Transport Accident Claims

The Transport Accident Act establishes a scheme providing benefits for
• loss of wages/loss of earning capacity (weekly payments).
• medical and like expenses.
• Impairment benefits for an impairment greater than 10% pursuant to the AMA Impairment Guides.
The Transport Accident Commission (“TAC”) administers the scheme.
In respect to any common law claim and claim for impairment benefits, there is a six year limitation of actions period for institution of proceedings.
You should contact us without delay if you have been injured in a transport accident as it is important to act promptly.
A person injured in a transport accident may be able to bring a common law claim for damages where:
• The person suffers a “serious injury” as defined in the Transport Accident Act; and
• The injuries occurred by reason of the negligence of the driver of a motor vehicle.
Serious Injury
Pursuant to the Transport Accident Act there are two ways by which a person injured in a transport accident can establish a “serious injury” for the purposes of a common law claim:
• If they have an impairment of 30% or greater pursuant to the American Medical Association Guidelines; or
• If they satisfy Section 93 of the Transport Accident Act and are accepted as having either:

o a serious long term impairment or loss of body function;
o a serious permanent disfigurement;
o a severe long term behavioural disturbance or disorder; or
o loss of a foetus.
It is necessary to establish negligence before a common law claim can succeed. Even if negligence can be established, damages may reduced if contributory negligence can be established against the injured person.
Sharon was born and bred in Warrnambool. She completed her Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at Deakin University in Warrnambool in March 2016 and was admitted in November 2016. She began working in the legal industry 20 years ago as a junior and then as a personal injury assistant. Sharon then joined Tony and Pat to form Brown McComish Solicitors in April 2005 as the office manager and now as a solicitor. Sharon mainly works on conveyancing and property matters and has extensive knowledge in sale and purchase of land, transfer of commercial leases, 173 agreements, subdivisions and general property law matters. Sharon has an advanced working knowledge of personal injury litigation and legislation having worked as a personal injury assistant for 15 years before becoming a solicitor. She also practices in family law and drafts wills and powers of attorney. She is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria. Sharon’s crowning achievements are her two daughters who brighten the office when they visit. Her office hours are 9:00am to 3:30pm Tuesday to Friday.
Matt grew up and completed school in Casterton in Victoria’s south west. He completed a Bachelor of Laws at Deakin University in Warrnambool in 2017 and was admitted to the Supreme Court in March 2018. While studying Matt worked in hospitality before obtaining a position at Brown McComish Solicitors in March 2017. After he was admitted Matt then joined the team as a solicitor working closely with Pat McComish on Magistrates’ Court criminal and personal injury matters as well as VOCAT and intervention orders. He is also a member of the Law Institute of Victoria. His office hours are 9:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.
Pat hails from Belfast Northern Ireland where he studied at Christian Brothers Secondary School before moving to Australia in the 1980s. Pat’s interest in personal injury law was influenced by his own personal experiences. Before becoming a solicitor Pat had a variety of manual occupations including but not limited to taxi driver, a painter and decorator at Lord’s Cricket Ground and a security guard. After suffering a workplace injury as a porter in 1988 Pat gained an intimate appreciation of the battles of injured workers during his own struggle for compensation. He returned to complete his secondary education at Box Hill studying part-time as a means to self-improvement but it was his crippling back injury that provided the motivation for a career in law. After realising that his injury would prevent him from a life of manual work he enrolled at Melbourne University where he went to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Criminology and History) and then switching to also complete a Bachelor of Laws. He was admitted to the Supreme Court in 2000. Pat joined Tony as a founding partner of Brown McComish Solicitors in 2005. He maintains a strong empathy for his personal injury clients and is widely known for successfully representing Irish victims of sexual and institutional abuse throughout Australia under the Irish Redress Board Scheme. He is one of the most experienced lawyers in Australia with assisting Irish victims of abuse and he intends to use his experience with the upcoming Australian National Redress Scheme. He is also a proficient advocate in indictable and summary crime having represented clients from pleas in the Magistrates’ Court to trials in the Supreme Court and everything in between. He is a current member of the Victoria Legal Aid summary and indictable crime panels. Pat is always willing to pass on his knowledge and personal experiences to new practitioners and students. This compelled him to become a seasonal lecturer and tutor at Deakin University in Warrnambool focussing on criminal procedure. In his spare time Pat enjoys fishing, watching as much soccer as humanely possible, particularly Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. His office hours are 9:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.

Pat McComish