Have you been injured on your way to work? Then you may be entitled to compensation through a journey claim.
In New South Wales, your employment insurance scheme covers your journeys to and from work if there is a real and substantial connection between your job and the incident that led to your injury. These are known legally as “journey claims”.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about claiming workers’ compensation for an injury sustained while travelling for work-related reasons. Our Sydney-based workers’ compensation lawyers will help you understand how to establish a real and substantial connection and explain the process of making a journey claim.
Does workers’ compensation cover travel to and from work?
Workers’ compensation claims can be tricky to understand, especially when you’re dealing with a significant deal of stress related to your injury. As such, you may be wondering, “Are you covered by workers’ compensation to and from work?”
Yes, workers’ compensation covers travel to and from work in NSW, provided you can demonstrate a real and substantial connection between your employment and the accident that caused your injury. In other words, your work must have clearly and directly influenced the accident that led to your condition.
This is the case for most jobs, such as teachers, office workers, and solicitors. However, some professions are exempt from needing a real and substantial connection. These include emergency service workers, paramedics, and police officers.
If you want to claim workers’ compensation for travelling, there is a specific process you must follow. This type of claim is called a journey claim.
What is a journey claim?
You can make a journey claim if you are injured while travelling between your home and place of work. However, there are some criteria you must meet. According to Section 10 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987, you can make a journey claim if you are travelling between:
● Your home and your place of work.
● Your home or your place of work and an educational institution that your employer requires you to attend (for example, as part of your terms of employment).
● Your home or your place of work and a place where you are going to receive treatment or obtain a certificate for a previous work-related injury.
● Your home and your place of work to collect money or wages.
● One place of work and another place of work.
Since 19 June 2012, the law has been amended so that you need to prove a “real and substantial” connection between your employment and the accident that caused your injury if you are making a journey claim. This is defined in the following section.
How do you establish a real and substantial connection?
Since 2012, amendments to Section 10(3A) of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 have meant that you must demonstrate a real and substantial connection between your employment and the incident that caused your injury.
This involves proving that your accident is related to your journey to or from your place of work. While your employment doesn’t necessarily have to be the direct cause of your accident, it must have some factual and related association with it.
For example, you may have crashed your car due to poor visibility because you were asked to stay late and work after dark. This would be considered a real and substantial connection.
In the case of Dewan Singh and Kim Singh t/as Krambach Service Station and Wickenden (2014), Ms Wickenden was hit by a car that was swerving to avoid cows in the darkness while riding her bike back from work. Since she was required to stay later than usual and thus ride home in the dark, there was a real and substantial connection between her accident and her employment.
If you are not sure how to establish a real and substantial connection between your injury and work, give us a call on (02) 8764 1776 or email us at email@example.com, we’ll be happy to guide you through this process.
When don’t you need to establish a real and substantial connection?
Certain professions are exempt from needing to prove a real and substantial connection between their employment and their accident. These include:
● Coal miners
● Police officers
● Emergency service workers
● Volunteer workers for emergency services
These individuals can claim workers’ compensation for injuries sustained during a journey to and from their place of work without needing to prove a strong connection to their employment.
What is the process of making a journey claim?
Many people wonder how to claim workers’ compensation for journeys in NSW. While the process can be a little daunting, it’s not as tricky as other legal claims.
To start a journey claim process, you must download and fill out this Other Injury Claim Form. You’ll need to fill out your personal information, details about the journey, witness details, and even draw a diagram of the incident.
Before you start your journey claim process, it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention and notify your employer of your intentions. You must alert your employer to your injury within 48 hours, but this can be extended depending on the severity and circumstances of your injury.
You can contact your insurer if you need help filling out the form or seek legal advice from skilled Workers Compensation Lawyers for more thorough assistance.
What if you had a car accident on the way to work?
If you have a motor vehicle accident on your way to work in NSW, you can make a journey claim.
First, you need to seek immediate medical help and notify your employer. Then, fill out an Other Injury Claims Form, proving that there was a real and substantial connection between your employment and your accident.
But proving a real and substantial connection can be difficult, which is why it may be easier to claim compensation via the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme. This entitles you to personal injury damages without going through your employer.
What entitlements are available to me through a journey claim?
A journey claim is a type of workers’ compensation claim. This means that if you’re successful, you are entitled to the standard damages and payouts of other compensation claims. These can include:
● Weekly payments: This compensation covers your lost wages. The amount of weekly payments you receive will depend on your pay and typical hours worked.
● Medical expenses: This payment covers the cost of your medical treatment, including consultations, surgery, and travel for medical reasons.
● Work injury damages: Work injury damages cover more severe cases of loss or impairment and exceed the normal compensation figures. They can also be claimed if your injury resulted from employer negligence.
● Lump sum payment: You are entitled to a lump sum payment if you are left with a permanent or severe impairment, including physical and psychological conditions.
Read our workers’ compensation payout guide for more information on entitlements for journey claims.
When can a journey claim be unsuccessful?
There are several circumstances under which a journey claim may be unsuccessful. These include:
● Your injury is caused by your own “serious and wilful misconduct”.
● You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol unless these were not consumed voluntarily.
● You deviated from your journey for a reason not connected to your employment.
● You were found to have violated driving laws.
● Your injury occurred before you started your journey.
● You cannot establish a real and substantial connection between the injury-causing incident and your employment.
Can I claim a journey claim if I’m on my lunch break?
You can make a journey claim if you are injured while on your lunch break, provided you meet certain criteria. You’ll likely be covered under workers’ compensation laws because a lunch break is considered an “authorised recess”.
As long as you don’t engage in reckless or unauthorised activities, Section 11 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 covers you if you’re injured on your lunch break. This is known as a “recess claim”.
For example, if you fall off the pavement and break your arm on your way to a sandwich shop, you will likely be entitled to recess claim payments. However, if you head to the park to play a bit of footie during lunch, you won’t be covered for any injuries you sustain.
Let Alliance Compensation & Litigation Lawyers help you
If you have been injured travelling to or from work, or if you’ve sustained an injury on your work break, we can help. At Alliance Compensation & Litigation Lawyers, we know how daunting it can be to start legal proceedings against your employer, especially if you’re suffering through an injury or psychological trauma.
That’s why we do our very best to help you get the compensation you deserve. While not every work-related journey claim is approved, we can offer you sound legal assistance to maximise your chances of receiving due compensation.
Contact us today by calling us at (02) 8764 1776 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free consultation. Let us fight your legal battles for you. That way, you can focus on your healing process without worries or burdens and receive the financial help you deserve.
For more information on Workers Compensation, feel free to visit our Complete Guide on Workers Compensation NSW.