How do automobile accident claims work in Australia?

PUBLISHED 18 Dec 2019

Auto accidents are ubiquitous across Australia, from Melbourne to Sydney to Perth. Some are serious, some barely leave a scratch – but almost all involve some kind of expense. According to a 2017 report to the Australian Parliament, the recent average cost per minor auto accident injury was $3,057. The average cost for a serious injury was more than $310,000.

If you’re involved in a road accident that leaves you physically or psychologically injured, you may be able to receive compensation for medical treatment, rehabilitation, loss of wages, emotional trauma and damage to the vehicle itself. To do this, you’ll need to file a claim.

Here’s how it works.

Make a claim
How you make a claim will change a little from state to state in specifics – in Victoria, you’ll need to lodge a TAC claim. This can be done over the phone, and you’ll need to provide specific information about the accident. Be sure to have this on hand:

  • Where and how the accident happened
  • Any specific injuries you sustained
  • Any witnesses to the accident
  • Whether the police attended, and if not the date that the accident was reported to the police. Be sure to include station and officer names.
  • Your doctor, or the healthcare professional who attended to your injuries
  • Details regarding any time off work in excess of five days due to the accident
  • Banking details

If your accident occurred on or as a result of public transport, you’ll need additional information as well.

How will the claim be proven?
The above information will be essential to making your case. However, you can supplement all of this with additional information, all of which a legal team can help assemble. This may go beyond medical reports and any financial records indicating loss of earnings. For instance, a psychological evaluation indicating trauma resulting from the accident may prove important, as well as estimates of long-term medical care such as physical therapy or treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the event of a death
The absolute worst-case scenario for anyone is the loss of a loved one. On top of the emotional burden, there’s the financial one. This is where a claim can help.

The emotional trauma of an accident increases dramatically with the loss of a loved one, and the costs increase with that too. If the deceased was a major financial earner in the family, the loss of that income and support can be debilitating. Lump-sum payments can reduce the toll.

If you have been hurt or have lost a loved one in a road accident and want to discuss claims, please get in touch with Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation Lawyers Victoria.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.