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Public Transport Accident Claims Victoria

Have you been injured in a public transport accident involving a train, tram or a bus? We're the legal experts that can help you get compensation for your injuries and loss of earnings. Continue reading on to discover your rights.

Public Transport Accident Claims in Victoria including Trams Trains and Buses by Arnold Dallas McPherson Injury Lawyers
Public Transport Accident involving a tram in Melbourne CBD

Thousands of Victorians use public transport every day. Unfortunately, sometimes accidents occur, and people can be injured whilst using a tram, train or bus.

If you are injured in a public transport accident involving a train, tram or a bus, you may be entitled to compensation from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).

For a TAC claim to be accepted, your injuries must have been caused by the driving of a motor vehicle. For example, you will be covered by the TAC if your injury was the result of a train driver’s sudden breaking or quick acceleration, or if the vehicle you are travelling on is hit by another motor vehicle.

Common injuries sustained in public transport accidents include:

  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Psychological injuries
  • Lacerations/scarring

What types of compensation can I claim?

A. No Fault Benefits

You do not need to prove that the public transport accident was the fault of another party to access the below listed benefits:

1. Medical and Like Expenses

The TAC will cover the reasonable cost of medical and like expenses following your public transport accident injury. You must demonstrate a link between the required treatment and the public transport accident injury. Common services include:

  • Hospital and ambulance fees
  • Medication
  • X-rays and scans
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation, such as physiotherapy and osteopathy
  • Mental health treatment
  • Travel and accommodation for medical treatment

2. Loss of Earnings

The TAC can cover loss of earnings if you cannot fulfill your previous duties or return to work following a public transport accident. Similar to medical and like expenses, you must prove a connection between the accident and your decrease in wages.

The TAC will pay 80% of your pre-accident weekly earnings or the prescribed minimum weekly amount. If you return to work on a part time basis the TAC will pay 85% of the difference between your pre-accident earnings and your current reduced weekly earnings.

3. Impairment Benefit Claim

If you have suffered a permanent injury, you may be entitled to a lump sum payment known as an Impairment Benefit (IB). This involves an assessment of your permanent whole person impairment independent medical practitioners in accordance with special guidelines once your injuries have stabilised. You will only be eligible for an IB if your impairment rating is 11% or greater.


You have 12 months post-accident or from the date you first discovered the injury to lodge a claim form with the TAC. However, the TAC has a discretionary period of up to 3 years from the date of the accident in which they may accept your claim.

B. Common Law (Fault Based) Claim

You may be entitled to common law damages for pain and suffering and loss of earnings if you can prove that the public transport accident was the fault of another party, and that you have sustained a “Serious Injury”.

Under s.93(17) of the Transport Accident Act a “Serious Injury” is defined as:

  • Permanent impairment of 30% or more assessed by an independent medical practitioner, or
  • Serious long term impairment of a body function, or
  • Permanent serious disfigurement, or
  • Severe long term mental or behavioural disturbance or disorder, or
  • Loss of a foetus.

If your lifestyle has been impacted by the public transport accident, such as your ability to carry out pre-work duties and perform activities of daily living, you may also satisfy the requirements of a serious injury.

The TAC have a system to conference your case prior to having to issue a Court proceeding to pursue your common law rights. Most common law claims settle without the need to go to Court.


You have 6 years post-accident or from the date you first discovered the injury to initiate a common law claim by lodging a Serious Injury application in the County Court of Victoria. In limited circumstances, the Court may allow proceedings after the 6 year period has lapsed.

Steps to take if you've been injured in a public transport accident

Step 1 – We encourage you seek medical treatment at your GP or nearest hospital, regardless of the severity of your injuries. 

Call emergency services on 000 if urgent medical treatment is needed or if you require services at the accident scene.

Step 2Record details of the accident, including the contact information of any witnesses.

The information you need to gather includes:

  1. The destination of the bus, tram or train
  2. The number of the bus, tram or train
  3. The date and time of the accident
  4. The registration details of any vehicles involved in the incident

Step 3Report the accident to both the police and the relevant public transport operators.

Phone assistance
Press #1 then hold for main PT menu, then press #5

Step 4Contact the TAC on 1300 654 329, online, or through the hospital providing urgent medical treatment to lodge your claim.

You should lodge a claim within 12 months of an accident. After 12 months, the Transport Accident Commission has the discretion whether to accept your claim. TAC claims cannot be accepted after three years have passed from the date of an accident.

Information you will need for you lodge a TAC Claim:

  1. An incident report number you received when you reported the incident to the public transport operator
  2. You will also need written details of your accident injury from a healthcare professional, such as a hospital discharge summary (if you were hospitalised), a medical certificate or a letter from a doctor or allied health professional. 
  3. Your information that you’ve gathered in Step 3 of the process of gathering evidence 
  4. You will also need the contact details of the health professionals you saw for your treatment. 
  5. If you’ve had more than 5 days off work (or you need more) due to your accident, you will need to provide your employment details in the lodgment form 

Step 5 – Seek legal advice

If your public transport accident injury is serious enough, you may want to seek legal help from a TAC Lawyer who specialises in TAC Accident Claims. The legal field of transport accidents is quite a complex area of law, and only after speaking to an expert personal injury lawyer  will you know whether you may have a compensation claim for your injuries. 

Keep in mind that you have a 12-month window in which you can make a TAC claim, you are generally not allowed to make any further claims.

Legal Costs

Legal costs can be expensive, but we will do all we can to help. What we can do includes:

  • Free first interview
  • No charges until you win (in approved cases). Please discuss what this means at our first interview.
  • Paying for medical reports, Court fees, and other expenses (in approved cases).

We will discuss costs in detail with you at our first interview. We will always answer your questions about costs. We will clearly advise you of the total costs when you come to settle your claim, and pride ourselves on being able to be clear as to what you will receive in hand, after payment of costs, before you settle your case.

We're the legal firm that's there for you

Making a claim can be stressful and confusing. Thankfully, the experts at Arnold Dallas McPherson are here to assist you in dealing with the TAC and where possible obtaining lump sum compensation for your injuries.

We provide services on a No Win, No Fee basis and have helped injured Victorians obtain compensation for almost 30 years. If you have been injured in a public transport accident, our experienced lawyers at Arnold Dallas McPherson can guide you through this process, providing you with expert advice and assistance.

Got any questions?

Our TAC Accident Injury Lawyers are here and ready to answer any of your questions.

Tell us about your injury

Reach out to one of our Personal Injury Lawyers and they will respond to you as soon as possible.

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