Transport Accident Act 1986 (review and original jurisdiction)

This page provides general information and shouldn't be considered legal advice. Seek legal advice if you're unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change.

VCAT can review certain decisions made by Transport Accident Commission (TAC) under the Transport Accident Act 1986.

How to submit TAC documents

For active TAC cases opened after 1 January 2014, submit documents online.

For all other cases, you can submit documents by email, post or in person.

Cases we can hear

You may be able to apply to VCAT for a review if your interests are affected by a TAC decision on a TAC claim. Claims are lodged as a result of injuries or loss suffered due to a transport accident. Transport accidents may be caused by the driving of a car, motorcycle, other motor vehicle, train or tram.

You can apply for a VCAT review if you're affected by any of the following decisions about:

  • the degree of impairment you sustained from a transport accident (section 47(7B))
  • a rejection of your eligibility to claim compensation (section 70(3)(b))
  • any other decision made by the TAC, such as a declaration, determination, direction or order or any dispute about an individual funding agreement or a proposed agreement (section 77(1) and (3))
  • a refusal to authorise you as a person or service (section 23(3)).

Cases we can't help with

We can’t accept some cases where one party lives in another state or is a Commonwealth government organisation.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

Sections 23(3), 47(7B), 70(3)(b), 77(1) and 77(3) of the Transport Accident Act 1986

Documents you need to apply

Attach a decision letter from the TAC to your application, except if the dispute is about an individual funding agreement or a proposed agreement.

If the original decision was the subject of a 'pre-issue review' under the protocols, you should provide a copy of both the original decision and the decision after the review was completed.

Protocols mean the No Fault Resolution Protocols agreed between the TAC, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Australian Lawyers Alliance on 1 March 2005, which is amended from time to time.

Time limits

For most decisions, you must apply within 12 months of the decision.

If the decision was subject to an application for pre-issue review under the Protocols, you must apply within 3 months of TAC notifiying your of its decision.

If you're applying to VCAT due to a dispute about an individual funding agreement or a proposed agreement, you must file your application within 3 months of the dispute arising.

If you apply outside of the time limit, VCAT cannot extend the time for making an application. 

What can VCAT order?

Unless the Act gives VCAT different powers, we can:

  • affirm the original decision, in which case it will not be changed
  • vary the decision
  • set aside the decision and substitute our own decision
  • set aside the decision and send back the matter for reconsideration by the TAC giving directions or recommendations
  • invite the TAC to reconsider their decision at any time during the case. TAC is automatically required to reconsider its decisions when an application is lodged with VCAT under section 77 of the Act. TAC may require you to provide further information to facilitate its reconsideration of your case.

Additional Information

Legal representation in reviews under this Act

While you don't need to be legally represented, many applicants seeking review of TAC decisions choose to obtain legal representation, which may be available on a 'no win no fee' basis.

When applying, negotiations often happen under the No Fault Resolution Protocols. These Protocols govern settlement negotiations between solicitors and the TAC.

For more information, see VCAT's practice note on Transport Accident Proceedings.

Be aware that, in review matters, the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.

Find legal services that may be able to assist you.

Stay of application

VCAT will usually stay an application for review of a TAC decision, which means the case is put on hold and we take no further action until parties ask for further orders. This is because section 77 of the Transport Accident Act 1986 gives TAC time to reconsider its decision before VCAT may act.

Can legal costs be awarded against me?

Yes. In TAC matters, legal costs can be awarded against an applicant in some circumstances. VCAT can order a party to pay the legal costs incurred by the other party, if it is just to do so.

In making an order for costs, we may consider any failure by an applicant to provide information required by the TAC to progress the review.

VCAT may also consider any settlement offers made throughout the course of the case. If a settlement offer is made by a party and not accepted by the other party, we may decide that the party who made the offer is entitled to all costs incurred after the offer was made. We will consider if the offer was more favourable than the orders made to finalise a case.

Apply

We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We can't give you legal advice. This means we can't tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you're unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You don't need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you want to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.

Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.

Find legal services that may be able to assist you.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.