Navigating Journey Claims: Understanding Your Rights When Injured During Your Work Commute in Queensland

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At Cairns Compensation Lawyers, we have a history of supporting clients who have experienced injuries during their daily travel to or from their workplace in Queensland. Such claims, referred to as “journey claims,” can be intricate and demanding to handle without suitable professional legal aid. In this article, we aim to offer you a comprehensive understanding of journey claims in Queensland, covering their definition, eligible scenarios, and recommended steps for those involved.

Defining a Journey Claim

A journey claim is a subclass of workers’ compensation claim that encompasses injuries received by an employee while they are in transit to or from their workplace. If you are a Queensland resident who has been harmed while moving to or from your job, regardless of whether you are driving, walking, cycling, or utilising public transport, you could qualify for a journey claim. The crucial stipulation is that the injury must have taken place “in the course of employment,” which implies that the injury must be significantly linked to your employment.

Categories of Journey Claims

There are various situations where you might qualify for a journey claim, including:

  1. Commuting to and from your job: You could qualify for a journey claim if you experience an injury while travelling to or from your place of work.
  2. Travelling between worksites: If your employment necessitates moving between varying worksites or offices, any injuries sustained during these trips might be covered by a journey claim.
  3. Attending work-related training or events: If you are harmed while moving to or from work-related training, conferences, or meetings, whether locally, inter-state, or internationally, you could be eligible for a journey claim.
  4. Injuries while awaiting public transport: If you slip, fall, or are harmed in any way while waiting for public transport for your commute, you might be eligible to lodge a journey claim.
  5. Assaults during travel: If you are assaulted while commuting to or from work, you could qualify for a journey claim.
  6. Travelling for medical treatment: In Queensland, if you are commuting for medical or rehabilitative treatment related to an existing WorkCover claim and experience an injury during this travel, you might be able to lodge a journey claim.

It is crucial to understand that stringent criteria apply to journey claims. For instance, breaches of laws at the time of the incident—such as reckless driving or impairment due to substances—may lead to claim denial. Additionally, significant deviations from the usual commute route for non-work-related reasons could render the claim ineligible.

Journey Claims vs Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

It is critical to discern between journey claims and motor vehicle accident claims. If your injury was provoked by another party’s negligence, you might have the option to seek compensation under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme.

  • CTP claims can compensate for a variety of losses, and in some cases, you may also be able to recover a fraction of your legal costs associated with lodging the claim.
  • Whereas journey claims provide transient benefits via your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer until your injuries have stabilised.

Once your injuries have stabilised, your workers’ compensation claim is concluded, and any future losses become your obligation.

How to Lodge a Journey Claim

If injured during the commute to or from work, follow these essential steps for the best possible outcome:

  1. Seek medical attention: Your health should always be your primary concern. Seeking immediate medical attention ensures that you receive the necessary care and also provides medical records that can support your claim.
  2. Notify your employer: Immediately inform your employer about the injury and complete an incident report, detailing specifics like time, location, circumstances, witnesses, and available evidence (e.g., CCTV footage).
  3. Document the incident: To fortify your case, gather as much proof as possible. This might include photographs, witness testimonies, medical records, and any other pertinent documentation.
  4. Seek legal advice: Given the complexities of journey claims, consulting experienced compensation lawyers is highly advisable. They can assist in navigating the claims process, gathering evidence, and safeguarding your rights.
  5. Initiate your claim: Having obtained legal advice, you can progress with lodging your compensation claim with the relevant insurer. Please note that majority of journey claims in Queensland are administered by the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

If you’ve sustained an injury while commuting to or from work in Queensland, reach out to Cairns Compensation Lawyers for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. We will assess your situation, provide expert legal advice, and diligently pursue the best possible outcome for your commute-related claim.