.
What you may not realise, however, is that TAC accident benefits are also available in the event of an accident on or involving public transport vehicles.
You can lodge a TAC claim if you suffered injury in the following accidents:
- Tram Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Bus Accidents
More and more people are using public transport to avoid traffic congestion in Melbourne and other areas of VIC. As a result, it is imperative to know your rights if you have been injured or a member of your family was killed in a public transport accident.
Henry Carus + Associates have unparalleled experience with TAC legislation and navigating the claims process. You Deserve More, and our lawyers and staff will fully investigate your case to determine what benefits and other compensation you may be entitled to after an accident involving a tram, bus or train.
Please call 03 9001 1318 today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our TAC lawyers serve clients in Melbourne and throughout Victoria.
What to Do If You Are Injured on Public Transport
1. Seek Medical Care
Getting medical attention should be your first priority after any road accident. Accidents involving trams, trains and buses are likely to cause serious injuries. Generally, the first thing you should do is dial 000 after a public transport accident.
Paramedics will assess your injuries at the scene and provide emergency care as necessary. You may be taken straight to hospital if your injuries are deemed serious. In the days and weeks that follow you should keep any and all appointments with doctors and other medical professionals for treatment of your injuries.
2. Take Photographs
If you are seriously injured or incapacitated in the public transport accident, the one and only thing you should do is wait for help to arrive. You should not try to move unless you are in imminent danger.
But, if you can move around the scene of the accident safely, it is in your best interest to start building your claim. Use your mobile to take pictures of the crash, including the vehicles involved, your injuries and the surrounding area.
3. Speak to Witnesses
Accidents involving a tram, bus or train draw a lot of attention. There are likely to be multiple onlookers in the area. Ask the people in the vicinity what they saw and take down their contact information. Witness statements may be an integral part of your TAC accident claim.
4. Report the Accident
Section 61 of the Road Safety Act 1986 states that any motor vehicle accident resulting in injury or death must be reported to the police. Although the legal responsibility lies with the driver or operator of the vehicle, passengers of public transport can report the accident to the police as well.
In addition, public transport accidents must be reported to the operating authority responsible for the tram, train or bus. A phone number for the public transport operator should be posted prominently inside the vehicle.
5. Collect Information About the Accident
The TAC requires a significant amount of information about the accident when you lodge a claim. If you were involved in a bus, tram or train accident, you will be asked to provide the following details:
- Where the accident took place
- The date and approximate time of the accident
- The name of the transport driver
- The name of the public transport operator
- The name of the individual at the transport operator to whom the accident was reported
- Vehicle number and route of the bus, tram or train involved in the accident
- The name(s) of the police officer(s) who responded to the crash, as well as the police station that responded to the accident
- Eyewitness information
Some of this information can be gathered at the scene. Alternatively, however, your injuries may have prevented you from collecting the necessary information immediately following the accident. In addition, some of the details (such as whether the accident was reported to the police and/or the public transport operator) may be unknown to you.
Given these challenges, it is in your best interest to…
Making a TAC accident claim can be a daunting prospect. In addition to the details about the public transport accident, you will also need to share the names of any doctors and other healthcare providers you have seen for your injuries, information about your employment if your ability to work is affected and banking information so you can receive payments and entitlements.
A knowledgeable TAC lawyer can help you organise all of this information and lodge your claim. Our road accident lawyers will ensure that all of your benefits are paid and explore additional avenues for compensation if you are seriously injured.
Read More: TAC and Public Transport Accidents
Common Injuries in Tram, Bus and Train Accidents
Public transport accidents can lead to a wide variety of injuries. Some of the most common injuries we see among the victims of tram, bus and train accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Injuries to the head and face
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures and orthopaedic injuries
- Internal bleeding and haemorrhage
- Nerve damage
- Crush injuries
- Impalement injuries
- Burn injuries
- Amputation and loss of a limb
- Psychological trauma
Many of these injuries can result in serious, lifelong impacts on your health and well-being. Henry Carus + Associates will thoroughly review your medical records and consult experts to determine how severe your injuries are and what that means for your public transport accident compensation claim.
What Compensation Are You Entitled to After a Tram, Bus or Train Accident?
The TAC benefits available after a transport accident are wide-ranging. Unfortunately, victims injured in road accidents are often unaware of the full benefits to which they may be entitled.
Henry Carus + Associates can help you lodge a claim for the following benefits after a public transport accident:
- Payment of all medical expenses related to your transport injuries
- Income support benefits
- Household and childcare services
- Payment for rehabilitation services (at home and/or in hospital)
- Mental health counselling
- Reimbursement for travel and accommodations for medical appointments
- Vocational therapy (return to work support)
These road accident benefits are paid by the TAC on a ‘no-fault’ basis. You do not need to prove that the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence (such as the operator of the tram, bus or train; the driver of another vehicle; etc.). Instead, you must simply show that your injuries were ‘directly caused by the driving of a motor car or motor vehicle, a railway train or a tram’ (per S. 3(1) of the Transport Accident Act 1986).
Under the law, anyone who is injured due to the ‘driving’ of a bus, tram or train is entitled to TAC accident benefits. As such, passengers of public transport, the occupants of other vehicles, and bicyclists and pedestrians can all lodge claims if they are injured in an accident.
Additional Compensation After a Bus, Tram or Train Accident
TAC no-fault benefits are the primary compensation option after a public transport accident. However, you may be entitled to additional compensation depending on the circumstances.
The TAC pays an impairment benefit to those who sustain a permanent injury (i.e., ‘permanent loss of function and movement’) as a result of a transport accident. Eligibility for the impairment benefit is contingent on whether your injuries are assessed at a rating of 11% or higher.
