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

What to do if you’re struggling at work after a transport accident

Man bent over in exhaustion near a barrel of paint

Does this story sound familiar to you?

You were in a car accident, but you thought you were okay. Your neck – or maybe your back, or your knees – hurt. But just a little. You said no to a trip to the hospital and went home to rest.

The next day, you ached all over. But after a few days, things started to improve, so you went back to work. And that’s when your struggles really began.

This story – or something like it – is a story that plays out everyday for people injured in transport accidents in Victoria. Not everyone in an accident is injured, and some people walk away without any treatment at all. Others are so obviously injured that they get all the treatment they need right away at the hospital. But for some, they can think they are okay in the moment, while filled with adrenaline - when in reality, they're not.

Knowing Your Rights After a Transport Accident

It can be hard to know what to do in these circumstances, but the first step is knowing your right to medical expenses, and if necessary, time off from work to recover from your injuries.

If you have not done so already, you should speak to your general practitioner about your struggles and seek their advice about what the best course of action for your injuries is.

Taking Action: Medical Expenses, Time Off, and Compensation

There are strict time limits that can apply to lodging a TAC claim, so if you don't have one yet, now is the time to lodge. Once your claim is accepted, the TAC can fund all sorts of medical treatment, including “soft” therapies like physiotherapy, myotherapy, and hydrotherapy, to assist you in your recovery.

If your general practitioner recommends that you take some time off from work, I recommend that you listen to their advice. The TAC can normally pay for time off work at 80% of your pre-injury rate, after the first five days off. If taking those five days off without pay would cause extreme financial hardship, sometimes the TAC can pay for those as well.

If your injuries cause you to change the way you work – for example, different duties or fewer hours – you may also be able to make a common law claim for compensation, to compensate you for needing to make this change, including loss of income (if applicable). Additional important time limits apply to these claims.

If you're not sure about your legal rights and the best path forward, I recommend you book in for a free consult today to discuss your individual circumstances and receive personalised advice.

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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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