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Compensation for Car Accident in Victoria

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Compensation Claims for Victorian car accidents

If you suffer injuries in a car accident in Victoria and someone else is at fault, or partly at fault, you may be able to make a common law claim for compensation.

A common law claim is a claim for compensation for:

  • pain and suffering
  • loss of enjoyment of life
  • past and future loss of earnings

A common law claim for compensation generally requires bringing court proceedings against the person who is at fault.

'Serious injury'

In Victoria, you cannot claim common law compensation unless you have suffered a ‘serious injury’. A ‘serious injury’ is typically defined as a level of permanent impairment of 30% or greater, however, the injury may still be ‘serious’ if it involves:

  • serious, long-term impairment or loss of a body function;  or
  • permanent serious disfigurement;  or
  • severe long-term mental or severe long‑term behavioural disturbance or disorder;  or
  • loss of a foetus

Each case must be viewed on its particular facts. The ‘serious injury’ test is a very complex legal process and you should seek advice from an expert TAC lawyer as to whether or not you will satisfy the test.

Car Accident Fault

Even if the accident was partly your fault, you may still be able to bring a common law claim for compensation if you can show that the other person’s negligence was a cause of your accident. However, the level of contributory negligence found against you, if any, will proportionately reduce your common law settlement.

In Victoria, the TAC is, in most cases, the compensation payer on behalf of the person at fault. This means that although you are suing the person responsible for your accident, the TAC will indemnify that person and pay any settlement sum owing to you. 

Compensation awards

There are maximum and minimum compensation entitlements in Victoria.  The Court cannot award damages for either pain and suffering or economic loss where either assesses at less than a specified minimum sum, or above a specified maximum. The maximum and minimum compensation sums change every year.

Benefits to dependents of a deceased person

If a person dies in a car accident in Victoria as a result of the negligence of another person or party, a common law claim for compensation can be made by the dependants of the deceased person. This is in addition to the benefits available to dependents under the no-fault compensation scheme. 

Time limits

In Victoria, there is a six year limitation period on bringing a common law compensation claim. In some exceptional cases, the Court may grant an extension of time. You should seek legal advice about bringing a common law claim for compensation as soon as possible.

 

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**Our solicitors provide advice on claims that involve personal injuries. They do not provide advice on claims that involve vehicle or property damage only.

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