The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) introduced its ‘Supplementary Common Law Protocols’last year, as part of its strategy to get individuals back on the road to recovery sooner.In certain cases, these Protocols have streamlined the common law damages claims process through the implementation of ‘Serious Injury Fast Track Applications’.
When can a Serious Injury Fast Track Application be made?
These fast track applications can only be made if:
- You have sustained catastrophic or clearly demonstrable serious injuries as a result of a transport accident. Examples of these cases include where the individual has undergone an amputation, joint replacement, suffered significant spinal injuries, an acquired brain injury or gross scarring;
- Your legal representatives participate in the Protocols;
- You have not lodged an Impairment Benefit claim;
- You were not involved in a transport accident arising out of or in the course of employment; and
- It is clear that negligence can be proven against another party.
What is the usual process for pursuing common law damages?
An individual who has sustained a “serious” injury can pursue common law damages for pain and suffering, and economic loss.
Step One – Lodge a Serious Injury Application to the TAC for the purposes of obtaining a Serious Injury Certificate. This certificate is required to pursue common law damages.
The TAC’s usual timeframe for assessing Serious Injury Applications is45 days from receiving the application.
Step Two – Once this certificate is granted, it must be established that another party caused your injuries and was negligent.
Step Three – Arrange a conference with the TAC to resolve your common law claim. If your matter does not resolve, Court proceedings must be initiated.
How have Fast Track Applications streamlined the damages process?
For Fast Track Applications, the TAC will advise within 14 days of receiving the application whether a Serious Injury Certificate is granted. Within 28 days of the certificate being granted, a conference must be arranged for the purposes of negotiating a lump sum.
These expedited applications now mean that catastrophically injured individuals receive access to restorative justice in a timely manner.
Maxiom Injury Lawyers are proud to participate in the TAC protocols. We will do everything we can for you to receive your lump sum compensation without any unnecessary delay. If you have been involved in a transport accident, please contact us on 1800 853 085 for advice about your rights and entitlements.