Does WorkCover Cover Travel To and From Work? Know Your Rights

WorkCover Queensland might cover you if you get injured travelling to or from work. Your could then make a workers compensation claim.
Does WorkCover cover travel to or from work? - hero image

Does WorkCover cover travel to and from work? Many employees who are injured travelling during their commute ask this question. Thankfully, WorkCover Queensland may cover such travel-related injuries, provided strict conditions are met.

Uncovering the fine print, this article will guide you through what’s included, claim eligibility for an injured worker, and the recommended steps if you have a disputed workers’ compensation claim.

A man commuting to work on a bicycle

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About Journey Claims

In Queensland, employees who suffer a personal injury while travelling to or from their workplace can make a journey claim for compensation.

This encompasses any worker who experiences an accident on the way to or from work, as long as:

  1. The journey is directly between home and your workplace
  2. Or travel for medical appointments or rehabilitation treatment as part of an existing WorkCover claim.
  3. Travel to work-related meetings or for errands
  4. Your employment is a significant contributing factor to how the injury occurred.

But what is included in this coverage? Eligibility depends on the type of accident, specifically whether it is a car accident, or not.

Car Accident

WorkCover Queensland is responsible for covering a motor vehicle accident travelling for work purposes. This coverage includes accidents that happen while driving:

Remember, though, that WorkCover covers your usual journey, not detours from your usual route for activities unrelated to work. For example, if you stop for coffee while driving to work and have an accident, you are likely not eligible to make a workers’ compensation claim.

Non-Motor Vehicle Accidents

WorkCover insurance protects more than motor vehicle accidents. You can also claim workers’ compensation for injuries sustained while:

  • Bicycling to or from work
  • While walking or waiting for public transport.
  • Slip and fall accidents during a commute are also eligible for a WorkCover claim.
  • If you suffer an assault on the way to or from work, it can be covered under a journey claim with WorkCover Queensland.

Thankfully, the Queensland workers’ compensation insurer covers various commuting scenarios.

When Am I Not Covered for a Journey Claim?

However, you are likely not covered when:

  • Driving dangerously or while under the influence
  • Violated traffic laws
  • You left your usual route and began your journey after a lengthy delay or
  • You are still inside your property’s boundaries.

What is my claim worth?

Can I Claim Workers’ Compensation?

Eligibility to make a journey claim under the QLD Workers Compensation Act requires the claimant to be:

  1. Classified as a worker
  2. Under contract
  3. And recognised as an employee for tax purposes.

In Queensland, the worker’s compensation insurance scheme operates on a no-fault basis, which means you can make a WorkCover claim even when the employee is at fault.

However, there are qualifying conditions. Claims are only considered when:

  • The injured worker has travelled directly without significant delays or deviations between the origin and work-related destination.
  • And if employment substantially contributes to the injury during non-routine travel.

The Journey Claim Process

Having a successful journey claim can be complex, but understanding the workers’ compensation claim process can make it much more manageable. The process includes:

Remember that the outcome of a WorkCover journey claim relies on timely and accurate information.

Reporting the Injury

The first step in the claims process is to report the work related injury. An injury should be reported when an employer believes it is related to their employment and requires medical treatment or time off work.

Injuries are reported using the approved Form 133/133A, which requests the following information:

  • The injured employee’s details
  • Event date and location
  • Injury Description
  • Treatment details
  • Any payments made instead of wages.

Medical Assessment and Expenses

WorkCover Queensland covers medical and rehabilitation expenses, travel costs, paid care, weekly compensation benefits, and lump sum payouts for injuries sustained during commutes. You may also be entitled to compensation for future medical expenses, like:

  • Surgery
  • Therapy
  • Prescription drugs
  • and travel expenses associated with your treatment.

