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TAC Serious Injury Payouts – Common Law Claims.

If you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident in Victoria and your injuries are classified as ‘serious’, you could be entitled to make a common law claim for lump sum damages. These claims can be significant. In fact, the TAC states that the average payout for serious injury claims such as serious traumatic brain and spinal injuries is $2.2M*

However, if you have serious injuries that are not assessed correctly, you may not be able to make a common law claim and your compensation payout could be significantly lower. The average payout across all TAC claims is just under $36k. In other words, if you get an incorrect assessment or fail to submit strong evidence to support your serious injury claim, you could miss out on significant entitlements.

This guide to serious injury payouts includes:

https://www.tac.vic.gov.au/about-the-tac/our-organisation/what-we-do – July 2023

A tram and cars on a Melbourne street

Do I qualify for a common law claim?

You can make a common law claim for a lump sum payment if you’re seriously injured in a transport accident and you’re not the person mostly at fault. There must also be an element of negligence that caused your injury, like if the at-fault party was driving dangerously, or the vehicle that caused the accident hadn’t been properly maintained.

How do I know if I have a serious injury?

‘Serious injury’ is a legal term that could mean a single, significant injury, or a combination of injuries that cause you an overall impairment of 30% or more caused directly by the transport accident. ‘Serious injury’ factors in your injuries and the long-term impact on your life.

You’ll need to either:

How do I prove I wasn’t at fault?

You need to prove that another driver was ‘mostly’ at fault for the accident to qualify for a common law claim. So if it’s not entirely clear who was at fault, you’ll need strong evidence to support your claim.

Having one of our specialist TAC claim lawyers on your side will give you the best chance of success, as your legal team will compile and submit all the evidence needed to support your claim. Call 13 15 15 to speak to one of our lawyers and get free legal advice on your claim.

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How much is a TAC serious injury claim payout?

If you’re making a common law damages claim then you’re able to claim two types of lump sum:

  1. Pain and suffering
  2. Pecuniary losses (including loss of past / future earnings)

How much can I claim for pain and suffering?

Pain and suffering claims offer you compensation for the emotional impact of your injuries.

Pain and suffering lump sums are decided based on how your injuries and the impact on your life compare to the ‘most extreme case’ (MEC), and you’ll be awarded a percentage of the maximum amount payable, which is indexed annually. The current maximum is $639,200.

How much can I claim for my past and future losses?

The second TAC common law claim you can make is for pecuniary losses, to compensate you for any economic loss that your injury causes. This might be because you can’t return to work the way you used to, ongoing medical costs, or expenses that you’ve already paid for related to your injuries. So the amount you can claim is based on the costs you’ve incurred, your age, your pre-injury earnings, and other factors.

The TAC provides this table to give you a brief overview of what you may be able to claim:

Common LawAmount*
Threshold (minimum amount)$63,880
Maximum Pecuniary Loss (loss of past and/or future earnings)$1,438,310
Maximum Pain and Suffering$639,200

At Law Partners, we’re experts in TAC common law claims, and we’ll do everything in our power to get you the maximum compensation payout for your serious injury. We win over 99% of our cases. If you’d like to find out how we can help you, give us a call on 13 15 15.

*As at July 2023

TAC serious injury payout example – Grace’s story.

Grace injured her left elbow and shoulder in an accident when she was a passenger in a car that was t-boned at an intersection. Grace is left-handed, and the injury made it difficult for her to write, pick up her toddler, or even carry shopping. She was initially assessed as only having 6% whole person impairment (WPI).

This is a long way off the 30% impairment required to qualify for a common law claim, so Grace didn’t think she was eligible.

However, our TAC claim lawyer looked into Grace’s claim and found that despite the 6% impairment assessment, it could be argued that her injuries should qualify as ‘serious’. We disputed the TAC’s original decision, got her injury reclassified as ‘serious’, and made a successful serious injury common law claim for Grace. Her final TAC settlement amount was $230,000.

This highlights the importance of having the right TAC claim lawyer handling your case. If the TAC’s original assessment hadn’t been challenged and overturned by her lawyer, Grace would have missed out on a significant amount of compensation.

What’s the role of the TAC when you make a common law claim?

Everything to do with processing your case is handled by the TAC, including investigating your circumstances, issuing Serious Injury Certificates (SICs), and approving or denying your claim. But they won’t help you maximise your claim. They’ll assess your case using lawyers, medico legal specialists, and other experts in the field. So having a strong legal team on your side is the best way to make sure you navigate the process successfully and claim all of your entitlements.

How long does a common law damages claim settlement take?

The average settlement period is 12 months*. Everything will be reviewed thoroughly to determine the final details of what you’ll be awarded. In a straightforward case this can take as little as six months from when you first lodge your claim, but it can stretch out to two or more years in more complicated cases.

The best way to make sure your common law claim is settled as quickly as possible is to make sure your claim submission and evidence are thorough and well documented.

*TAC Victoria

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Is there a time limit to make a Common Law claim?

You have six years to lodge your TAC common law claim, which gives you time for your injuries to stabilise so that you can be compensated based on a full understanding of the impacts on your life. There are some exceptions to the time limit if you have a reasonable excuse as to why a claim couldn’t be made within six years, for example, if you were under 18 at the time of the accident.

If you’re not sure if you can still make a claim, you can find out by calling 13 15 15

TAC common law claim lawyers.

At Law Partners we have a team of lawyers who specialise in TAC common law claims and payouts, we work on a no win no fee basis, and we win over 99% of our cases. If you’d like to find out what we can do for you, you can call us on 13 15 15 or chat to us online.  

Lydia Wheatley bio pic

Lydia Wheatley

Managing Solicitor

An accredited specialist in personal injury law and one of the country’s foremost authorities in motor accident compensation claims.

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