After your injuries are stabilised, you will need to undergo an impairment assessment performed by a specially trained, independent medical practitioner. If the doctor (or doctors, if you suffered multiple injuries that require assessment by more than one specialist) determines that your condition meets the threshold for permanent impairment, the TAC will award you a lump sum payment.
The lump sum benefit is calculated based on the percentage of impairment and according to a schedule of payments updated by the TAC every year. Henry Carus + Associates will advise you and advocate for you throughout the impairment assessment process to ensure you get the maximum impairment benefit for a permanent injury from the public transport accident.
Common Law Personal Injury Compensation
If a transport accident caused you serious injury and the accident occurred due to the negligence of another party, our lawyers can pursue a common law personal injury claim on your behalf. Unlike the TAC benefits discussed above, you need to prove that someone else was at fault to be eligible for recovery of common law damages.
- ‘serious long-term impairment or loss of a body function; or
- ‘permanent serious disfigurement; or
- ‘severe long-term mental or severe long-term behavioural disturbance or disorder; or
- ‘loss of a foetus.’
Permanent impairment of 30% or greater is also considered a serious injury by the TAC. The TAC will review information about your injury or injuries and issue a Serious Injury Certificate if it is determined that your injury meets the threshold to be considered ‘serious’.
Next, fault for the accident must be established. Our lawyers will investigate and collect evidence on your behalf to identify all liable parties. Multiple parties may be at fault for a public transport accident, such as the driver of the tram, bus or train and/or the driver of another vehicle.
Compensation for common law damages includes losses not covered by TAC no-fault accident benefits, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
Generally, common law personal injury claims are resolved via negotiation and settlement with the TAC. Henry Carus + Associates have the experience to effectively negotiate a favourable settlement on your behalf. In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, it may be necessary to commence litigation.
Public Liability Claim
Finally, if you suffered injuries on public transport that were not related to the driving of a bus, tram or train, you may be entitled to compensation through a public liability claim. Compensation for personal injury in a public space (including public transport) is governed by common law, so you will need to prove that the negligence of another party led to your injuries. In addition, you need to prove that you suffered a ‘significant injury’ as defined by Section 28LF of the Wrongs Act 1958.
There is also the concept of an accident involving the ‘use’ of a motor vehicle which leads. This type of accident is not covered by any restrictive legislation, which can be very beneficial to the injured person. However, this is a complicated area of the law that requires having a very experienced personal injury law firm on your side.
In all these matters, negligence on the part of a public transport driver and/or operator needs to be established. Experience in public liability matters is essential. Henry Carus + Associates excels in this area of the law.
How Long Do I Have to Lodge a Claim After a Public Transport Accident?
It is crucial to get started on your TAC accident claim as soon as possible. Generally, you have just 1 year after the accident to lodge a claim with the TAC.
The TAC may consider claims made up to 3 years after the accident and/or ‘when the injury first manifests itself’ provided ‘reasonable grounds exist for the delay in making a claim’. However, accidents involving trams, buses and trains are usually major disasters that tend to result in serious injuries. As such, the TAC is unlikely to consider a public transport accident claim if it is lodged more than 1 year after the fact.
Why Choose Henry Carus + Associates for Your TAC Accident Claim?
Nobody wants an ‘average’ lawyer when they have been hurt in an accident. They seek to have a specialist firm that goes way above the average in their service to the injured person. At Henry Carus + Associates, we are committed to delivering the highest service possible to achieve an excellent result for our clients.
TAC claims involving public transport accidents require experience and expertise. Reasons you should choose Henry Carus + Associates after a bus, tram or train accident include:
Henry Carus previously represented insurance companies and self-insured government agencies. Today, we use that experience to fight for the maximum compensation each and every one of our clients deserves.
View our Success Stories to see what our clients have to say about the results we achieve.
We Are No Win No Fee Lawyers
We make every client a No Win – No Fee promise. When you hire Henry Carus + Associates, you pay nothing upfront and you only pay fees if our team achieves a favourable result on your behalf. You can count on us to fully explain the fee agreement upfront so there is no confusion on when you are expected to pay.
TAC Medical + Like Support Service
We offer all clients of the TAC a unique Medical + Like Support Service. If the TAC denies transport accident benefits you are rightfully owed or wrongfully terminates your benefits, our lawyers will seek payment of all covered expenses. You owe us nothing for this service, as our fees will be reimbursed solely by the TAC.
In-Depth Knowledge of TAC Legislation
Not knowing what benefits TAC clients are entitled to under the law is one of the major disadvantages you face if you try to handle an accident claim on your own. When you hire Henry Carus + Associates, you have the advantage of decades of experience with the laws governing the Transport Accident Commission.
The TAC does a poor job of educating clients on the benefits and other types of compensation available after an accident. Henry Carus + Associates advise you every step of the way so you know exactly what your rights are and how we plan to achieve the result you deserve.
We Take Your Injury Personally
Details matter in any TAC accident claim. If you have suffered a serious injury or a member of your family was killed in a public transport accident stemming from someone else’s negligence, you should not have to settle for no-fault benefits alone.
Our lawyers and staff not only provide the highest standard of legal service but compassionate, heartfelt care at every step in the claims process. We take the time to get to know you and your family so we can fully understand how the tram, bus or train accident has affected your life and develop an individualised legal plan tailored specifically for your situation.
Contact a Public Transport Accident Lawyer Today
At Henry Carus + Associates, you can expect 5-star service from a 5-star firm. We know that you are so much more than an injury or accident claim, and we strive to maximise the compensation for your losses.
You Deserve More. Our lawyers draw upon their extensive experience with TAC accident claims to achieve the outcome you deserve after a public transport accident.
Please call Henry Carus + Associates at 03 9001 1318 today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our lawyers serve the victims of tram, bus and train accidents in Melbourne and throughout VIC.