Wage Benefits and Lump Sum Payments

Once your work related injuries have stabilised and you are nearing the end of the claims process, injured employees can request a permanent impairment assessment. WorkCover may offer a lump sum settlement, depending on your WPI score. Queensland law assigns damages for pain and suffering according to the type and severity of the sustained work injury.

Seeking advice from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is essential since your choice may compromise your ability to file a future common law claim (which typically has a larger payout).

Do I Have a Valid Claim?

Common Reasons for a Rejected Workers Compensation Claim

You can have a rejected journey claim for the following reasons:

  • Illegal actions by the worker while in control of the vehicle
  • Major delays before starting the journey
  • Substantial interruptions or deviations from the usual journey path

Furthermore, claims can be denied if:

  • There is insufficient evidence, such as medical reports or witness testimonies.
  • The claimant fails to comply with policy terms, including necessary medical treatment and adherence to treatment plans.
  • Insurers dispute the connection of the worker’s journey to their employment duties or question the worker’s status as a ‘worker’ under WorkCover Queensland rules.

Appealing a Denied Claim

If you have a denied claim, there is an opportunity to appeal. A decision can be appealed if a claim is rejected due to journey interruption, deviation, or a significant delay in applying for WorkCover.

However, the likelihood of a successful appeal depends on circumstances such as the reason, distance, length of time of the application delay, journey deviation, or interruption.

Pursuing Further Compensation

Beyond the standard journey claim, there may be opportunities to pursue further compensation by making a common law claim. To be eligible to seek common law damages, you must prove that the employer breached their duty of care and that this failure caused your loss.

Compensation in a common law claim can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Cost of home care
  • Lost wages
  • Lost superannuation benefits

The worker’s level of impairment and potential future earnings impact the amount of compensation. Understanding your compensation entitlements is crucial to making the best decision.

Time Limitations and Lodgement Dates

Making a successful journey claim requires strict timing. In Queensland, the time limit for lodging a journey claim with the workers’ compensation insurer is typically within six months from the date the injured person first consults a doctor for the injury. If the claimant fails to lodge a journey claim within this timeframe, they must provide a reasonable excuse for the delay, which can result in a denied claim.

Common law claims following a car accident have a general limitation period of three years if you know the details of the at-fault motor vehicle. Otherwise, you must submit your case within nine months of the accident date or one month of meeting with a car accident lawyer about claiming compensation.

Win Your Case With Splatt Lawyers?

Get Expert Legal Advice for Journey Claims

Splatt Lawyer’s experienced legal team understands how work-related injuries happen and the complexities of journey claims. Expert legal advice is vital for a successful workers’ compensation claim and a common law payout, as well as when dealing with a rejected insurance claim. 

If you were harmed in a motor vehicle accident travelling to or from work, you could make a CTP claim to receive further compensation entitlements. 

Our friendly personal injury lawyers would love to know the details of your case, including the injury sustained. It’s free to know if you can claim compensation and access our 100% no win, no fee legal funding. Call Now for your free legal review – 1800 700 125, or use our free online claim check.

Journey Claim Compensation FAQs

Are you covered for travel to and from work in Queensland?

WorkCover Queensland understands that not every workplace accident happens at your place of employment. Hence, the workers’ compensation insurer may cover injuries during travel to or from work. You could also claim compensation entitlements for work-related travel, whether intrastate, interstate or overseas.

Can I travel overseas while receiving WorkCover benefits?

Yes, you can travel overseas temporarily while on WorkCover as long as you get clearance from your medical treatment providers and claims manager at WorkCover. Please follow the necessary protocol to keep receiving weekly compensation.

How does Queensland Workcover work?

WorkCover Queensland is the primary workplace injury insurer for the majority of employers. That means you can claim compensation to cover your losses if you have an illness, injury, or mental health condition related to your job.

What does the workers’ compensation claim process involve?

The claims process involves reporting the injury, having medical assessments, understanding wage benefits and lump sum payments, and appealing denied claims when required. It is important to follow each step carefully to have a successful outcome.

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