Note: Information contained in this blog is for the state of Victoria, Australia.

How much does the TAC pay for pain and suffering?

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When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, the aftermath can be physically, emotionally - and financially - devastating. In Victoria, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) plays a crucial role in providing support and compensation to accident victims. Understanding the compensation process, especially when it comes to claims for pain and suffering, is essential for those affected by such incidents. In this blog post, we'll delve into the topic of how much the TAC pays for pain and suffering and provide insights to help you navigate the complex world of accident compensation.


What is Pain and Suffering?


Pain and suffering, often referred to as non-economic loss, is a term that encompasses the physical and emotional distress experienced by an accident victim. Along with economic loss, it is one of the two forms of compensation available in a common law claim.

 It includes a wide range of factors such as:


Physical pain: This relates to the actual physical discomfort, injuries, and disabilities sustained due to the accident.


Emotional distress: The mental and emotional impact, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other psychological effects of the accident.


Loss of enjoyment of life: This considers the limitations placed on the victim's lifestyle, including their ability to participate in hobbies, sports, and other activities they enjoyed before the accident. If you lost your ability to work your old job, this can sometimes be factored in, even if you got a new job and didn’t suffer any loss income.


How the TAC Compensates for Pain and Suffering


The TAC provides compensation for pain and suffering to accident victims through its common law benefits system. The common law benefits system allows eligible victims to claim compensation beyond medical and like expenses or loss of earnings for time off work. However, it's essential to note that common law claims for pain and suffering are subject to certain conditions, and eligibility criteria must be met.

 To receive compensation for pain and suffering through common law benefits, a claimant typically needs to demonstrate that another party was at fault (or at least partially at fault) in the accident. This means proving negligence on the part of another driver or entity involved in the accident.

They must also demonstrate that they have a “serious injury.” There is more information about this on my blog post about common law claims.


Determining the Amount of Compensation


The amount of compensation for pain and suffering in a TAC claim varies based on the individual circumstances of the claimant.  

In theory, the most anyone can receive in pain and suffering compensation for a TAC claim in Victoria is capped. As at the time of writing, this cap was just under $640,000. However, this is a very high figure, and would typically be reserved for the claimants with the most severe injuries. Pain and suffering compensation more typically comes to $75,000 - $300,000, depending on the extent of the injuries. 

If you have suffered a past loss of earnings and/or anticipate a future loss of earnings, you can sometimes claim for this in addition to your pain and suffering damages.


Factors that may affect the compensation amount include:


The severity of injuries: More severe injuries often result in higher compensation, as they lead to increased pain and suffering.

Duration of suffering: The length of time the victim experiences pain and suffering can influence the compensation amount. 

Impact on daily life: If the injuries significantly affect the victim's daily life, the compensation may be higher.


It's important to consult with a legal professional to understand your specific situation and the potential compensation you may be entitled to. They can help you gather the necessary evidence, file your claim correctly, and negotiate on your behalf to secure the best possible outcome.




The TAC plays a critical role in supporting motor vehicle accident victims in Victoria. When it comes to compensation for pain and suffering, the amount can vary widely based on individual circumstances. The common law benefits system provides a mechanism for victims to claim compensation beyond the statutory benefits, but this process can be complex. Seeking legal advice and guidance – and seeking it early – is essential to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your pain and suffering. Remember that your physical and emotional well-being should be a top priority, and pursuing the compensation you deserve can help you on your road to recovery.

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Scott Millington, the principal lawyer at Millington Legal, is a highly experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in helping clients who have been injured in transport accidents. With a decade of experience in the field, Scott is committed to providing expert legal representation and support throughout the claims process to help his clients get the compensation they deserve.

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