If you are injured while travelling between home and your “place of employment”, you may be covered by workers compensation. This is often referred to as a “journey claim”.

What is a Journey Claim?

A “journey claim” applies when a worker has finished work or is not performing any work at the time. It applies to journeys such as travelling to the workplace before work starts, or home after work has finished for the day, just as much as it does to a journey during working hours. A journey claim can be made regardless of how you are travelling, including walking, public transport, work vehicle, private vehicle, or cab.

So what if you stop off on your journey to visit a friend, collect kids from daycare, or to buy some bread and milk? Does workers compensation still apply? Well, it depends…

In certain situations, an injury may not be considered a “journey claim” if the injury happens during or after a substantial interruption or deviation from the journey. In deciding whether there is a “substantial interruption or deviation”, the court will consider the reason, the actual time of the interruption, and the distance travelled for this deviation.

In the matter of Faelmann v Workers’ Compensation Regulator, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission found that a 3.2 kilometre deviation and an additional 50 minutes to collect a spray gun from a friend on the way home from work was not a “substantial interruption or deviation”. As a result, the worker’s compensation claim was allowed.

An example of a deviation that would be considered a “substantial interruption or deviation” is if you stopped to watch a movie for 2 hours on your journey home from work. A worker’s compensation claim would not usually be accepted in those circumstances.

What do I do if I get injured on the way to or from work?

If you are injured on your way to or from work, it is important to do 3 things:

  1. Report your injury to your employer immediately.
  2. Visit a qualified medical practitioner as soon as possible.
  3. Seek advice from a compensation lawyer.

Our compensation team can assist you with every step of the compensation process after a work accident.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form should you require assistance.

Bronwyn Green
Solicitor
Compensation Law