Workers Compensation journey claims – are you covered?

18 MAR 2019

 

If you are injured in a motor accident while driving for work, you may be entitled to make a “journey claim” under the NSW Workers Compensation scheme.

The Workers Compensation legislation in NSW has been completely overhauled in recent years. In 2012, major changes took place, including significant amendments to workers’ entitlements in relation to journey claims.

Journey claims historically included claims for injuries that occurred on a workers’ journey to work or home from work, or during a journey that took place in the course of their employment.

The 2012 changes meant that in most cases, workers are no longer entitled to claim compensation for injuries that occur on their way to or from work. There are still some occupations who are entitled make these claims – Police Officers, Paramedics, Fire Fighters and Coal Miners.

This means that most NSW workers are now only entitled to claim Workers Compensation for a journey claim in circumstances where there is a “real and substantial connection between the employment and the accident which caused the worker’s injuries”. The worker has to be able to establish that they were driving as a necessary condition of their job.

The Workers Compensation Commission has considered the question of “what is a real and substantial connection between the employment and the accident which caused the worker’s injuries?”. In a case involving a rural worker whose employer required her to work back late, the worker needed to drive to and from work on country roads in the dark. On the night in question, the worker was travelling home from work at dusk when she hit some cattle due to poor visibility.

In this case, the worker successfully argued that as her employer had specifically required her to finish work late in the evening, there was a real and substantial connection between her employment and the accident.

As with all aspects of the Workers Compensation legislation, there are many misconceptions and complexities surrounding journey claims. It is important to note that although the situation is very different from years gone by, there are still lots of situations in which a worker can make a journey claim.

If you have been injured on your way to or from work, or in the course of your employment, we recommend that you contact Accredited Specialist Joe Bonura on 02 4626 5077 or jbonura@marsdens.net.au.

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication

 

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