Car accident on the way to work? What can you claim and how? Get advice from a car accident lawyer who is experienced in dealing with WorkCover claims and ICWA claims.
Table of Contents
- Are you covered if you have an accident on the way to work?
- What happens if you get hurt on the way to work?
- Is travelling to work covered by WorkCover?
- Should you take time off work after a car accident?
- Is an employer liable for an employees car accident?
- Who is liable for an accident in a company vehicle?
- Who is liable for workplace accidents?
- What happens if you have an accident in a work vehicle?
- What to do if you are injured and can’t work?
- Does workers compensation cover travel to and from work wa?
- Are employees responsible for damage to company vehicles?
- Do I get full pay if I have an accident at work?
Are you covered if you have an accident on the way to work?
If you are injured in the course of your work and another driver is at fault, then generally two claims should be made – a motor vehicle accident claim with ICWA; and, a workers compensation claim with WorkCover WA.
Motor vehicle accident claims
If you are injured in a car accident on the way to work and:
- the accident was not your fault or only partially your fault; and
- the at-fault vehicle was registered in Western Australia;
You may be entitled to personal injury compensation for your motor vehicle accidents. If you have made a motor vehicle accident claim in WA, a specialist motor vehicle accident lawyer should be able to help you.
Workers compensation claims
When workers were injured in a not-at-fault motor vehicle accident while driving under their employer’s instruction during the course of their employment. Then the injured workers may claim workers compensation as well as motor vehicle accidents injury compensation. This type of workers compensation claim is typically referred to as the ‘workers compensation journey claim’.
The law about workers compensation entitlement while driving to work is different in each state and territory. It is recommended that legal advice is obtained if the circumstances of your work are not straightforward. In this type of situation, a personal injury lawyer with experience with workers compensation claims and motor vehicle accidents claim will be the best fit to handle your compensation claim.
Workers Compensation Journey Claim
It is important to know that the workers compensation journey claims are not permitted for usual travel between work for home. This mean, if the car accident while driving to work occurred in the circumstances where you were not:
- acting under your employer’s instructions, or
- were not in the course of your employment.
Then, you will be unable to claim workers compensation. Workers compensation journey claim is a very complex area in the compensation law. If you are unsure whether or not you are entitled to workers compensation journey claim, please consult a workers compensation lawyer.
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What happens if you get hurt on the way to work?
If you get hurt on the way to work you should:
- Report the accident by following crash reporting steps in WA.
- Document the circumstances giving rise to your claim as soon as possible. This will usually involve taking photographs of the injury situation.
Usually, a workers compensation claim cannot be made for an injury travelling between your work and your home and your home and your work. If you were acting in the course of your employment then you may be able to make a claim. Examples of this include travelling from one work-related place to another work-related place. Sometimes workers are able to make a claim if they are travelling from work to home if they are carrying on a work-related activity, For example, transporting goods from work to home so that they can work from home.
Is travelling to work covered by WorkCover?
Travelling to work as part of the daily commute is not covered by workers compensation law in Western Australia. An application to WorkCover WA, as the dispute resolution authority for workers compensation, will not be successful unless it can be shown the injury occurred in the course of your employment or whilst following your employer’s instructions.
Section 19 of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 relevantly states:
“A worker shall not be treated as having suffered personal injury by accident arising out of or in the course of the worker’s employment if the worker suffers an injury … during a journey … between a place of residence of the worker and the worker’s place of employment; or … if the worker has more than one place of residence, between those places”.
If your circumstance of injuries has a work-related component, please seek legal advice from a workcover lawyer to confirm your eligibility for workers compensation in WA.
Should you take time off work after a car accident?
If you have injuries sustained in a car accident, and it is medically necessary for you to take time off work, then you should take time off work. Your circumstances may affect whether you take time off work. Many people choose not to take time off work if they are casual employees or they are self-employed. However, this is a personal decision.
Reimbursement for leaves
If you have an accepted motor vehicle accident claim with ICWA, the compulsory third party insurer, then you will be able to make a claim for the time you have had off work. This includes reimbursement for using annual leave or sick leave benefits.
Duty of mitigating loss
Injured people should be aware that they have a duty to mitigate their loss. An example of this is a person who does not work when:
- suitable work is available to him; and
- he is fit for that work
In this situation, the injured person may have his compensation reduced on the basis that he has failed to mitigate his loss.
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Your lawyer will take you through this arrangement in more detail including any terms and conditions in your obligation free first initial consultation.
