TAC PTSD Payouts Guide.
Being involved in, or witnessing an accident on the road can lead to serious mental injuries like depression, anxiety, or PTSD. If you’re in this position it can be hard to know what to do next, and many people don’t realise that you can make a claim for compensation to support your recovery.
Psychological injury claims can be difficult to pursue, and it’s easy to miss out. This guide to TAC PTSD payouts covers steps you can take to make sure you can receive your full entitlements and includes:
- How to find out if you’re entitled to a TAC PTSD payout
- What TAC PTSD payouts you may be entitled to
- What your options are if your claim is denied
- How to get help with your claim to avoid missing out
Am I entitled to a TAC PTSD payout?
If your PTSD was caused by a vehicle accident in Victoria, whether you’re a driver, rider, passenger, cyclist, or even pedestrian, then you’re covered by the TAC. To be eligible to make a TAC PTSD claim, you’ll need to see a doctor for an official diagnosis.
Here are the most common circumstances our clients have experienced that led to a psychological injury claim:
Injured in a vehicle accident.
Whether you were the passenger, driver, or a cyclist or pedestrian injured by a vehicle, you can claim compensation for your PTSD.
Involved in an accident, but not physically injured.
You may be in a car that’s hit by another vehicle that doesn’t cause you physical injuries but does cause psychological injuries like PTSD. This can create an ongoing, debilitating impact on your life, and you may be able to make TAC PTSD claim.
Witnessing an accident or assisting others who were involved.
If you’ve witnessed an accident, it can have a significant impact on your mental wellbeing, especially if you get involved to help give first aid or support others who have been injured. If you’re diagnosed with PTSD then you may be entitled to make a claim.
Do my symptoms qualify for a TAC PTSD payout?
After any traumatic or stressful event, it’s normal to have difficulty coping with what’s happened. However, if your symptoms are ongoing, or it feels like things are getting worse, you may be suffering from PTSD. Common symptoms include:
- Intrusive memories, dreams, or flashbacks
- Being hypervigilant or easily startled
- Avoiding ever talking or thinking about the traumatic event
- Avoiding places, activities, or people who remind you of the event
- Negative changes in thinking or mood, including feeling detached or numb
- Changes in your physical and emotional reactions (e.g. trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, feelings of guilt or shame)
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, then it’s a good idea to get a diagnosis of your condition, as you may qualify for a PTSD payout.
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What TAC PTSD payout am I entitled to?
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on your overall level of impairment. If you’ve suffered physical injuries, then your doctor will be able to include your psychological injuries in their overall assessment of your condition.
It’s a common misconception that you have to have physical injuries to make a TAC claim, but anyone can experience PTSD after an accident. This means that even if you didn’t have physical injuries, you may still be able to make a claim if you’re diagnosed with a psychological injury like PTSD.
Statutory (weekly) benefits PTSD claim.
The first step in your PTSD claim is to apply for weekly benefits, which can cover up to 80% of your lost wages while you’re not working, as well as treatment expenses and medical costs. You’ll need to visit your doctor to get an assessment of your injuries, and a referral to a psychiatrist for an official PTSD diagnosis. Having this diagnosis before you make your claim can speed up the process of receiving your compensation.
You can make a statutory benefits claim even if you were the at-fault party, and the benefits will generally last for 12-18 months after the initial injury. You can lodge your claim directly through the TAC, though it’s always worth speaking to a lawyer who specialises in TAC PTSD payouts to make sure that you don’t miss out on anything that you’re entitled to.
If your doctor hasn’t properly considered your psychological injury, or you need help receiving an official diagnosis, we can help. For a free, confidential discussion with one of our TAC lawyers, give us a call on 13 15 15 or chat with us online.
Common law damages PTSD claim.
This is a claim for a lump sum in addition to your weekly benefits. It’s difficult to make a common law damages claim for a TAC PTSD lump sum payout on your own, but having a specialist lawyer on your side can be the difference between claiming all of your entitlements, and missing out completely.
