What is a journey claim?
Were you aware that in New South Wales (NSW), you are protected by workers’ compensation when traveling to and from work if there is a real and substantial connection between the accident that caused your injury and your employment? These types of claims are referred to as “journey claims.” This article aims to explain the circumstances in which you may qualify for workers’ compensation during your commute, identify the occupations in NSW that are definitely covered for journey claims, and outline any other situations where journey claims are justified.
According to the workers’ compensation laws in NSW, your journey to work begins when you depart from your home and extends until you arrive at your employer’s premises.
It is essential to understand that your employer’s boundary is not limited to the specific shop, office, or site; it can encompass areas such as shopping centres, office buildings, and car parks.
What does ‘real and substantial connection’ mean?
The concept of a “real and substantial connection” in relation to journey claims implies that there must be a strong and well-established reason that goes beyond simply traveling to or from work at the time of the accident. To have a successful claim, you must establish a specific reason that connects your employment to the accident.
- You are compelled to work late on a project and while driving home in a storm that impairs your visibility, you are involved in a severe accident.
- You are called in to work with very short notice and in your haste to arrive on time, you trip down some stairs at the train station.
It’s important to note that certain occupations are exempt from having to demonstrate a “real and substantial connection.” These occupations include:
- Coal miners
- Police officers
- Emergency services volunteers
What if I was injured on my lunch break?
A lunch break is categorized as an “authorized recess.” As long as you are not participating in an unauthorized and reckless activity, it is probable that you will be eligible for workers’ compensation even if you sustain an injury outside your employer’s premises.
For instance, if you are an office worker and you trip and seriously injure your wrist during a regular lunchtime soccer practice with your company’s soccer team, you are likely to be covered.
However, if you engage in an “unauthorized reckless activity” that was in no way encouraged by your employer, such as a tackle football game at a nearby park, it is unlikely that you will be covered for any injuries sustained in such circumstances.
Get Legal Advice
Compensation law is very complex, and governed by very strict rules and regulations. For this reason, it is very important to seek legal advice as early as possible from an experienced compensation lawyer in Jameson Law today.