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Workcover QLD

Motor Vehicle Accident On Your Way To Work – Your Entitlements Explained

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident on your way to or from work, you will likely have entitlements to compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer (usually WorkCover Queensland) as well as the Compulsory Third Party insurer of an at fault driver.

WORKCOVER QUEENSLAND

A statutory claim with WorkCover Queensland is not a fault based scheme.  

If you can establish that you are a Queensland worker injured on a journey between your home and place of employment then you will likely be entitled to:-

  • Weekly benefits or replacement wages;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Rehabilitation expenses;
  • Travel expenses;
  • Pharmaceutical expenses;
  • Vocational assistance; and
  • Lump sum compensation.

A claim with WorkCover Queensland will need to be lodged within 6 months of the date of injury otherwise a reasonable excuse for the delay will be required.  However, WorkCover Queensland tends to take a very strict approach to this limitation period.

A journey claim is not limited to motor vehicle accidents, for example an injury caused while riding a bike or walking to work would be considered.  The legislation also covers journeys to other destinations you are required or expected to attend under the terms of your employment.

A journey claim can be rejected if there has been a substantial delay, interruption or deviation from your ordinary journey (ie. travelling to a restaurant for dinner on the way home from work).

The prospects of appealing a decision that has been rejected due to substantial delay, interruption or deviation depends on the individual circumstances including the reason, length of time and the distance of any delay, interruption or deviation.

COMMON LAW CLAIM

If you have been injured in a road accident due to the negligence of another driver or road user then you will also be entitled to pursue a common law damages against the CTP insurer of the driver at fault which include:-

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Pharmaceutical expenses;
  • Travel expenses;
  • Rehabilitation funded by the CTP insurer;
  • Past and future loss of income;
  • Past and future superannuation benefits;
  • Domestic care and assistance by family members and friends;
  • Paid domestic care and assistance from service providers;
  • Future medical treatment; and
  • Retraining costs.

The claim must be submitted to the CTP insurer of the driver at fault within 9 months of the date of accident or 1 month of your first consultation with a lawyer regarding the claim – whichever expires first.

If the accident was caused by an unidentified/uninsured vehicle, then the claim must be lodged against the Nominal Defendant within 3 months of the motor vehicle accident or 1 month of your first consultation with a lawyer.

If the claim is lodged outside the time limits mentioned above, a reasonable excuse for delay must be provided.  However, any claim against the Nominal Defendant must be lodged with a reasonable excuse for delay within 9 months or the claim will be barred.

There is also a strict time limit of 3 years to commence court proceedings.

WHICH ENTITLEMENTS TO PURSUE?

It is possible to access both statutory entitlements through WorkCover Queensland and common law damages against a CTP Insurer if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident between your home and place of employment.

However, navigating the various provisions and entitlements pursuant to both schemes can be complicated and there is certainly no “one size fits all” approach to determining the best course of action to take.

The two schemes can conflict and information and medical evidence obtained for one claim can affect the other.  Accordingly, it is important to seek expert legal advice regarding your rights and options when considering which compensation entitlements to pursue following a motor vehicle accident between your home and place of employment to ensure your rights are protected.

At vbr Lawyers, we offer our clients a 30% cap on professional costs and we do not charge a 25% uplift fee unlike almost all our competitors.   At vbr Lawyers, your case will always be handled by a senior lawyer from start to finish.

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