Making a TAC claim
Under Victorian legislation, if a pedestrian is injured in a transport accident in Victoria, they can lodge a claim with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
A transport accident is defined as an incident directly caused by the driving of a motor vehicle, railway train or tram.
Being injured without being struck by a vehicle
Recently we were able to assist a client resolve a claim for damages following a serious head injury, suffered by him as a pedestrian.
The accident occurred when a flat-bed tow truck was transporting a compact forklift. The overall height from the road surface to the top of the forklift was approximately 4.425m. At one point in the journey the forklift has hooked a telephone cable. As a result a wooden power pole has snapped at the base, fallen, and brought down numerous power lines. Our client was struck by a falling cable and knocked unconscious for a brief period. He soon regained his composure, left the scene and did not immediately realise that he had been badly injured.
Soon after the accident, our client began experiencing headaches and vertigo. Within a month our client was hospitalised due to a significant decline in his health with headache, falls and an unsteady gait. It was discovered that he had a bleed in his brain. Two craniotomy procedures were required to reduce the pressure from his swelling brain. Following the surgeries our client was left with a significant cognitive impairment.
We assisted our client with lodging his claim with the TAC and obtained a witness statement from a local shop keeper who confirmed our client had been involved in the accident. With this additional evidence, the TAC accepted that our client’s injuries had arisen in a transport accident, despite the delay in the lodgement of his claim.
With an accepted TAC claim our client was able to receive medical treatment including rehabilitation to assist with his recovery.
In order to be successful in obtaining pain and suffering damages, the TAC needed to agree that our client had a serious injury and that his injuries were caused by the negligence of the truck driver.
Despite having accepted our client’s TAC claim initially, the TAC questioned our client’s entitlement to damages on the basis that there was a delay between the accident and a seemingly trivial injury at the time, and our client ultimately attending hospital for treatment. We sought expert medical evidence which confirmed that our client had a classical history of subdural haematoma, from a relatively mild impact.
We were ultimately able to achieve pain and suffering loss settlement of over $325,000 at an informal conference with the TAC, without the need to issue Court proceedings.
Our client also retained the right to make future claims for reasonable medical and like expenses from the TAC for as long as he requires treatment.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury as result of a transport accident, it is important to get legal advice to know your rights and entitlements. To arrange your free initial consultation, contact our legal team on (03) 9321 9988 or submit an online enquiry.