Article contentWhat is the Transport Accident Commission (TAC)?The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is a Government organisation established under the Transport Accident Act 1986. Its purpose it to support and pay various benefits and compensation to people injured in transport accidents. A portion of your vehicle registration fees fund its work.Why do I need a lawyer?The TAC does not provide independent legal advice or assist you in maximising your compensation benefits. The TAC is advised by its own solicitors. You should obtain independent legal advice from a National Compensation lawyer experienced in this field.Who can make a TAC claim?The TAC covers those injured in transport accidents in Victoria, or by a Victorian registered vehicle, including:those injured (drivers and passengers) in road accidents caused by the driving of a car or motorcycle;those injured in a public transport accident caused by the driving of buses, trains or trams;in some situations, pedestrians (see below);in some situations, cyclists (see below);dependants of those who have died in a transport accident.What is the first step to lodging a TAC claim?If injured in a transport accident, it is important you act quickly to:report the accident and injuries to the Police;lodge a claim with the TAC by calling 1300 654 329;obtain a medical certificate on the required TAC form from the hospital you were admitted to or your treating doctor.It is important to act quickly when injured as you only have 12 months from the date of accident to lodge a claim with the TAC. In some exceptional circumstances this can extend to 3 years, however, not thereafter.Are there important time limits I need to be aware of?Yes.After sustaining injury in a transport accident, every effort should be made to lodge a claim for compensation with the TAC within 12 months from the date of accident. In some exceptional circumstances this can be extended to 3 years.If a person was less than 18 years old when an injury was suffered, a claim must be made by the day before they turn 21.Should you have an active TAC claim and the TAC make a decision that negatively affects your entitlements, a Dispute Application must be lodged with VCAT within 12 months from the date of decision. This is a complex Application and advice should first be sought from National Compensation Lawyers.A claim for damages being your “pain and suffering” and “loss of earnings” (i.e. a common law claim) as a result of the fault of another party must be made within 6 years from the date of accident or recognition of injury. For those under the age of 18 at the time of suffering injury, 6 years from the date you turn 18 There is considerable preparation required with such a claim and you should contact National Compensation Lawyers as early as possible to ensure the appropriate material is gathered on your behalf.What benefits can I receive from the TAC?Should the TAC accept your claim, you may be able to claim compensation which includes:your loss of earnings/earning capacity;your medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses;an Impairment Benefit for permanent injuries suffered;your nursing and disability services;attendant care;income support;home and vehicle modifications;education support services;your pain and suffering and economic loss in situations where you can establish the fault of another party, or at least in part.What if I am unable to work or can no longer return to my former employment?If you are unable to work as a result of a transport accident you can claim for your loss of earnings and earning capacity. There are two important time periods you need to be aware of:loss of earnings benefits – can only be claimed for the first 18 months post-accident (subject to monetary limitation);loss of earning capacity benefits- can only be claimed for the period 18 months to 3 years post-accident (subject to monetary limitation).At the expiration of 3 years from the date of accident, your loss of earning capacity benefits will cease unless you have been assessed as suffering a permanent impairment of 50% or more. For more information on permanent impairment claims, please see below.What medical and rehabilitation expenses can I claim?The TAC has an obligation to pay “reasonable” medical and like expenses. There is an initial excess which must be paid prior to the TAC taking responsibility for medical expenses. This medical excess does not apply if you were admitted to hospital post-accident.The payment of medical and like expenses continues for as long as needed and include:medical services;hospital services;nursing services;physiotherapy services;rehabilitation and disability services;travel to and from treatment, a rehabilitation service or an approved programme of disability service;orthopaedic services;swim/gym programmes;funeral expenses;home and vehicle modifications;prosthetic equipment;counselling services;psychiatric services;attendant care services.What can I do if the TAC makes a decision that affects my claim?If you disagree with a decision made by the TAC in administering your claim you can appeal the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). An application to VCAT is to be made within 12 months from the date of TAC decision.It is important to contact National Compensation Lawyers at this stage to ensure proper dispute channels are complied with.What if I have suffered a permanent injury?If you have suffered a permanent injury, you can claim for lump sum benefits as part compensation for pain and suffering.To be entitled to this benefit, you have to meet the following criteria:you have suffered a permanent injury which has stabilised;you have been assessed as suffering a whole person impairment of great than 10% when assessed with the relevant Guides (see below).How is lump sum compensation for permanent impairment calculated?A transport accident victim’s permanent impairment is assessed in accordance with the American Medical Association Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment 4th Edition. The extent of the impairment is then used to calculate the amount of the lump sum payment on a rising scale from 10%.What if I am injured in a transport accident whilst at work?Your initial entitlements are covered by the Victorian WorkCover Scheme. However, if you are injured travelling to or from work you may be covered by the TAC. Further, you may have common law rights to compensation.Can I sue the at fault driver who caused my injury?If another person’s negligence was a cause of your injuries, you may be able to bring a claim for damages being your “pain and suffering” and “loss of earnings” (a common law claim). To receive compensation, however, you need to show you have suffered a “serious injury”. This test is quite complex and we encourage you to contact National Compensation Lawyers to discuss further. Do not make your own assessment of negligence or your “serious injury”.What if I caused the accident?You may still be able to claim compensation benefits, including: loss of earnings/earning capacity;medical and like expenses; andlump sum compensation for permanent injuries suffered.What if I live in Victoria but was injured in another state?If a Victorian resident is injured or dies in an interstate accident involving a Victorian registered vehicle or was the occupant of a Victorian registered vehicle, then a claim can be made with the TAC.Most other states and territories have similar Authorities. However, these may have different rules, so we encourage you to contact National Compensation Lawyers to discuss your specific circumstances.What if I cannot identify the vehicle or driver who caused the accident?It does not matter if you cannot identify the vehicle or driver involved in the accident. You can still claim under the TAC scheme.I am a cyclist, can I claim?Yes. Cyclists are covered if their injuries have occurred as a result of a motor vehicle, motorcycle, bus, tram or train. For example, if a cyclist is injured whilst swerving to avoid a car or the opening of a car door.I am a pedestrian, can I claim?Yes. Pedestrians who suffer injuries caused by the driving of a motor vehicle, motor cycle, bus, tram or train are covered by the TAC.I was injured whilst travelling on public transport, can I claim?Yes. If injured on public transport you have a right to claim. You should immediately report the incident to the service operators.To make a TAC clam, to obtain further advice, or to arrange an obligation-free consultation with a lawyer, please call us on 1300 FEARLESS (1300 332 753).