Road accident victims in VIC benefit from changes to Transport Accident Act
24th Sep 2018
People injured in motor vehicle or cycling accidents on Victorian roads, and their families, will have better access to compensation after amendments to the Transport Accident Act (TAA) passed the Victorian Parliament late last week.
“Road accident victims in Victoria will have wider access to benefits to help them manage the significant costs that can arise from an accident,” said Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) Director, Geraldine Collins.
“Importantly cyclists injured in road accidents with stationary vehicles will now be eligible to access Transport Accident Commission (TAC) benefits and this will apply to anyone injured after 9 July 2014. This means any cyclist injured in an accident with a stationary vehicle from that date will be able to lodge a claim and obtain the benefits.
“This amendment to the legislation closes an important loophole that was leaving cyclists un-protected and vulnerable.”
The ALA has welcomed the legislation amendments and commended the Government for its consultation with stakeholders including the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Law Institute of Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
“Now that the amendments have passed through parliament, we look forward to seeing the new laws proclaimed and finalised as soon as possible,” said Geraldine.
Further benefits from the amendments include an increase in the travel and accommodation allowance for family members to attend hospital when someone is injured, and pay income support to parents who need to be by the bedside of their children injured in road accidents.
Other changes include extending family-related benefits to grandparents and extending benefits for dependent children to those completing an apprenticeship.
The amendments will also relax the requirement on the TAC to reassess an injured person’s level of impairment every five years to determine if they are entitled to ongoing loss of earning capacity benefits.
“This will significantly reduce the stress and indignity associated with undergoing medical examinations every five years, amid fears their payments could be terminated,” said Geraldine.
Also under the changes, professional Administrators will now be able to claim expenses incurred in managing the funds paid to the Administrator by the TAC on behalf of any injured person who is unable to manage their own finances. To date, these people have had to bear the costs of such professional services themselves.