TAC Claim Time Limits – Your Guide.
If you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident in Victoria, the TAC claim time limit is generally one year from the accident date. But if it’s been more than a year since your accident, there are some situations where you can still make a TAC claim, and you have up to six years to make a common law lump sum claim.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about TAC claim time limits, how they apply to your situation, and what to do if you think you’ve missed a deadline.
How does the TAC claim time limit apply to my situation?
The TAC claim time limit is one year from your date of injury, or from the date of discovery.
- Date of injury is the exact date you were injured – the date that the accident occurred.
- Date of discovery is the date you found out about your injury if it has developed over time after the accident.
In our experience with TAC claims, we find that people injured in motor accidents generally fall into one of the four situations listed below. You can click on the link if you want to jump straight to that section of the article.
- You were injured in a motor vehicle accident less than a year ago
- You were injured in a motor vehicle accident over a year ago but never made a claim
- You’re not sure exactly when your injury occurred because it has worsened over time
- You’ve already claimed statutory benefits and want to know if you can claim additional benefits or a lump sum
Am I eligible to make a TAC claim?
You’re covered by the TAC for any accident injuries involving a vehicle in Victoria, whether you’re a driver, rider, passenger, cyclist, or even a pedestrian. It’s also important to note that if your injury is serious, you may be eligible to make an additional common law claim for a lump sum.
If you’re not sure if you’re eligible to make a TAC claim, check out this article – TAC claims: How to find out if you’re eligible.
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TAC claim time limits – when you can claim.
The following four sections explain how TAC claim time limits apply to the most common situations our clients find themselves in.
1 – I was injured in a motor vehicle accident less than a year ago.
If you were injured less than a year ago, you’re still within the TAC claim time limit to lodge an application for statutory benefits, which covers your lost wages and medical bills.
You’ll need to collect all the relevant information about your accident and injuries, and then you can make a claim directly to the TAC either online or over the phone.
However, if your injuries are serious, it’s a good idea to get some legal advice before you claim to make sure you don’t miss out on entitlements. You can call 13 15 15 and get free advice from one of our TAC claim lawyers.
2 – I was injured in a motor vehicle accident over a year ago but never made a claim.
If you were injured over a year ago, there are still options for you to make a claim, and you should do so as soon as possible.
There’s sometimes flexibility around the time limit if there was a reason why you couldn’t claim straight away, like if you were under 18 at the time of the accident, or if your injuries only became apparent some time after the accident. For example, if you initially experienced pain in your foot, but six months later you were diagnosed with a fracture, then that’s considered the date of discovery and you have one year from that date to claim.
If you’re outside this timeframe, or not sure if you’re eligible, your best chance of making a successful claim is to get some advice from a specialist TAC claim lawyer. Call us on 13 15 15 for free legal advice about your claim.
3 – I’m not sure exactly when my injury occurred because it has worsened over time.
Some injuries are not obvious at first and can develop over time. Generally, the first day you see a doctor or take time off work because of your injuries will be considered the date of discovery.
If the date of discovery was less than a year ago, you can still claim. If it was more than a year ago, you can get personal advice from one of our TAC claim lawyers to understand your options.
4 – I was injured in an accident, and I’ve already claimed statutory benefits. Can I claim anything else?
Statutory benefits generally last for 12-18 months and cover up to 80% of your lost wages, as well as ‘reasonable and necessary’ medical treatment. But if your statutory benefits have run out and you’re still unable to work due to your injuries, there are still options available.
If you still can’t work, then you can claim a further 18 months of payments equivalent to 80% of your pre-injury earnings. If your whole personal impairment (WPI) is assessed as being over 50%, then you’ll be able to receive these payments indefinitely, and the TAC will review them every five years.
You may also be able to make a common law claim for a lump sum, which can be lodged 12 months after the initial injury or date of discovery. Read on to learn more about lump sum claims.
What’s the TAC common law claim time limit?
To make a TAC Common Law claim, you’ll need to meet these requirements:
- You must not be at fault for the accident
- You must meet the definition of a ‘serious injury’ – either 30% or greater whole person impairment, or have the TAC acknowledge your injuries as ‘serious’
- You were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence – like dangerous driving
If you satisfy these requirements, then you’ll be eligible to claim two types of lump sum:
- Non-Economic Loss (sometimes known as ‘pain and suffering’)
- Pecuniary Losses (loss of past and/or future earnings)
The TAC common law claim time limit is six years, which allows time for your injuries to stabilise so that your compensation reflects the full impact of your injuries. There are some exceptions to this limit if you have a reasonable excuse as to why you didn’t claim earlier, like if you were under 18 at the time of the accident. If you’d like to find out more about Common Law claims, read our TAC Common Law Claims Guide.
You’ll need a specialist TAC claim lawyer to help you make a common law claim. If you’re not sure where to start, call 13 15 15 for free legal advice.
Getting help with your TAC claim.
Having a good TAC lawyer on your side can be the difference between a successful claim and missing out on your entitlements due to TAC claim time limits. If you’d like to find out how we can help with your TAC claim, get in touch with us today for a confidential conversation about your options, free of charge.
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