Elita Gluscevic
June 20, 2024

Comprehensive Guide to TAC and Joint Medical Examinations

Have you recently been injured in a transport accident? Understanding the role of the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and the Joint Medical Examination (JME) guidelines is crucial in such cases.

tac and joint medical examination

The outcome of the joint medical exam is a key factor in determining the compensation awarded to the injured party. Importantly, the medico-legal assessment is conducted impartially, independent of both the claimant and the TAC. The TAC prioritises the claimant’s interests during the JME, aiming to ensure a fair and accurate evaluation.

Nevertheless, navigating the JME process can be complex, and you might have several questions. At Lex Medicus, we are equipped to guide you through every step of this process. Our team includes medical examiners who are not only suitably qualified but also possess the necessary accreditation for handling impairment claims.

How Does A JME Work?

A Joint Medical Examination (JME) is a medico-legal assessment, an Independent Medical Examination (IME) that has been jointly requested by both the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and client’s lawyers for the assessment of transport accident injuries.

While your legal team requests the examination, the Transport Accident Commission has to approve the assessment and medical expert used. The medical reports are released to both parties. However, the TAC pays for the assessments and can ask the health practitioner any questions about the examination.

A JME is quite different from any other IME. It can save the injured people from the stress of having to take multiple examinations. The JME is also paid for and acceptable in court proceedings. It could reduce disputes over your TAC claim. You only have to request a JME and go for your assessment appointment.

Who Does the JME?

Independent medical examiners conduct Joint Medical Examinations. These examiners are qualified medical experts who have the medical training and particular expertise in joint reports.

Note that your treating doctor cannot do the examination and assessment. For your JME to be valid, the examiner has to be an independent expert witness. Your doctor cannot play this role because of their connection to you.

However, your treating doctor would have submitted all related evidence to your claim before the exam. Your doctor can also submit a supplementary report if it would prove helpful to your claim. Supplementary reports cannot replace the efficacy of a JME, though.

What Do the Medical Examiners Do?

The purpose of your JME is to support your compensation claim from the Transport Accident Commission. It is not to get treatment.

medical records

The Medico-Legal expert will examine you, write the joint report, and answer any additional questions asked by your lawyers or the TAC. There should be no medical advice concerning your treatment.

In cases where relevant, the examiner might also have to assess your level of impairment from your traffic accident injuries. This assessment would be according to the American Medical Association (AMA) guides.

The JME Process

The Transport Accident Commission looks out for the interests of the injured person during the JME process. After the appointment, the medico-legal specialist puts the assessments into writing and sends the report to your legal team and the TAC. It can take up to 3 weeks for this report to be ready.

Once your legal team has received the report, they will contact you to discuss it. The examiner’s assessment of your traffic accident injuries will determine the next steps to take in your case.

What If I Miss My JME Appointment?

You should endeavour not to miss your JME appointment. If you are late or can’t make the appointment, you should let your lawyers know as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will have to pay a cancellation or non-attendance fee.

If you cancel the appointment at least five days before, you might be exempted from the fee. It would be best to let your lawyers know as soon as possible so that your JME can be rescheduled. Usually, JMEs are scheduled months in advance, so you should have enough time to plan to attend.

How Long Does A JME Last?

A Joint Medical Exam should not take all your time. Depending on the assessment to be done, it can take anything from thirty minutes to three hours.

If time is of real concern to you, you can speak with your TAC claim lawyer. They will help you understand the timing and prepare for the transport accident injury assessment.

Will TAC Pay for Travel and Lost Income?

The Transport Accident Commission can pay for your travel arrangements within reasonable bounds. All you have to do is fill out the claim on the app or get the Travel Reimbursement Form and submit it to TAC.

In some circumstances, the Transport Accident Commission can give an allowance for lost income if you have to take time off work to make the appointment. You would have to submit proof of the lost income to TAC to support your claim.

What and Who Should You Take for a JME?

All relevant medical records and reports would have been sent to the medico-legal expert before the JME. However, you can still take additional material with you to the appointment. Some examiners might require that you bring your reading glasses to the examination.

You can bring a support person to your appointment. Minors should have their parent or guardian with them. However, this person cannot speak on your behalf or interrupt you. Some examiners might request that this person stay outside during the exam.

In cases where English is not your first language, a qualified interpreter can be arranged to attend to you. If you have a hearing impairment, you can get a sign language interpreter.

What Happens If the JME Doesn’t Go Well?

If you disagree with the JME report, you can consult with your lawyers to know what you can do. There might still be sufficient time to get an Independent Medical Exam.

Sometimes, you might feel like you didn’t get to say everything you wanted to say or didn’t expect certain questions that were asked. There are also rare occasions where you feel like the examiner is dismissive or rude.

On such occasions, you don’t have to worry. Wait till the report is out. However, if the report doesn’t seem to favour your case, your lawyers will know the next steps to take.

At Lex Medicus, our medico-legal specialists can match your specific needs for the JME. Our experts are trained and have the qualifications and experience necessary to get approval from TAC. We have over 200 medical experts spanning over 45 specialities.

Book a consultation with us today!

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