After her much-anticipated New Year’s plans were scrapped due to COVID restrictions, Siya Khan* decided she would not despair; instead, she would leave on an impromptu solo road trip without a set destination. The Victorian resident left Melbourne just a few days before the new year. She found herself traversing borders into regional South Australia where she, unfortunately, was injured in a road accident.
While turning on a dirt road, Siya lost control of her car, went off the path, and hit a tree. She was alone and stranded somewhere in the middle of the York peninsula on the way to one of the Ports.
“‘Did I hit anyone?’ that was my first thought. I was also worried about paying fines for crashing into trees. I was even more devastated that I wouldn’t have a car anymore. But most importantly, I thought myself lucky to have escaped with only some injuries,” she said.
Siya, while an adventurous woman by nature, had no idea what to do next. Luckily, a motorcyclist riding by on the same route stopped to help her out.
Soon after, she was admitted to a hospital in Adelaide where she made calls to her parents in India, her roommates, co-workers, and friends.
It was on one of those calls that a friend advised her to look up TAC (Transport Accident Commission) and enquire about her eligibility for support.
After a quick phone call, Siya discovered that the Victorian government-run accident commission covered all treatments for personal injuries and even compensated you for any losses you might have faced due to injury to self (reimbursements for medical treatments, compensation for damaged glasses/dentures, income support, etc).
Bear in mind that the government does not pay for damages done to vehicles or other fines drivers might have incurred at the time of an accident, the state only covers expenses related to personal injury.
“I paid fines for the trees that were uprooted in the accident as well as the car insurance excess when I made a claim for my car but paid nothing for my health expenses,” Siya explained.
Regardless of one’s residential status, if the vehicle involved in the accident is a state-registered one, anyone can claim support and compensation for personal injury incurred by the accident.
“It was comforting to know TAC existed and I wouldn’t have to pay out of my pocket and claim back as not a lot of places in this region accept my private insurance for direct billing.
“I will be reimbursed for GP costs and a chest X-ray that I had to do at the hospital. Additionally, if the GP suggests acupuncture and physiotherapy as the medical treatment for my whiplash injury, TAC will pay for that as well, but my private insurance doesn’t cover it,” Siya sighed a sigh of relief.
Moreover, anyone in any state in Australia can contact their respective government-run organisations to claim compensation for personal injuries sustained because of a road/motor accident.
Even if accidents take place in a state different from the state a car is registered in, personal injury claims are possible.
For more information about personal injury claims, the relevant organisations for each state are as follows:
Victoria (VIC)– Transport Accident Commission
New South Wales (NSW) – State Insurance Regulatory Authority
Queensland (QLD) – Motor Accident Insurance Commission
South Australia (SA) – CTP Insurance Regulator
Western Australia (WA) – Insurance Commission of Western Australia
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – Motor Accidents Injuries Commission
Northern Territory (NT) – Motor Accidents Compensation Scheme
Tasmania (TAS) – Motor Accidents Insurance Board
*not her real name