Many people injured in Queensland either on their way to or from work or driving during the course of their employment may have dual rights to claim compensation if they receive injuries in a motor vehicle accident.
Where a worker has suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident the worker should immediately report the accident to the employer and WorkCover Qld and lodge a Medical Certificate to ensure that statutory benefits are paid under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.
If the worker is also injured in an accident which is the fault of the driver of another vehicle, the worker may also have further rights under the Queensland Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994.
The Motor Accident Insurance Act provides for a fault based scheme where the driver can establish negligence on the part of the other driver. This means that notification must be given under both Acts for all of the worker’s rights to be properly protected. The amount of damages under each Act is different and potentially a much larger claim for damages under the Motor Accidents Insurance Act can eventually be prosecuted if there are serious long term consequences arising from the injuries sustained in the accident. Strict reporting requirements exist under both sets of legislation and each worker should be aware that there are different time limits to claim under the separate Acts.
In the normal course of events, a worker would be best advised to finalise their statutory entitlements under the Queensland WorkCover legislation with a WRI payout before going on to evaluate their entitlements under the Motor Accident Insurance Act. Certain procedural requirements must be met under the Qld Motor Accident Insurance Act with a general requirement to commence proceedings within 3 years from the date of the accident after the compulsory conference provisions have been complied with.
Workers need to reimburse the amount that they have received from WorkCover Qld from the proceeds of the Motor Accident claim.