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Claiming transport accident benefits if you’re at-fault

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Please note that this post was written for Victorian audiences and the information within may not apply to other regions.

Being injured in a road or transport accident can have negative impacts on everyone involved – those at fault and not.

For these reasons, compensation schemes exist around Australia and aim to provide benefits to injured persons to support them back to work and health.

Each state and territory have its own set of car accident injury compensation regulations. Each state also have different rules about when you can and can’t claim.

Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission scheme is one of the few that works on a no-fault basis, meaning that you may still have certain entitlements, even if the accident was your fault.

What TAC entitlements could I receive if I’m at fault for the accident?

Thanks to the no-fault scheme, there are a range of expenses that the TAC will cover even if you’re at fault.

at fault.

These can include reasonable medical and like expenses. Also some weekly income support for lost wages if you can’t work because of your injuries. If impairment is seemed at over 50% the person may be entitled to remain on a weekly payment plan for life.

You may also be entitled to a lump sum compensation by way of an impairment benefit.

Medical and like expenses comprise an expansive list, including (but not limited to):

  • GP consultations
  • Specialist appointments
  • Physical therapies
  • Medication
  • Hospital and surgery costs
  • Home help services

However, unlike if you were not at fault for the accident, you are not eligible to bring a common law claim for pain and suffering and economic loss.

Read more about how compensation is calculated under the TAC legal framework.

Exemptions to the rule: When can’t I claim TAC benefits if I’m at fault for the accident?

While it generally doesn’t matter if you were at fault for the accident, there are some circumstances where you may not be entitled to any benefits (or your entitlements may be reduced) if you’re at fault.

These can include if your car is unregistered or uninsured and the accident happened on private land, or if you were committing an offence at the time such as drink or drug driving or driving unlicensed.

If you were involved in a transport accident outside of Victoria you also won’t be covered under the TAC no-fault benefits. Unless you are a Victorian resident who was injured in an accident involving a Victorian-registered vehicle. Or as an occupant of a Victorian-registered vehicle.

Lastly, there are strict time-frames when it comes to lodging a TAC claim.

You must start a compensation claim within one year of the date of injury. Or within one year from the date you realised you were injured as a result of the accident.

Occasionally, a claim can be made outside this limit if reasonable grounds exist for the delay. (Such as you were incapacitated or outside of the state). Claims made outside of a three-year window will generally not be considered.

What is my lawyer’s role in my no-fault benefits claim?

Your lawyer can assist when an investigation is pending on the circumstances around the accident. They can also help navigate the complex and unfamiliar compensation process.

Having a legal representative will generally result in a faster and easier outcome in getting you the benefits and compensation.

Read more frequently asked questions about TAC claims here.

Note: As mentioned, each state has a different scheme with different rules. While you are entitled to financial aid if you’re at fault in Victoria through the TAC, it’s not the same across all states.

For example, the insurance is different in Queensland. If you’re at fault for the car or road accident, you will not be able to claim compensation under the Queensland CTP scheme as it is an “at-fault” based scheme.

You can find blogs related to this topic below:

How to make a TAC claim when injured by an Unidentified Vehicle

Claiming for medical and like expenses in Victoria

New Driver Distraction Road Rules introduced in Victoria 2023