Eligibility for Benefits

Policy

The TAC will pay compensation to a person who is injured, or in respect of a person who dies as a result of a transport accident if:

  • the accident meets the criteria of a transport accident as defined in the Transport Accident Act 1986 (the Act), and
  • that person is eligible for compensation in accordance with the Act.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.3 'transport accident' and s.35

Background

Under the Transport Accident Act 1986, a person is entitled to receive compensation if he/she sustained an injury or died as a result of a transport accident. The TAC does not consider who was at fault in the transport accident when determining whether a person is eligible for TAC compensation.

Definition

In this policy, injury refers to physical or mental injury suffered by a person as a direct result of the transport accident.

See also the Injuries Sustained After a Transport Accident policy.

Guidelines

Who is eligible for TAC compensation?

The TAC will pay compensation to a person injured, or to the dependants of a person who dies as a result of a transport accident that occurs:

  • in Victoria (regardless of whether the vehicle involved is registered in Victoria or interstate), or
  • interstate and which involved a Victorian registered vehicle and the person injured is:
    • a Victorian resident, or
    • an occupant of a Victorian registered vehicle.

For further information on Interstate accidents refer to the Interstate (non-Victorian) Accidents policy.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.35 and s.42

Is a non-Victorian resident entitled to TAC compensation?

The TAC will pay compensation to a non-Victorian resident who is injured or dies in a transport accident when:

  • the transport accident occurs in Victoria, regardless of whether the vehicle involved is registered in Victoria or interstate, or
  • the transport accident occurs in another State or Territory and the non-Victorian resident is an occupant of a Victorian registered vehicle.

Example 1

A non-Victorian resident who is an occupant of a Tasmanian registered vehicle involved in a single vehicle transport accident in Victoria is entitled to TAC compensation.

Example 2

A pedestrian who is a South Australian resident who is hit by a Victorian registered vehicle in South Australia is only entitled to the same benefits that he/she would normally receive in the state or territory where the transport accident took place.

Example 3

A Queensland resident who is an occupant of a Victorian registered vehicle who is involved in a transport accident in Queensland is entitled to TAC compensation.

Refer to the Interstate (non-Victorian) Accidents policy.

Is TAC compensation payable when the transport accident occurs while travelling to and from work or during work hours?

TAC compensation may be payable in these circumstances. Refer to the Work Related Compensation policy.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.38

Is TAC compensation payable when a person is injured while rendering assistance after a transport accident?

A person rendering assistance may be entitled to compensation depending upon whether or not he/she has suffered an injury as a result of an incident directly caused by the driving of a motor car or motor vehicle, a railway train or tram. Refer to the Transport Accidents policy.

What is required before making a claim for TAC compensation?

The TAC will accept a claim for compensation only after there is proof that:

  • a transport accident occurred, and
  • the accident has been reported to the police, and where relevant, to the train or tram operator, and
  • the person who is injured, or died, was involved in the transport accident, and
  • the person's injury, or death, was a result of the transport accident, or
  • the person's pre-existing condition has been aggravated by the transport accident.

The TAC may request further information from the person making the claim, or another relevant person, to obtain proof about the accident and injury.

For all incidents involving a collision that occurred between a pedal cycle and a stationary or parked motor vehicle between 9 July 2014 and 26 September 2018, the TAC does not require that a report has been made to a police officer under section 61A of the Road Safety Act 1986 or otherwise.

The TAC has 21 days to make a decision to accept or reject a claim or to request further information. In most cases the person being asked for information must respond to the TAC within 28 days. Refer to the Claims for Compensation - TAC Response Time policy.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.70

In which circumstances is a person not entitled to TAC compensation?

A person is not entitled to TAC compensation:

  • for an injury, condition or circumstance that existed before a transport accident or that is not sustained in a transport accident
  • when that person is entitled to compensation through another statutory insurance compensation scheme including:
    • Workplace Injury, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 in Victoria, or equivalent legislation in another state or territory or Commonwealth legislation
    • motor vehicle compensation schemes in another state or territory. Refer to the Interstate (non-Victorian) Accidents policy
    • Commonwealth Employees Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Comcare)
    • Country Fire Authority Act 1958
    • Education and Training Reform Act 2006
    • Juries Act 2000
    • Police Assistance Compensation Act 1968
    • Victoria State Emergency Service Act 2005
    • Emergency Management Act 1986
      Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.37
  • for an injury sustained in a transport accident between 1 September 1980 and 31 December 1986 where the person has received a common law settlement (pay out) for the accident.
    Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s150(5)
  • for injuries beyond 5 years after the transport accident, where that person was involved in a transport accident prior to 1 September 1980.
    Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s145(7)

What benefits are available to family members of a person who is severely injured or dies as a result of a transport accident?

Family members of a person who is severely injured or who dies as a result of a transport accident are entitled to Family Counselling and may be entitled to dependency benefits. Refer to the Surviving Dependent Child and Surviving Dependent Partner policies.

What information does the TAC need to consider when assessing a claim for compensation?

To consider a claim for compensation the TAC requires evidence that the person sustained an injury and that it was directly caused by the driving of a motor car or motor vehicle, a railway train or a tram. The evidence should include the symptoms experienced, the diagnosis and the treatment required for the injury.

A mental injury must be diagnosed by a qualified medical practitioner or registered psychologist.

Can the TAC fund benefits for persons other than the person who is injured, or who dies as a result of a transport accident?

The TAC can only pay compensation to the person injured, or to dependants of a person who dies as a result of a transport accident and not to any other person, unless specifically authorised under the Act.

The following services are specifically provided under the Act for persons other than the client:

In what circumstances is the entitlement to TAC compensation restricted?

A person's entitlement to certain TAC benefits is restricted in the following circumstances:

  • Unregistered or uninsured vehicle on private land - the TAC is unable to pay compensation to a person in a transport accident involving an unregistered vehicle or to an owner of an uninsured vehicle where the accident occurred on private land. Refer to the Uninsured and Unregistered Vehicles on Private Land policy.
  • Motor vehicle and pedal cycle sports sport accidents - the TAC is unable to pay benefits to a person injured in a transport accident while taking part in, preparing for or being a spectator at an organised motor vehicle or pedal cycle race, test, or speed trial. Refer to the Motor Sports policy and pedal cycle sports policy.
  • Person committing an offence -  the TAC is unable to pay any compensation (other than medical and like benefits) to a person who was driving at the time of the transport accident and is later convicted under the Crimes Act 1958 of culpable driving causing death or dangerous driving causing death. For transport accidents that occur on or after 2 March 2017, the TAC is also not able to pay compensation (other than medical and like benefits) to a driver who is convicted of an offence in another state or territory, that is equivalent to culpable driving causing death or dangerous driving causing death.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.39, s.40, s.41, s.41(A) and s.41(B).  Victorian Government Gazette G9 2 March 2017

The TAC is unable to pay Loss of Earnings (LOE) benefits, Loss of Earnings Capacity (LOEC) benefits or impairment benefits in certain circumstances. Refer to the:

  • Persons who can claim in another jurisdiction - the TAC will accept a claim for compensation where a person who can claim in another jurisdiction is injured or dies in a transport accident regardless of whether the person is also covered by travel insurance or personal accident insurance. However, the TAC must deny or cease paying compensation or damages to a person, or the person's dependants (surviving partner or dependants), who can claim in another jurisdiction in relation to the death or injury and:
  • has a claim for compensation accepted
  • has been paid compensation or damages
  • has an award of compensation or damages entered in their favour
  • has settled a claim
  • has accepted payment into court
  • has commenced an action for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.39, s.40 and s.42