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Personal Injury Claims Victoria – Your Guide.

Personal injury claims in Victoria come under a different set of rules from claims in other states. So if you’re making a claim it’s important to follow advice that’s specific to your situation and the Victorian legislation that applies to you. 

If your personal injury claim is simply ‘processed’, there’s a risk you’ll miss out on compensation or lump sums you’re entitled to. But with the right specialist advice that takes into account all of your circumstances, you can be confident you’ll receive your full entitlements. 

This guide to personal injury claims in Victoria is an excellent place to start. It includes legal insights and tips from our specialist personal injury lawyers from our Victorian offices and is based on many successful claims.

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Personal injury claims in Victoria – what you need to know.

If you’re claiming personal injury compensation in Victoria, you’re likely to be in one of these three situations:

If you’ve been injured at work or in a situation caused by your job, you can claim compensation under the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act. This is managed by WorkSafe Victoria and is referred to as a WorkCover claim. 

Compensation is available if you’re injured in a transport accident in Victoria. Compensation is covered under the Victorian Transport Accident Act and is regulated by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).

This includes injuries caused by health providers and injuries in public places like supermarkets. These claims involve recklessness or negligence that has caused you injury. Compensation is governed by the Victorian Wrongs Act.

If you’re not sure which category you fall into, read on for more information or you can speak to one of our Victorian lawyers on 13 15 15 to find out – it’s a free service.

Can I make a personal injury claim in Victoria?

Here’s a quick guide to help you understand if you qualify and how you can make a claim, based on how your injury happened. 

Workplace injury claims in Victoria.

You can make a WorkCover claim if you’re injured at work or a work event as an employee or subcontractor, regardless of whether you were at fault for the accident. Compensation is available to cover medical expenses and lost wages, as well as lump sums for permanent injury and pain and suffering. For more information, see our WorkCover claims guide.

Motor vehicle accident claims in Victoria.

You can claim if you’re injured as a driver, rider, passenger, or pedestrian either directly (like if you’re hit by a vehicle) or indirectly (like witnessing a traumatic accident that causes you PTSD). Compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and lump sum compensation for permanent injury is available regardless of who was at fault. Additional lump sum claims may be available if you weren’t at fault under a ‘common law’ claim – for pain and suffering and loss of earnings. For more information, see our article on how to find out if you’re eligible for a TAC claim.

Claims for injuries in public buildings in Victoria. 

This includes a broad variety of claims such as slips, trips and falls in a public place or private property, dog attacks, travel and leisure injuries, rental property injuries, and injuries caused by faulty equipment. You can claim if you were injured on someone else’s property or a public place and you can prove that someone else was at fault for your injury.

Medical negligence claims in Victoria.

These claims are also covered under the Wrongs Act, and you can claim if you’ve been injured as a result of a surgical mistake, negligence by a doctor or hospital, misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis. We also come across many claims that relate to birth injuries and defects. Law Partners have specialist medical negligence lawyers in Melbourne ready to help.

Personal injury claims in Victoria – what can I claim?

When you make a personal injury claim in Victoria, you can generally claim for:

We often discover our clients are eligible for additional lump sum payments, which may include:

Expert tip: These lump sum payments can be substantial. The only way to know if you’re eligible for these lump sums is to get a thorough assessment that takes into account the full impact of your injuries on your life and to provide evidence that you’re entitled to lump sum compensation. We have a strong track record of claiming lump sum compensation for our clients.

The amount of compensation you’ll receive will depend on:

If your injuries are minor and you don’t have to take much time off work, your compensation is likely to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. For more serious injuries, like if you require surgery, long periods off work, or even being unable to return to full-time employment, personal injury compensation can be up to hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars.

This is why we take a very personal approach with our clients. By getting to know you personally, our lawyers can make a case based on every way that you’ve been impacted. Details that might not seem important to you can have a big impact on the amount of compensation you receive.

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The personal injury claims process in Victoria.

The specific steps will vary based on how you were injured, but here’s an overview of how we help our clients with their claims in Victoria:

Your personal injury lawyer will assess your situation and determine whether you have a valid injury claim, then provide you with advice on how to proceed. Part of this process is to identify the insurer.

This includes gathering detailed evidence to back up your injury claim, including medical reports to show evidence of your injuries.

Once your personal injury claim has been submitted to the insurer, if the insurer accepts your claim it will generally offer you a settlement payment. Your personal injury lawyer will advise you on how much you should accept.

If the insurer denies your injury claim or you can’t come to a settlement agreement, you have the option to take the matter to court – this is known as litigation.

Is there a time limit for making a personal injury claim in Victoria?