You can make a common law damages claim if:
While it’s possible to make a TAC PTSD claim without physical injuries, it’s a difficult and complicated process to navigate on your own. Our TAC lawyers will be able to arrange a medical assessment with a doctor who will consider all of the injuries that you’ve suffered, which can contribute to the 30% threshold required to make a claim. In our experience, it’s more common for the TAC to accept your claim if you’ve experienced multiple injuries that contribute to your overall impairment.
Even if you don’t reach the 30% impairment threshold, our lawyers can help you apply for the TAC to recognise your ‘serious injury’ which would also allow you to claim.
If you were at fault, or mostly at fault for the accident, then you won’t be eligible for a TAC PTSD lump sum payout.
To make a lump sum claim, someone else must have caused, or contributed to your accident. For example, this might mean someone was driving dangerously, or a vehicle was uninsured and caused your injuries.
These types of claims are usually made at least 12 months after the initial injury to give you time to stabilise. If your psychological injuries are causing ongoing and significant disruption to your life, then it’s likely that you’ll be eligible to claim. This table offers an overview of an economic loss claim:
|TAC common law economic loss claim||Amount awarded|
|Maximum sum awarded||$1,438,310|
|Minimum threshold awarded||$63,880|
Economic loss claims cover the loss of your earning capacity. You’re entitled to claim lost income after 18 months have passed from the original date of the injury. Past income loss is claimed at the time the settlement is finalised, and you’re also entitled to claim for your future lost income. This can last up until the age of retirement and will cover time that you’re unable to work due to your injury, known as ‘loss of earning capacity.’
This could be a problem for some workers, for example, if you’re aged over fifty and work part-time. It’s important to get advice from a lawyer who specialises in TAC claims about how much you’ll be able to claim. If you’re not sure where to start, call 13 15 15 for free legal advice.
*As of July 2023
My TAC PTSD claim was denied. What do I do now?
There are several reasons why your TAC PTSD claim might be denied, but if you think the TAC has made the wrong decision then you may be able to dispute it in some circumstances. For more information about this, see our ‘Disputing a TAC Claim – What Do I Do?’ article.
In our experience, the most common reasons a TAC PTSD payout would be denied include:
If your psychological injury occurred while you were working, then you’ll need to make a WorkCover claim instead of a TAC claim. For example, if you’re an emergency service responder who suffers trauma after attending an accident, then you’re covered by the WorkCover scheme. You can find out more in our Psychological Injury in Victoria – WorkCover Claims Guide.
It’s not uncommon to develop fear or anxiety if a loved one like a child, partner, or parent is involved in an accident. However, unless you directly witnessed or were involved in the accident, you’re not eligible to make a TAC claim.
Psychological injuries like PTSD can be complex, and if you’re not assessed correctly then there’s a risk that you won’t meet the TAC’s requirements. This could mean that you’re missing out on compensation that you’re entitled to.
How can I get my TAC PTSD payout sooner?
If you’re making a claim for weekly benefits, the TAC will let you know within 21 days of lodging your claim if they’ve accepted or denied it. To give your claim the best chance of being accepted, it’s important to make sure that all relevant information is included, that you’ve been correctly assessed, and that you’ve spoken to a lawyer.
If the TAC accepts your claim, payments will begin immediately. If your claim is denied and you think that it’s unreasonable, you can lodge a dispute with the TAC.
If you’re lodging a common law damages claim, then you’ll generally receive your final settlement about 12 months after you lodge your application.
How can I get help with my TAC PTSD claim?
To give yourself the best chance of making a successful TAC PTSD claim, it’s important to have a lawyer you trust on your side. A good lawyer will help you through the claims process and can recommend doctors who are familiar with your injuries, as well as ensuring all important details are included.
At Law Partners, we’re experts in TAC psychological injury claims, and we win over 99% of our cases. Your legal team will take the time to get to know you personally so that we can fully understand the impact of your injuries and present the strongest evidence for your claim.
An accredited specialist in personal injury law and one of the country’s foremost authorities in motor accident compensation claims.
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