Thousands of people use Victoria's public transport system every day. Accidents on the network can cause serious, life-changing injuries. The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is a publicly funded body that helps people deal with any injuries that occur on the public transport network, but if you need to file a claim through the TAC, you should still seek a lawyer's help. Find out why.
You only have a limited time to file your claim
The TAC imposes a strict rule concerning the time you have available to file a claim. In fact, you only have 12 months from the date of an accident or from the date your injury first becomes evident to file your claim. While the date of the accident is not up for debate, the date you first note your injuries could become a matter for debate.
For example, you may not suffer the symptoms of a head injury for many months after an accident, or you may not notice some of the milder symptoms from the outset. Nonetheless, the TAC may suggest that your 12-month period is rigidly set on the date the accident occurred, which could limit your ability to claim. A lawyer can help you argue your case.
You can't always claim the full cost of your medical expenses
The TAC imposes a medical excess on claims for transport injuries. The excess is an amount you must pay towards your treatment before the TAC will pick up the bill. The current excess is $623. However, the excess does not apply if you or another injured family member attended hospital as an inpatient; that is, you will not have to pay that minimum amount because the TAC will pay for the entire treatment. What's more, the excess won't apply to all services. For example, you don't need to pay anything towards the cost of an ambulance.
The rules around the excess are relatively complex, and the TAC sometimes incorrectly deducts this cost from claims. Your lawyer can help you make sure the TAC gets it right.
Your accident may not meet the definition of a transport accident
The TAC pays claims to people injured in a transport accident. However, the TAC can and will reject claims for several reasons. The TAC may reject your claim if:
They believe your injuries existed before the accident.
You are entitled to another form of compensation.
They believe the injury does not relate to the accident.
You may struggle to counter these claims. However, a trained attorney can give the TAC the evidence they need to process the claim. He or she can also challenge any arguments that the TAC raises.
The TAC pays compensation to the victims of transport accidents, but it's not always easy to file a claim. Talk to a trained compensation lawyer for more advice.Share