Transport Accidents refer to injuries sustained during the operation of personal and commercial motor vehicles, bicycles, trams, and motorbikes. Transport Accidents can affect the drivers of vehicles, pedestrians, bystanders, and responders to accidents. Transport Accidents can affect many people, and we are all at risk of experiencing one in our lives, due to the extent to which we are dependent on road-based transportation to engage with the spatial demands of our lives. Given this dependent relationship between cars and the community, the Transport Accident Commission was established in 1987, to provide compensation "in respect of persons who are injured or die as a result of transport accidents."
A key feature of the Act establishing the Transport Accident Commission, being the Transport Accident Act 1986, was the combination of no-fault and common law benefits. The term "No Fault" means that care is provided regardless of who was at fault in an accident, a concept which first emerged in 1971 with the establishment of the Road Accident Hospital Accounts Committee, or the RAHAC, which paid 70% of an injured person's hospital bills through two insurers (SIO and RACV) before compensation matters were considered by the courts. This notion led to the formal establishment of the Motor Accident Board in 1974, which enshrined the no-fault concept into law and allowed payment of both medical expenses and weekly income, until such time as the accident victim's common law claim was settled. The MAB was disbanded following financial insolvency, but the notion of a no-fault provider of medical and support services was effective enough that the TAC was established in 1986.
Transport Accidents have the potential to cause a broad spectrum of injuries. When two vehicles strike each other, when a vehicle strikes a body, or when a body comes to rest abruptly as a result of the rapid deceleration of its transport or due to impact with an external object, the relative momentum of those bodies at the time of impact generates physical force that has the potential to cause injury. The fragility of the human body in movement has been well-understood throughout history, regardless of whether the injury was caused by fall from height, fall from a horse, or tumbling. Understanding this fragility and minimising the risks it presents while using cars and machines has been an ongoing endeavour. From the introduction of seatbelts in the 1960s, to the development of roll-cages in 1979, and the deployment of airbags in the 1990s, the first line of managing the injury risk posed by Transport Accidents has been to modify the vehicle to minimise the effect of physical force on the human body.
From this point, management of Transport Accidents is dependent on the nature of the injury to the human body and its severity. Physical injuries require management as per best practice guidelines to promote healing of the tissues and structures as well as functional rehabilitation. Headstrikes and trauma to the neck require focused intervention to minimise the risk of whiplash or cervicogenic complicating elements. Rapid deceleration can cause concussion, internal visceral injury, and damage to the organs of the abdomen. Traumatic force can result in symptoms similar to traumatic encephalopathy. All of these elements, big and small, are taken into consideration when developing a program of rehabilitation that is designed to manage the injury, its impact on the life of the person, and the barriers it presents to recovery.
Management of your discomfort depends on its causative factors, how it feels and changes during the day, what makes it better and worse, and the length of time you have been experiencing that pain. All of these factors will be addressed in your initial assessment, which is the first step toward managing and minimising any pain or discomfort. The treatment you receive will be tailored to address the specific cause of your discomfort, and will focus on minimising pain, maximising your ability to move pain-free, and developing a plan to minimise the risk of a flare-up in the future.
At Atlas Physio, we will provide you with education, structured management, and ongoing monitoring of your pain both in-clinic and out. Contact us to arrange an assessment, and to take the first step on a course of corrective care today.