The lives of road trauma victims with severe brain and spinal injuries are set to become a little easier, thanks to a $20 million boost for new research.
Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said the research, funded through the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), would focus on improving lifetime care and disability support.
"The physical and emotional injuries that are often sustained by survivors of road accidents are significant," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
"Traumatic brain and spine injuries have a life-long impact on the injured person, their family and the community.
"Many people have long periods of inpatient hospital and rehabilitation treatment and are left with an ongoing disability.
"Every year in Victoria around 330 new cases of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury and 40 new cases of spinal cord injury occur as a result of road accidents.
"Last year the TAC managed almost 3,000 neuro-trauma claims from road trauma survivors including 232 cases of paraplegia, 205 cases of quadriplegia and 1,273 cases of severe traumatic brain injury," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
The $20 million boost will be directed towards applied research, particularly in the area of lifetime care and disability support.
The research will be carried out over the next three years by the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) – a joint initiative between the TAC, WorkSafe and Monash University.
TAC chief executive Janet Dore said the TAC's outstanding claims liability for lifetime care costs was around $4.4 billion.
"Lifetime care costs include costs associated with attendant care and accommodation services which are dictated by the level at which an individual can function," Ms Dore said.
Attendant care costs represent 11 per cent of the TAC's annual payments.
"This underpins why it is so important for us to continue investing in research that will help shape the future of lifetime care for people living with disabilities," Ms Dore said.