Regardless of how you arrived in Victoria - tourist visa, temporary work visa, student visa or as a migrant or refugee - you are entitled to assistance when you are injured in a car accident. Your entitlements are not affected by your citizenship or right to be in Australia, although the Transport Accident Commission (?TAC') may need this information to assess your entitlements and provide you with help to recover from your transport accident. Anyone who is injured in a transport accident in Victoria, or in an accident involving a Victorian registered vehicle, should lodge a claim with the TAC. The TAC is a Victorian Government-owned organisation and will pay benefits to people injured in transport accidents regardless of where they are from. To make a claim, you need to report your accident to police, call 1300 654 329 to speak with the TAC and then complete some simple paperwork. You should also contact your travel insurer in case they need to negotiate their contribution with the TAC. Lodging a claim with the TAC will never cost you money. In some cases the TAC will pay for everything related to your transport accident. In other cases, the TAC will not contribute to your expenses until you have reached a certain excess. The TAC also has policies outlining whether to pay for some expenses and can exercise its discretion. In all circumstances, having a claim lodged with the TAC protects your rights and could save you a lot of money. The TAC may pay for:
- lost earnings wherever you are in the world;
- medical treatment in Australia;
- some medical assessments overseas;
- travel costs of returning to Australia for medical assessments; and
- extension of visas if you are medically unfit to leave Australia.
The TAC may also contribute to the cost of assisting injured people to return to their home overseas or replacing an expired ticket. Unfortunately for those who live overseas, if a relative has died in a transport accident in Victoria, the TAC will only pay for funeral expenses if the funeral takes place in Australia. The TAC may contribute to the cost of returning a relative to their home country but will not pay for overseas burial or cremation. Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers are proud to have assisted a refugee injured in a car accident while on a bridging visa. Many migrants and refugees do not have money available to pay for urgent medical assistance or for their relatives to travel to assist them. Our team of experts help injured people every day and can ease the burden of dealing with the TAC when our client's main concern should be their recovery. We also recently assisted also a carload of tourists who were injured when they had a car accident on the Great Ocean Road. Tourists travelling on holiday visas are usually not covered by Medicare and can incur extensive medical costs. In light of this, if the tourists had not lodged a TAC claim, they would have had to pay their hospital costs because they were non-citizens. Despite being on tourist visas, the TAC paid the earnings they lost even when they had returned home. If you would like assistance to make a TAC claim or if you have ongoing issues because of a transport accident, you can contact Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers on (03) 9321 9988 to learn more about your entitlements and how the TAC can help.