The TAC can pay compensation in accordance with the Transport Accident Act (1986) to a person who is injured, or in respect of a person who dies, in a transport accident that occurs when travelling to and from work if:
- the accident meets the criteria of a "transport accident", as defined in the Transport Accident Act 1986, and
- that person is eligible for compensation in accordance with the Transport Accident Act 1986.
Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.37 and s.38
In this policy:
- Transport accident - refer to the Eligibility for Benefits policy.
- Journey transport accident - a transport accident that occurs when a client is journeying, for example:
- between home and work
- between home/work and a trade school or other place of training that his/her employer expects him/her to attend
- between different employers
- between home/work and any other place in relation to a Victorian WorkCover Authority injury. For example, to obtain a medical certificate or receive medical treatment.
- 'During the course of work' transport accident - a transport accident in which the person's injuries are deemed to arise out of, or during the course of, the person's employment. In this type of transport accident, the injuries occur while the person:
- was travelling for the purposes of employment, having regard to the nature of that employment, or
- was temporarily absent during a recess authorised by the employer, having been at work earlier in the day.
- Injury - refer to the Eligibility for Benefits policy.
Is TAC compensation payable when the transport accident occurs while travelling to and from work (a journey transport accident)?
TAC compensation is payable to a client for a transport accident that occurred on the way to or from work unless that accident is covered by another compensation scheme. Refer to the Eligibility for Benefits policy.
For journey or recess accidents on or before 12 April 2007 involving employees covered by the Comcare scheme
Commonwealth employees involved in a journey or recess accident on or before 12 April 2007 may be entitled to compensation under the Comcare scheme.
For journey or recess accidents on or after 13 April 2007 involving employees covered by the Comcare scheme
Following a legislative amendment to the Safety and Rehabilitation Act 1988, commonwealth employees involved in a journey or recess accident on or after 13 April 2007 may be entitled to compensation under the Transport Accident Act (1986).
Refer to the Eligibility for Benefits policy.
The TAC may also pay compensation to a client who is self-employed and was travelling to or from a job, or between two different jobs, when the transport accident occurred.
Is TAC compensation payable when the transport accident occurs during work hours?
Transport accidents that occur during work hours are called 'during the course of work' transport accidents. The TAC considers all 'during the course of work' transport accidents are subject to the provisions in the Act and the Workplace Injury, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (2013).
A 'during the course of work' transport accident is an accident in which the injuries are deemed to arise out of or in the course of employment under the Workplace, Injury, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013. It generally includes an accident where the person was travelling for the purposes of employment, having regard to the nature of the work, or during an authorised recess such as a lunch break.
In most cases a 'during the course of work' transport accident is covered by workers compensation and not the TAC. For example, a bus driver or a district nurse who sustains injuries in a transport accident during the course of employment may make a claim for compensation with the Victorian WorkCover Authority. In most cases Victorian WorkCover Authority claims agents will manage an accepted claim.
Where the injured person's 'during the course of work' transport accident claim is rejected by the Victorian WorkCover Authority, the client should make a TAC claim for compensation. The claim will be considered by the TAC in accordance with the Transport Accident Act 1986.
If, in these circumstances, the TAC has previously denied a claim for compensation under the Transport Accident Act 1986, the TAC may seek further information from the Victorian WorkCover Authority and review its previous decision.
Can a person sue for damages when the injury arose from the use of a vehicle that was not a transport accident?
Where the injuries result from the intended or principal use of vehicle; for example, loading or unloading pallets from a truck, the person may be able to sue the negligent owner or driver of the truck. Generally, the owner of the vehicle is also the employer of the injured worker. The employer usually has 2 forms of insurance for the same risk: transport accident insurance and WorkCover insurance. This is called a dual insurance claim.
Where common law damages are payable for an injury sustained in this situation, both the TAC and the Victorian WorkCover Authority (or it authorised insurer) share the damages to be paid.