There are time limits for making a personal injury claim, though there are often exceptions. If you think you’ve missed a deadline you can speak to one of our lawyers and get free advice on your options.

Here’s an overview of the claim time limits in Victoria:

  • Claims should be submitted within 30 days of the injury occurring, or presenting if it has developed over time
  • The insurer (or agent) has 28 days from the date of receiving the claim to accept or reject liability and inform you of their decision
  • If you’re unhappy with the decision and want to lodge a dispute you have 60 days to refer your claim to the Workplace Injury Commission
  • You have six years from the injury to seek compensation through a Common Law claim
  • You have one year after the initial accident or injury to claim
  • The TAC will consider claims made outside this limit if it’s made within three years of the accident and there are reasonable grounds for delay
  • You have six years from the accident to seek compensation through a Common Law claim
  • For a medical negligence claim, you have three years from the date you discover that you have a significant injury and that the injury was caused by somebody else’s negligence.
  • For a public liability claim, you have three years from the date of the incident.
  • Minors and people with disabilities have six years.

How are personal injury settlements calculated?

The settlement of your personal injury claim will depend on your situation, like how much time you’ve missed at work, whether you’re able to return to your original job or any suitable employment, how much your mobility is impacted, and other similar factors. Initially, when you lodge a claim for Victorian personal injury benefits for WorkCover and TAC, you’ll be able to access up to 95% of your wages, as well as treatment and medical costs.

If you’re making a claim for a lump sum, then the personal injury claims settlement process will factor in your individual needs, ability to earn a future income, and likelihood of further medical treatment. This will impact the final settlement amount that you’ll receive.

How much do you get for pain and suffering in Victoria?

Pain and suffering claims are for a lump sum to compensate you for your non-economic losses, or the pain, stress, and difficulty that your injuries cause you. You’re eligible to claim pain and suffering if you have over 5% physical permanent impairment, or over 10% psychological permanent impairment for cases of medical negligence or public liability.  

Pain and suffering claims are subjective, but our Victorian lawyers have a strong track record of negotiating substantial pain and suffering settlements for our clients.

Are lump sum personal injury claims taxable in Victoria?

Personal injury claims are separate from your regular income, so if you do receive income support payments or a lump sum claim, it won’t be taxed. This means you’ll receive the full amount, without having to factor in tax deductions.

Will my Victorian personal injury claim affect my Centrelink entitlements?

Centrelink payments are calculated based on your income and are subject to change when your income changes. If you were unable to work and received Centrelink before your income support payments started, and then started receiving income support payments worth 95% of your pre-injury earnings, the Centrelink payments would reduce or stop.

How do I win my personal injury claim in Victoria?

Here are some tips from our lawyers on how to make a successful claim. 

Keep as much evidence as you can from your accident. Photos, details of witnesses, contact details of any other people involved (for example, the other driver if you’ve had a collision).

Keep very thorough medical records – medical reports, receipts for all treatment, and travel expenses to and from medical appointments.

Don’t accept an early settlement offer from an insurer. Your injuries could take time to stabilise and if you accept an early settlement offer you might not be fully compensated, especially if your injuries worsen or lead to other issues over time.

Even if you plan to submit your own claim without using a lawyer, it makes sense to get some free legal advice before you do – you might be surprised by what you learn. Remember, the insurer you’re claiming against has lawyers on its side. You’ll have a better chance of success and you’re likely to get a higher compensation payout with the right lawyer helping you.

If you proceed with a personal injury lawyer, tell them absolutely everything – don’t hold back. Remember that your injury could lead to other issues over time, and that will increase the amount of compensation you’re entitled to. Choose a lawyer who takes time to really get to know you and asks a lot of questions – it’s only by getting to know you personally that a lawyer can claim everything you’re entitled to.

What if my personal injury claim is denied?

If your claim is denied, it isn’t the end of the road. You can appeal any denied claim, or even an accepted claim if what you’ve been offered isn’t reasonable. If you haven’t spoken to a personal injury lawyer, now is the time to do so. Our lawyers can assist you with the dispute process, including gathering all relevant documents, recommending treating specialists familiar with the claim system, and bringing in-depth knowledge and experience navigating the system to help you achieve the best results.

At Law Partners, we’re experts in personal injury claims in Victoria. If you have any questions or would like to find out how we can help you, get in touch with us today and speak to a lawyer who specialises in Victorian claims just like yours.  

Rhiannon Templeton bio pic

Rhiannon Templeton

Senior Associate

A workers compensation expert, backed by over a decades worth of experience assisting injured Australians to receive everything they’re entitled to.

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