I was in a car accident. Can I make a TPD claim and also receive car accident compensation?

Published 12 May 2015

Serious car accidents often result in injuries that can prevent you from working, lower your quality of life and significantly affect your financial health.

Even relatively minor problems, such as whiplash, may result in time off work, pain and discomfort. However, a particularly bad crash could lead to a partial or total disability for the rest of your life.

Not only could this permanently stop you from returning to the workplace, you may require extensive medical treatment and suffer both long-term physical and psychological damage.

What many people don't know is that they could be eligible for a payout under a range of different claims.

For example, the Motor Accidents Compensation Act covers people who have been involved in a car accident. But someone who suffers a total and permanent disability (TPD) in the same crash may also be eligible for a separate TPD claim.

How does this work?

When you are injured in a car accident, the motor vehicle insurer is typically responsible for paying compensation if your case is successful.

However, you may also have your own coverage for a total and permanent disability, either as part of a standalone insurance policy or through your superannuation agreement - or both.

A total and permanent disability can have a significant impact on your life, so the resulting payments can be substantial. In fact, they are commonly in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars range.

The complexity of many injury compensation cases means hiring a seasoned superannuation lawyer is always recommended. This is particularly true if you're confused about what benefits you're entitled to receive.

What are the next steps?

Insurance companies may try a number of tactics to avoid paying out on a TPD claim, especially if you don't have adequate legal representation to fight your corner.

To succeed you will often have to be classified as totally disabled, which may involve different criteria depending on the wording of your policy.

Nevertheless, the submission of a doctor's report confirming the status of your injury and the effect it has on your daily life is usually mandatory. You will also have to show that the disability has prevented you from pursuing a job that your experience, training and education enable you to perform.

If you're unsure about how to proceed with your superannuation dispute, please contact our specialist law firm to discuss your case.

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