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Is an employer liable for an employees car accident?
An employer is liable for injuries to injured employees if the injury occurs during the course of their employment or whilst carrying out instructions from the employer.
An example of this may be as follows:
“Sam is a real estate agent employed by ABC Real Estate. Sam is driving from one home open to another home open when he has a road accident. The road accident was Sam’s fault.”
In this case, Sam’s injury occurred in the course of his employment so Sam would be able to make a workers compensation claim and the workers compensation insurer should accept his claim. Workers compensation is a no fault system, and therefore it doesnt matter that Sam was at fault.
Who is liable for an accident in a company vehicle?
If you are an employee then in most cases your employer will be legally liable for any damages caused whilst you are driving a company car. Your contract of employment or any other contract you may sign with your employer might affect your legal liability.
The usual position at law is that employer’s have ‘vicarious liability’ for the acts of their employees. This means they are responsible for their acts or omissions at law.
Who is liable for workplace accidents?
If you suffered injuries sustained in a workplace accident then generally your employer is liable to pay you compensation under the no-fault workers compensation scheme. This applies whether the accident was your fault or not. The workers compensation benefits will usually be paid by your employer’s workers compensation insurer.
In Western Australia, if an approved medical practitioner (AMS) assesses your level of whole person impairment as being not less than 15% you can choose to sue your employer for negligence. If you are successful in this action then the damages you receive will usually be paid for by your employer’s workers compensation insurer.
It is important to note that your whole person permanent impairment rating has a very significant impact on the overall payout for your workplace accident. And, injured workers have the obligation to attend an independent medical examination organised by their employer. Good compensation lawyers seek a second opinion to make sure the permanent impairment rating given to the worker is fair. Please refer to this article for more information about the independent medical exam for workers compensation claims.
What happens if you have an accident in a work vehicle?
Following an accident in a work vehicle, you should gather appropriate information which will be required by your insurance company or your employer’s insurance company. This would include taking pictures of the accident area and exchanging contact details with the other people involved and any witnesses.
If you have an accident in a work vehicle, and you were in the course of your employment or acting under your employer’s instructions then you may be able to make a workers compensation claim.
What to do if you are injured and can’t work?
If you are injured at work, and cannot return to work, you could make a workers compensation claim. Available benefits include money for your permanent impairment, weekly payments of compensation, payments for medical treatment, rehabilitation expenses, travel expenses and statutory lump sum payments when settling your workers compensation claim.
If you are injured in a car accident and the car accident was not your fault or was only partially your fault, then you could claim motor vehicle accident injury compensation. An application can be made with the ICWA for payment of an ‘advance payment’ regarding the economic loss component of the claim. For an accepted motor vehicle accident claim in Western Australia, the injured person can claim medical and rehabilitation expenses, economic losses, special damages, pain and suffering, and a lump sum settlement payment.
If you are injured in other circumstances, and you are unsure whether you can claim the compensation. It is recommended to engage the legal services of compensation lawyers who may be able to advise you whether you can make a compensation claim, how much compensation claim is worth, what are the time limits, and more.
Does workers compensation cover travel to and from work WA?
Workers compensation does not cover an injury sustained whilst travelling to or from work in Western Australia. The exceptions are when the injured person is in the course of their employment or acting under their employer’s instructions. The law about workers compensation journey claim differs in each of the states and territories. And the workers compensation insurance company often fights hard against this type of work-related injury. If you found yourself involved in a workplace accident claim in WA, contact Foyle Legal for your obligation free claim review.
Are employees responsible for damage to company vehicles?
If your employer provides you with a vehicle for use in the course of your employment, then generally they will insure that vehicle, and the insurance policy will respond to a damage claim regarding the work vehicle.
You should check with your employer to see whether they have arranged a policy of insurance covering the vehicle and whether that policy of insurance applies to your personal use. Circumstances regarding company vehicles vary from employer to employer, you may have to arrange your own insurance for personal use.
Do I get full pay if I have an accident at work?
If you are injured in a work accident, you will usually receive your normal gross wages for at least 13 weeks prior to the accident, the following which your rate of pay may be reduced. The exact amount of weekly payment is linked to if you are an award worker or not. This article discusses workers compensation claim payments for award workers and non-award workers in WA.
There is a maximum rate for weekly payments of compensation in Western Australia which is currently $2772.00 (from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022). If your pre-injury normal gross wages are higher than the maximum rate of the weekly payment, you won’t get the full pay if you have an accident at work.