If you’re injured in an accident, the TAC can pay a range of benefits and compensation.
These can include:
Medical and associated expenses
You’re entitled to reasonable medical & like expenses for your accident injuries.
For example, TAC can pay for the following: ambulance, hospital, doctors, physiotherapy, medication, hydrotherapy, surgery and home assistance like cleaners and gardeners.
Loss of income
If you can’t go back to work after the accident, TAC can pay you 80% of your pre-injury income – excludes the first 5 days after the date of the accident.
If you’re a low-income earner, the TAC can pay 100% of your pre-injury income.
TAC will ask you to provide recent payslips or tax returns from previous years to help their calculation of your weekly payments. TAC can pay a maximum of $1350 per week (as at 1 July 2019).
Lump sum benefits for permanent impairment
If you suffer injuries from the accident and do not fully recover, you may be entitled to a lump sum amount. Your injury will need to be assessed by an independent medical examiner under the AMA guides.
If you receive a permanent impairment score of more 11%, you will receive approximately $7,880. This amount is indexed each year.
An additional amount will be paid for every 1% of impairment greater than 11%. A 50% impairment entitles you to $86,000 (as at 1 July 2019).
TAC can assess your level of impairment as soon as 3 months after your accident.
If your injuries have not stabilised, TAC can make a part payment of your impairment benefit until your injuries have healed and stabilised; i.e. your injury is unlikely to get any better or worse.
Your right to apply for an impairment assessment may expire 6 years from the date of the accident.
Common Law Compensation
In addition to medical, income replacement and impairment benefits, the TAC can be required to pay compensation on behalf of a driver who was at fault in an accident which caused injuries.
The TAC is the insurer for road accidents and in most circumstances will be required to pay compensation on behalf of the person at fault for the accident.
So, If the accident was wholly or partially caused by someone else you may be entitled to further compensation which can include:
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life – up to $558,760 (as at 1 July 2019); and
- Past and future economic loss – up to $1,257,290 (as at 1 July 2019)
To obtain compensation you need to be able to show that:
- The accident was caused or contributed to by another party (negligence).
- You have a “serious injury”.
A “serious injury” is a legal test, and detailed consideration of your personal circumstances and medical opinion will be required to determine if you have a serious injury. Serious injuries can include:
- Permanent impairment of 30% or more; or
- Long term physical injury or loss of body function which impacts your working life, social, domestic or recreational activities; or
- Long term severe psychological injuries which impact your working life, social, domestic or recreational activities; or
- Serious scarring or disfigurement; or
- Loss of a foetus.
The serious injury test looks at the effects of the accident on your life. It is worth making note of things your injuries stop you doing. If you loved hiking, line dancing, salsa classes, knitting or riding your bike prior to the accident, the impact of your injuries on those activities can be important factors in showing that you have a “serious injury”.
If you’re unsure about whether your injuries meet the “serious injury” test, you should get advice from a TAC expert lawyer without delay.
If you are over 18 years at the time of the accident, you generally have 6 years from the date of the accident to make an application.
If you were under the age of 18 years at the time of the accident, you will have until your 24th birthday to make a claim.