Our client’s injuries
In 2016 our client suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident, caused by another driver whose vehicle turned suddenly in front of hers. Although she suffered multiple injuries, her shoulder injury was the most serious and was treated with priority. Within weeks of the accident, our client began to complain to her treating doctors of hip pain also present since the accident.
In 2020, our client requested the TAC to pay for the cost of treatment to investigate the cause of her hip pain. The TAC refused to pay on grounds that they did not consider her hip injury to be related to the transport accident.
What is the TAC liable for?
The Transport Accident Act 1986 entitles a person who is injured as a result of a transport accident to compensation. The Act provides for different types of compensation, including loss of earnings payments, medical and like benefits and lump sum compensation. In order to successfully claim the cost of her hip treatment from the TAC, our client needed to demonstrate that her hip injury resulted from the transport accident in 2016.
The TAC’s decision
In refusing to pay for our client’s hip treatment, the TAC argued that her delay in seeking treatment was evidence that any injury to her hip was not related to the transport accident. TAC also argued that any accident-related aggravation of her hip condition was slight, and that her current hip problem was due to reasons unrelated to the transport accident.
We assisted our client to dispute the TAC’s decision and initiated proceedings at VCAT.
Legal action and outcome
In our submissions to VCAT, we relied on a previous VCAT decision of Strojek v TAC [VCAT] 388 which had a similar factual scenario to our client’s case and also involved delayed reporting of an injury. In Strojek, VCAT ruled that the proper question was the probable connection between the transport accident and the condition. This required consideration as to whether medical evidence surrounding the accident allowed for the possibility that the accident was a cause of the condition, including whether there was a reasonable explanation for any lack of reporting to medical practitioners.
The TAC ultimately accepted liability for our client’s hip injury, which allowed her to access necessary medical treatment and get back to good health.
If the TAC has rejected liability for an injury sustained in a transport accident on the basis that you or a loved one did not report the injury immediately, please contact our team for a free initial consultation on (03) 9321 9988 or submit an online enquiry today.