Injured On The Way to or From Work in Queensland: Your Rights and Entitlements


Getting injured on your way to or from work can be extremely stressful. Fortunately, in Queensland, you might be entitled to make both a workers' compensation and motor vehicle insurance (CTP) claim, depending on how your injury occurred.

Does WorkCover Cover Travel to and From Work?

Yes; in many situations, WorkCover Queensland (or your employer's self-insurer) may cover injuries sustained while travelling to or from work. 

WorkCover claims can be made regardless of fault, so you can be entitled to claim even if there was no other party at fault, so long as your injury is taken to arise out of or in the course of your employment.

These are called "journey claims." Here's what you need to know:

  • Eligible journeys: Generally, a journey claim is approved if your injury occurred while you were directly travelling: 
  • between your home and workplace; or 
  • between your home and a work-related training location (which you are required under your employment to attend); or 
  • If you have an existing injury and WorkCover claim - a journey between your home and a place to undertake rehabilitation, medical advice, or receive payment of WorkCover compensation; or 
  • between one place of employment to another place of employment.

Your “home” means your usual place of residence. 

  • Deviations and delays: Minor breaks or deviations from your standard route may not always affect your claim. However, an injury will not be “in the course of your employment” (or approved) if the accident happens during or after: 
  • a “substantial delay” before you start your journey; or 
  • a “substantial interruption or deviation” from the normal route from your home to the workplace - unless the delay or deviation occurs because of circumstances connected with your employment or out of your control

Your claim will also not be approved if you were contravening road rules, regulations or the law if that contravention was a major significant factor (e.g. speeding). Engaging in unrelated activities could also void your rights to claim.

What Does WorkCover Queensland Cover?

WorkCover Queensland can provide the following benefits if your journey claim is accepted:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses: This includes costs for doctor's appointments, medications, treatment, and rehabilitation services.
  • Weekly income replacement: If you're unable to work due to your injury, you may receive payments to replace a significant portion of your lost wages.
  • Lump-sum compensation: In cases of permanent impairment, you could be eligible for a lump-sum payment.

How to Start a WorkCover Claim

  1. Seek medical attention: Get immediate treatment for your injuries and obtain a Work Capacity Certificate from your doctor.
  2. Notify your employer: Inform your employer about your injury as soon as possible and provide them with your Work Capacity Certificate.
  3. Submit your claim: Contact WorkCover Queensland or your employer's self-insurer to lodge your claim 

Can I Make a Compensation Claim?

If another party's negligence caused your injury while commuting, you could be entitled to additional compensation through a so-called ‘common law claim’ via a personal injury lawyer. For example:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: If you were injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident caused by another driver, you might be able to claim through their Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance.
  • Public transport accidents: Injuries on buses, trains, or due to infrastructure issues could lead to claims against the transport operator.
  • Cycling or walking accidents: You might have a CTP claim if a pedestrian or cycling accident was the fault of a motor vehicle driver.

Important points:

  • Time limits: There are strict time limits for common law claims in Queensland, so it's crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
  • Legal Representation: It's highly recommended to get an experienced personal injury lawyer's expertise for common law claims to help build a strong case.

Last updated:
February 27, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.

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