Work related car accidents (Vic)
This page explores four different scenarios in which someone might be involved in a work related car accident in Victoria, and who (TAC or WorkCover) is likely to be responsible for paying benefits.
- When you have a car accident while driving to work
- Car accident on the way home from work
- Car accident at work
- Car accident while at lunch.
Car accident while driving to work
The law differs from state to state in relation to accidents while traveling to work, sometimes known as journey claims.
In Victoria, which is the scenario that this article will deal with, if you are driving directly from your home to your workplace and you are involved in a car accident, then your claim will fall under the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) compensation scheme.
Even though you are traveling to your workplace it does not become a WorkCover claim.
The WorkCover and TAC schemes differ in what benefits they provide, sometimes one is preferable to the other but essentially you don’t get to pick which scheme you will fall under.
Car accident on the way home from work
The answer to this question is basically the same as above.
As long as you are traveling directly from your workplace to your home or from a stop along the way that is private in nature, for example going to the supermarket to buy groceries, your injuries will fall under the transport accident commission scheme.
Car accident at work
If you are injured while driving in the course of your employment then your claim would be with WorkCover.
There are two broad categories where this will apply.
The first is when your job involves primarily driving, for example, if you are a truck driver or parcel courier. In these situations, your claim will be lodged through WorkCover.
In these circumstances, the only situation where the TAC will be involved is if you have a common law claim it may well be that the TAC is the decision-maker in terms of whether you qualify for serious injury and what if any payout you would receive.
The less well-known situation is when you are traveling either between workplaces or you have travelled to somewhere other than your usual workplace from your home.
An example of this is if you are a farm worker and the farm is spread over multiple properties you may drive from one property to the other.
If you were involved in an accident while driving between the properties then this would be a WorkCover claim.
We have also come across situations where for example a worker drives from their home to a training session somewhere other than at the usual workplace.
The travel to and from the training session would be considered work and therefore it would be a WorkCover rather than a TAC claim.
Car accident during lunch break
Injuries while on an authorized recess are considered to be WorkCover.
This will apply whether you are in a car or walking or using some other mode of transport.
As long as you are on an authorized break such as a lunch break, smoko or coffee break, any travel where an injury occurs will be considered to be a WorkCover claim.
There will be some instances where the reason for travel is blurred as there may be a mix of personal and work tasks being performed during the trip.
In the circumstances each case will be decided on its own facts.