Personal Injury Law

Motor Vehicle Accidents on Private Property

Riding motor bikes or driving vehicle on farms or in the bush often results in accidents and raises the question of whether injuries that result from those accidents are covered by the TAC.

This question was dealt with recently by VCAT when a claim was lodged and denied for injuries sustained when a young man had an accident when riding his motor bike on a private property.1

The legislation that governs claims for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents excludes accidents involving unregistered motor vehicle accidents on private land.

Both terms are defined and the Senior Member at VCAT decided that the “TAC is not liable to pay compensation in respect of a person who is injured as a result of a transport accident involving the driving of an unregistered motor vehicle on private land”.

There was no doubt that the motor bike had never been registered so the case was essentially concerned with whether the accident had occurred on private land.

The criteria to find that land was not private property were set out as;

  • Whether the area, while not a road, was open to the public for driving riding or parking;
  • Whether the area, while not a road, was used by the public for driving riding or parking;
  • Whether members of the public were allowed to enter the area without permission;
  • Whether members of the public were allowed to remain in the area without permission.

It was found that while the property owner allowed certain people to use the land for activities involving motor bikes, it was not open to everyone and was “not a highway and member of the public may not enter or may not remain on it without permission”.

There have been many cases where people find they are not covered by TAC for injuries they suffer when participating in recreational motor vehicle activities, however in some cases there may be other avenues through which compensation can be claimed.

If you would like further information about your eligibility to claim for an injury suffered as a result of a motor vehicle accident contact Wendy Kleyn on (03) 9670 5999 for advice.

  1. Nunn v Transport Accident Commission [2016] VCAT 2025

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