In the past, victims of road accidents with catastrophic injuries would be subjected to the same process to obtain compensation from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) as individuals with minor injuries.
Some law firms had unofficially started to approach the TAC and request that they fast-track certain applications for compensation. However an ad hoc approach was taken by the TAC and there were no clear guidelines on when an application could be expedited.
In January 2020, the TAC launched their new “Supplementary Common Law Protocols” which officially streamlines the process for claiming compensation for victims of catastrophic road accidents who have suffered clearly serious injuries where the accident was the fault of another party. This usually encompasses injuries such as quadriplegia, paraplegia, loss of a limb, blindness and spinal fusions, although they are not limited to these injuries.
These new Protocols provide that the TAC will make a decision regarding whether an individual has a “Serious Injury” within 28 days of the fast-track application being submitted. If the TAC agree that an individual has a “Serious Injury”, arrangements for a conference to resolve the compensation claim will then be made in the next 28 days. The new protocols also allow for partial or interim payments of compensation to be made to individuals in some circumstances while their claim is still being finalised.
Since the introduction of these protocols, the TAC have received 68 fast-track applications, with 21 of those individuals receiving a decision from the TAC within 3 days!
Whilst time will still be required for lawyers to gather initial medical information regarding the extent of an individual’s injuries, this new process has been greatly welcomed as it has reduced the overall time taken for a compensation claim for individuals with catastrophic injuries.
If you or a loved one have been injured on the road, our lawyers can guide you through the TAC compensation process, including the fast track application option. Obtain free advice from one of our expert transport accident lawyers on (03) 9321 9704 so you can focus on what is truly important – your recovery.