Auto Accident Injury Compensation

Understanding the Role of TAC in Victoria

Car Accident in Melbourne

If you are a resident of Victoria and have been injured by another driver in another state, or you are anyone who has been injured within Victoria itself you may be compensated for your injury on a no-fault basis by the state’s accident insurance commission, TAC (which stands for the Transport Accident Commission).

Most vehicle owners in Victoria will know something about TAC, even if it is only familiarity with the Commission’s strong messaging on road safety and its role in strict safety laws and the enforcement of those laws. However, few people might not realize just how they can make a claim with TAC if they are injured in a traffic accident, whether they were responsible for the accident or not.

If you are taken to a public (or private) hospital in Victoria after a traffic accident, then you will be given a TAC form to fill in or it will be filled in for you and TAC will be notified automatically. This won’t happen if you do not make a visit to a hospital and you may need legal help from a car accident lawyer to understand how you can make a claim.

TAC is the Victorian government’s state accident insurance system which provides no-fault as well as common law cover if you have been injured. TAC funding comes from revenue derived from vehicle registration in Victoria with VicRoads.

No-fault payments are made regardless of who was responsible for an accident. They may include the following:

  • medical expenses including ambulance and hospital treatment;
  • lost earnings if the accident means you cannot return to work immediately;
  • rehabilitation expenses which are designed to make it easier for you to return to a normal or near normal life after treatment;
  • in-house expenses where you need help or support at home following an accident.

TAC payments may also be made to surviving relatives of a person who has died in a vehicle accident.

TAC does not cover injuries caused by negligent cyclists

By a “vehicle”, TAC specifically identifies this as a powered vehicle. That means that the injury must be by a car, van, truck, bus, motorcycle, tram, train or other powered vehicle. The only loophole here is when a pedestrian or road user is injured directly by a cyclist or as an indirect result of a cyclist’s actions. By “cyclist” this means someone on a bicycle, not a motorcycle.

For example, if a cyclist hits a pedestrian at an intersection when the pedestrian is legitimately crossing the road as the lights were red, the pedestrian cannot make a claim at present with TAC. Similarly, if truck driver swerves to avoid a cyclist who is riding across the driver’s path, then he or she cannot make a claim with TAC if the driver is injured.

This is in contrast to the situation when a cyclist is injured by another vehicle, even when they are injured when someone opens their door just as the cyclist is approaching, (a common cycling injury). The cyclist can make a claim with TAC in these circumstances.

To be honest, the number of cyclists who are the cause of a serious injury rather than the victim of another road user’s poor driving is probably quite small, but it remains an anomaly which probably does need to be addressed.

Common law claims with TAC

While a no-fault payment by TAC is quite generous, there are circumstances in which a common law, or personal injury claim, can be made which may result in a significantly higher payment. This is when you, as the injured person, are not at fault. For a claim to be made of this type, the burden of proof that the other road user was to blame for the accident is significantly higher and you will probably need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer in Melbourne such as one of our Compensation Lawyers.

By burden of proof this simply means that you are unlikely to be awarded a payment based on your account of the accident alone. You will need clear evidence that someone else’s driving or riding was to blame. A vehicle crash investigation report, police reports, witness statements and medical reports are also likely to be crucial evidence when it comes to providing proof. Call the Compensation Lawyers on 1300 019 637 for any of our three offices in Australia.