Can I claim workers’ compensation if injured in a road accident at work, on lunch, or on my way to or from work?
Yes you can.
Essentially, if the incident occurred in the course of your work, or on your way to or from your workplace, then you have a right to claim workers’ compensation in relation to your accident injuries.
What is a ‘Journey Claim’ in workers compensation?
Under the Workers’ Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003 a person who is injured in a motor vehicle accident on their way to or from work, or during a work break is entitled to what is termed “a journey claim”.
There are some circumstances where the workers compensation insurer can reject a claim for compensation in relation to injuries sustained in a journey claim.
This is where there has been a substantial deviation or delay in the journey to or from the workplace.
What would an example of a journey claim in Brisbane, the Gold Coast or across Queensland be like?
For example, let’s say ‘Mary’ is on her way home from work and deviates from her course home to pick up some groceries at the supermarket.
After leaving the supermarket, she is involved in a motor vehicle accident on her way home.
The workers compensation insurer is likely to reject Mary’s claim for workers compensation because of Mary’s deviation to go shopping on her way home from the workplace.
How does WorkCover Queensland assess journey claims?
The workers compensation insurer, which is usually WorkCover Queensland, will look at when and where the injury occurred when the application for workers compensation is made.
They do this to assess whether there has been sufficient enough of a delay or deviation to reject the claim under the Workers’ Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003.
How can making a workers compensation claim be helpful after a car crash?
This is because it allows you to have any time off work you need for your injuries, and to recover properly before returning to work.
In most circumstances, 85% of your lost wages will be paid to you by the workers compensation insurer.
More frequently asked questions on workers compensation claims & journey claims
Under a journey claim you are able to claim for all the same benefits as you would normally, if injured in the course of undertaking your work, those benefits include:
- Funding of your medical and rehabilitation expenses for the treatment of your injuries;
- Reimbursement for the costs of travelling to and from medical appointments or to attend at the chemist to purchase pharmaceuticals or medical aids or any other travel that is reasonably incurred in respect to your accident injuries;
- Funding of paid care and assistance where you need to engage help with your personal care, domestic chores, or your home, yard or vehicle maintenance, because you are unable to tend to such tasks due to your accident injuries;
- Wage benefits – this will be between 80 to 100% of your normal gross wages and this is always a huge help to car accident victims who are unable to work due to injury and have no disability insurances or sick or annual leave to fall back on;
- Statutory lump sum payments at the end of your workers’ compensation journey claim – these can help a motor vehicle accident victim who continues to be unable to work, or has a reduced work capacity following a road accident, to tie them over until their motor vehicle accident claim for their injuries resolves.
You will be entitled to funding of medical and rehabilitation treatment you need for your accident injuries.
The workers’ compensation insurer will meet this funding until such time as your injuries are deemed stable and stationary by your treating doctors.
Once this occurs, then your workers’ comp claim will cease.
Also, you do not have to be concerned that your employer will be significantly impacted by your workers’ compensation claim.
If the accident was not your fault, the compulsory third party insurer of the at-fault vehicle will be required to reimburse the workers’ compensation insurer for your workers’ compensation claim.
We’ve compiled a checklist for workers compensation which we hope helps:
- Obtain treatment of your injuries as soon as possible after the accident from a doctor, and make sure you advise of the accident and all your injuries, no matter how minor you think they might be. You will need to obtain a special workers’ compensation medical certificate from your treating doctor who examined you after the accident that is lodged with your workers’ compensation application.
- Report the car accident and your injuries from the motor vehicle accident to your employer as soon as possible after the accident. And if you are not able to do this, then ask a close friend or relative, or your doctor or hospital staff to advise your employer of the accident.
- As you are injured, you should report your accident to the Police. This will also assist you if you need to bring a motor vehicle accident claim for your injuries.
- Lodge your application for workers’ compensation either via your employer, or with Workcover Queensland (if your employer is self-insured, then you will need to lodge your application with your employer).
- An application for workers’ compensation can be made over the phone and online with Workcover Queensland
- The workers’ compensation application form can be downloaded and filled in if you’d prefer.
When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, that is not your fault, once our personal injury lawyers lodge a motor accident claim on your behalf with the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the at-fault-vehicle, the CTP insurer will obligated under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 to fund any medical or rehabilitation treatment you need.
This obligation on the CTP insurer continues until your motor accident claim ends, that is, when you are paid out lump sum compensation by way of damages for your accident injuries.
If the motor vehicle accident was your fault, then unfortunately you cannot make a motor accident claim for damages.
However, you may be able to claim a lump sum statutory payment of compensation from the workers’ compensation insurer at the end of your workers’ compensation claim.
Especially if you are assessed by medical specialists as suffering a degree of permanent impairment due to your accident injuries.
So if the injuries caused by the car accident have resulted in you suffering a percentage loss of bodily function, then you will be entitled to receive some statutory lump sum compensation from the workers’ compensation insurer.
When you are involved in an accident, even though you may think the accident was in some way your fault, it does not necessarily mean that you do not have a claim for compensation or damages.
Speak to one of our specialist workers compensation lawyers for further information and to discuss your case.
In some motor vehicle accidents associated with work, the employer can be responsible for the accident occurring.
An example of this is providing the worker with a vehicle that was not properly serviced and maintained and this contributed to the cause of the accident.
Another example may be where the employer required the worker to work extensive hours without proper rest breaks, resulting in the worker suffering fatigue and suffering an accident on his way home from work.
Sometimes, people think that they don’t have a motor accident claim because they may have played some part in the accident occurring.
However, this does not mean you cannot claim for the contribution of the other driver or at-fault party to the accident occurring.
For instance, you are turning from the highway into a street and a vehicle coming through the intersection collides with your vehicle causing you serious injuries.
The other vehicle may have had right of way, BUT, in the circumstances of your case, the other driver should have clearly seen you turning well prior to the collision and could have avoided, if they had been paying proper attention.
In such a case, you may have a car accident claim against the other driver. Our car accident lawyers can advise you on the feasibility of making a claim for compensation.
Yes you can, these links to related content may help on this subject:
- The case of Brew v Workcover Queensland, where Mr Brew was injured on the way home from work in a car accident after falling asleep at the wheel of his car. Mr Brew had been working excessive overtime and not being provided with sufficient work breaks by his employer, and the court held that the employer had therefore contributed to the car accident occurring.
- The case of Purt v Workcover Queensland, where Mr Purt was injured when the work vehicle he was driving hit a rock concealed in long grass and rolled over whilst travelling in a remote area. The Court held the employer had contributed to the accident because a four wheel drive vehicle should have been provided to the worker given the type of terrain he had to travel over in the course of his work.