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You have been involved in a transport accident. One of the first questions you might be thinking is whether you are entitled to any lump sum compensation? And if so, how much compensation? This is often one of the first questions we get asked by our clients who have been involved in a transport accident.
The answer to these questions depends on various factors including:
– Your level of Whole Person Impairment (‘WPI’)
– Whether you were at fault for the accident
– Whether your injuries meet the definition of a ‘serious injury’.
There are two types of lump sum compensation which may be available to people who have been injured in a transport accident and have suffered a permanent physical or psychological condition:
A one-off lump sum payment known as impairment benefits is available to you if you have sustained at least 11% WPI. In order to be entitled to this payment your injuries will need to be assessed by an independent medico-legal doctor.
Before your impairment can be assessed by a medico-legal doctor, your injuries must be considered to have stabilised. This means that your condition is unlikely to change (improve or deteriorate) significantly over time with or without medical treatment. This can generally take 12-18 months from the date of the accident, depending on your injuries.
This impairment benefit is made in addition to other benefits and payments which you may receive from the Transport Accident Commission (‘TAC’) such as medical treatment expenses and income support. Injured people are also entitled to this payment regardless of whether they were at fault or not for the transport accident, provided they are not convicted of an offence in relation to the accident.
The amount of compensation you will be entitled to will depend on your assessed level of WPI. We will determine when your injuries have reached the point of stabilisation and when it is a good time to have your injuries assessed. We will then arrange for you to be assessed by our panel of independent medico-legal doctors and request that the TAC fund these assessments for you.
Upon the completion of these medical assessments, the TAC will then use the reports from the independent doctors to assess your impairment rating. We will ensure that they have correctly assessed your impairment rating so that you receive the correct compensation for your injuries.
In addition to the above, you may also be entitled to an additional and significant lump sum payment, known as common law damages, if:
a) Someone else was at fault for the accident (or partly at fault); AND
b) Your injuries meet the definition of a ‘serious injury’ (as defined by the Transport Accident Act 1986). For more information on what constitutes a ‘serious injury’ see “Victoria Transport accidents TAC claim: What is a serious injury?”.
This will entitle you to a single lump sum for pain and suffering damages and loss of past and future loss of earnings. The amount you will be entitled to will depend on your injury and the impact it has had on your life and work capacity.
This is a complexed legal process which requires a serious injury application to be lodged with the TAC. It involves the gathering of evidence and preparation of sworn affidavits and statements to support your application. There are also limits and thresholds to the amount of compensation you can claim so it is crucial that you have a personal injury lawyer on your side to ensure that you are not disadvantaged and fairly compensated.
If you would like some tailored legal advice regarding your lump sum compensation entitlements, get in touch with us today for a FREE claims assessment. Our TAC expert, Julia Nguyen, can provide you with a free initial consultation and will work with you to understand your unique situation and guide you through the entire process.
We can assist you with your claim on a “No Win, No Fee” basis and will also cover any disbursements incurred throughout your claim so that you have no upfront payments.