After being injured in a motor vehicle accident in Victoria, people often ask us, “How long do I have to claim?” Although you have 12 months to lodge your TAC claim form, we recommend you do it as soon as practicable.
You do not need to wait for the injuries to settle down or stabilise before making a TAC claim. In fact, waiting to lodge your claim can often make it more difficult to get the help and support you need after being injured in a road accident.
The first thing to do to make sure your rights to TAC benefits and compensation are covered is to contact the TAC to talk about lodging a claim as soon after the accident as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor or you are due to have further treatment, it’s a good idea to lodge a claim quickly.
This is important because strict time limits apply to:
- lodging a claim for benefits;
- challenging a TAC decision; and
- claiming TAC lump sum compensation if the injuries are serious.
If you do not act within these time limits, you might miss out on the TAC compensation or TAC benefits that you are entitled to. However, if you do miss these time limits, there may still be options for you and it is imperative you seek expert advice from a lawyer experienced in TAC claims.
Some key time limits for TAC claims in Victoria.
To lodge a TAC claim form:
- From the accident you have 12 months to lodge a TAC claim form.
- From 12 months to 3 years after the accident, the TAC may choose to accept your completed claim form. Contact a lawyer if they refuse to accept your claim form after the initial 12 month period.
- If you do not lodge your claim form within 3 years, you will not be entitled to TAC benefits, or to any lump sum compensation from the TAC.
- The time limits for lodging a TAC claim form are different for children, who generally have until their 21st birthday to lodge a TAC claim form.
To challenge a TAC decision:
- You have 12 months from the date of receiving a decision from the TAC to challenge the decision. This includes a decision to reject your claim.
- If you do not challenge the decision within 12 months you will not be entitled to benefits relating to that decision.
To claim reimbursement of your out of pocket expenses under an accepted TAC claim:
- You generally have 2 years to claim a reimbursement for medical and other out of pocket expenses that you have paid following a motor vehicle accident.
- If your TAC claim is not accepted until after you have paid for the medical expenses, you may have longer to claim reimbursement from the TAC.
To make your claim for lump sum compensation:
- If you are over 18 at the time of your injury you generally have 6 years from the date of your injury to make an application for compensation, including compensation for your permanent injuries and pain and suffering.
If you were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident you will have until your 24th birthday to make a claim for compensation.
What if I need an extension to the time limit?
For some of these time limits, it may be possible to seek an extension of time from the court, however for others there is no discretion for a court to give you an extension.
If you have missed a time limit or unsure if you are able to lodge a claim, do not simply assume you have no other options. Contact today’s blog writer Nick Mann for a free initial consultation to check your rights and entitlements.