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

TAC claims for children

Young girl smiles with a bandaid over her face

Motor vehicle accidents can happen to anyone – including, tragically, our most vulnerable – children.

Children – that is, people under 18 – can get all of the same entitlements that adults can. Children can even claim loss of earnings, if they were working at the time of their accident! There are however, a few key differences between claims for adults and children.

First, children have longer to make a TAC claim than adults do. While adults only have one year from the date of their accident to make a claim (though the TAC can sometimes accept claims up to three years after an accident), people who suffer an injury from a motor vehicle accident as a child can make a claim any time before they turn 21 years of age.

However, I don’t recommend relying on this! Evidence of an accident or an injury can disappear over the years, making lodging a claim much trickier. If your child has been injured in an accident, you should lodge a claim right away.

Second, children have different rights when it comes to the “impairment benefit” (see more here). Children can’t get the impairment benefit– however, they do become eligible as soon as they turn 18. Until then, the parent or guardian of the child can access a small weekly payment called the “Minors’ Additional Benefit.” It’s typically a small benefit (usually around $20- $40 a week), and is provided to the parent to help care for the injured child. This is not supposed to cover medical expenses –parents should be claiming all of their medical expenses for their injured child directly through the TAC, in addition to this benefit.

Last, common law cases for children are generally more complex, and settlements require court approval. For this reason, many parents of children who have been injured in accidents choose to wait until their child is eighteen, so the child can settle the case themselves without the need for court approval. However, this does not mean you should wait until then before engaging a lawyer! Evidence in your child’s claim will be more difficult (and expensive) to collect as time goes on. I strongly recommend that the parents of injured children speak to a lawyer as soon as they can, to ensure their children’s rights are protected.

If your child has been injured in a transport accident, reach out today for a free, confidential discussion.

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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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