If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, it?s important to contact a motor vehicle accident claims lawyer as soon as possible. Even though it?s hard to think straight when you?re stressed, shaken, and potentially injured, early engagement of a lawyer can save you time and money down the track.
Whether you?re a pedestrian involved in a car accident, or you?re responsible for an accident, a motor vehicle accident claims lawyer can help. Here?s why you need a lawyer in your corner after an accident:
To help determine if you?re eligible for compensation
Involvement in a car accident involves countless scenarios, many of which make you eligible for compensation. In many cases, eligibility relies on fault. In Victoria though, the TAC or Transport Accident Commission operates as a no-fault scheme. That means regardless of who caused a transport accident, the TAC is able to support you with medical and rehabilitation costs as well as, in some instances, income support. However, in many cases, by working with a lawyer, you may be eligible for more compensation on top of TAC.
Car accidents can include a number of different scenarios. If you have been in any of these situations, you may be eligible for compensation:
- A driver or passenger injured in a motor vehicle or motorcycle accident, no matter the cause, and even if the vehicle is unidentified or unregistered
- Claiming for a child injured in a road or transport accident
- A pedestrian or cyclist injured by a vehicle
- A passenger injured on a tram, train, bus or any other public transport
- A road user injured when taking evasive action trying to avoid a road accident
- Involved in a single vehicle accident
- A family member who has suffered psychological trauma
- A worker injured in a road or public transport accident while travelling for work, or commuting to and from work, including on the road or off-road. For example, a tractor, quad bike or forklift accident
Plus, since 2018, some Victorian cyclists involved in collisions with stationary vehicles may also be eligible for TAC benefits and compensation.
It?s important to realise there is no black and white rule that dictates compensation though, so the only way to know if you?re eligible to compensation on top of TAC is to engage a lawyer to act for you.
Importantly, if you?re involved in a car accident in Victoria, a compensation claim to TAC must be submitted within 12 months of the accident. TAC uses their discretion on claims up to three years, but if you haven?t lodged your claim within three years, you?re not entitled to any TAC benefits.
You weren?t at fault
When you engage a lawyer, fault in a car accident can determine compensation above and beyond what the TAC allocates. To claim damages exceeding compensation from TAC, you can take out a common law claim. No fault claims are the most successful, and your lawyer?s job is to show someone else was negligent and therefore to blame.
For example, if another driver ran a red light, they would be to blame. Many law firms will not charge you any out of pocket expenses to act in no fault claims, as all payments come from the at-fault party?s insurer. Once you contact a lawyer, you fill out a claim?s form and Authority to Act form, take your car to the repair shop, and leave the rest to the lawyers. Great law firms will work behind the scenes, negotiating with the at fault party?s insurer for you. Then you?ll get your car back good as new with no out of pocket expenses.
In some cases though, both parties are to blame, in which case liability is allocated on a percentage basis by a judge, called ?contributory negligence.? You can still make a claim, but you will not be awarded full damages.
You?re injured and can?t return to work
Injuries sustained in car accidents can range from whiplash to shock and more severe and fatal outcomes. If you become injured in a car accident and you live in Victoria, you are eligible for TAC, but you may need some help as the process can be baffling, particularly when recovering. Great law firms help injured people manage the legal process of TAC claims, and help you get the best result possible. They will help you every step of the way from the initial paperwork, through to the final outcome.
If you?re injured in a car accident, as mentioned above, your lawyer may also seek compensation on top of TAC?s compensation. This can include future losses: An estimate calculated due to your inability to work. Your lawyer may also seek general damages and special damage compensation for you and can include everything from pain and suffering caused to medical expenses, travel expenses, rehab and others.
Whether you?re a pedestrian involved in a car accident, or you?re a motorist involved in a collision, hiring a lawyer as soon after your accident as possible is the best way to ensure all your responsibilities and paperwork is completed, plus maximise your compensation possibilities.
Written by Aandi Lawyers