Vic tribunal rejects hearing loss claim

A Victorian man who claimed he suffered hearing loss when the alarm on his alcohol interlock device triggered has lost his bid for compensation.

Ronald Van Der Wolf was driving on the Maroondah Highway in September 2017 when his device alerted him that it needed to be retested.

A retest requires the driver to blow and hum into the device's mouthpiece for five seconds to ensure they have not been drinking alcohol since starting the engine.

If a person doesn't complete the retest within five minutes, the vehicle's hazard lights flash and a siren sounds.

Mr Van Der Wolf couldn't do the retest immediately because he was stuck in traffic, so the device's siren sounded for 45 seconds before he was able to retest the interlock.

He claimed he suffered hearing loss from the siren, as well as psychological injury and a tinnitus condition.

Mr Van Der Wolf lodged a compensation claim with the Transport Accident Commission but they denied it, maintaining he was not injured as a result of a transport accident.

He took the claim to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, who considered whether there was a link between the hearing loss and the driving.

The tribunal's Senior Member Elisabeth Wentworth was not satisfied there was a causal connection and affirmed the Transport Accident Commission's decision.

"The incident in this case was not directly caused by the driving of a motor vehicle and is not therefore a transport accident within the definition in the act," Ms Wentworth said in her written decision.

"Any injuries Mr Van Der Wolf suffered were likewise not directly caused by the driving of a motor vehicle."