The short answer is – it depends.
If you have sustained an injury in a motor vehicle accident you may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim under the applicable Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme. CTP insurer schemes are in place all over Australia, but they work differently in each state or territory. In most states, including Victoria, CTP is included in your registration fees.
Victoria’s CTP insurance scheme is administered by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and is a no-fault scheme. This means you can always make a TAC claim if you have sustained an injury from a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who is found responsible or at fault for the accident.
Compensation is calculated in a few different ways. You can receive compensation for:
As each person has different circumstances and in particular injuries, the amount of compensation they may receive will vary.
If you have sustained a significant injury which resulted in a permanent impairment, you may be entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering. Under the TAC, the amount of compensation you will receive will depend on your level of impairment. For example:
Again, it depends.
The amount of whiplash compensation you are entitled to will vary depending on a number of factors including:
If you want to make a claim for whiplash from a motor vehicle accident you will first need to lodge a TAC claim.
The average claim takes 1-3 years to resolve from the date of the accident. This is because it takes time for the full medical implications of whiplash to become clear. It is necessary for time to pass so that the injury can stabilise and the full extent of the loss of income or medical expenses can be properly understood.
It is important not to finalise a claim too early as it may prevent you receiving a payout which reflects the complete sum of your loss. If you are assessed as being entitled to benefits, the TAC can pay you compensation for loss of earnings, medical expenses and other like expenses. These “out-of-pocket” benefits will differ from person to person.
If you have a whiplash injury that results in a serious long-term impairment or loss of a body function, or a severe mental or severe long-term behavioural disturbance or disorder, you may be able to pursue compensation in court for pain and suffering.
There are some time limits on claims. You must lodge your TAC claim within 12 months of your accident. In certain circumstances, the TAC has the discretion to accept a claim lodged within three years.
At Gordon Legal, our TAC lawyers are highly experienced with these claims for compensation and can guide you through any questions you may have about your claim, and, of course, ensure you achieve the best compensation outcome you can possibly achieve.
If you have suffered a serious injury in a road accident in Victoria and it was another person’s fault, you also may be able to make a common law claim for compensation. Even if the accident was partly your fault, you may still be able to bring a common law claim for compensation. The damages you are likely to receive will be reduced by an amount that reflects your level of fault.
In such cases, the other driver will be indemnified by the TAC – provided they are not driving uninsured. This means that it is the TAC that will pay your damages and not the other driver. If the other driver is unlicensed and therefore uninsured, the TAC may pay the common law claim to you and then try to recover the money from them.
You can recover both economic and non-economic loss in a common law claim for compensation. Economic damages cover losses which have a direct financial impact on your life and are objectively quantifiable. These kinds of damages go towards compensating for past and future financial losses and out of pocket expenses. Examples include medical expenses and loss of earnings if you are unable to work because of your injuries.
Non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, are more subjective in nature and are therefore more difficult to quantify. Other types of non-economic loss include disability, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life. Unlike economic damages they are not capable of precise mathematical calculation.
Your lawyer can advise you on the types of compensation you may receive and your prospects of success in lodging any type of claim. It is important to know that there is a strict 6-year time limit to pursue any common law claim. We recommend contacting one of our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers as soon as possible.
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