Sometimes people sustain injuries in a motor vehicle accident whilst in the course of their employment. This can lead to some confusion as to what entitlements the injured person may have.
These issues can often arise with occupations including truck drivers, courier drivers and sales people, for example.
This can also arise in circumstances where a pedestrian in the course of their employment sustains an injury when struck by a motor vehicle.
Although some confusion can arise, the safest and most prudent approach is to immediately lodge claims with the relevant workers compensation insurer and the relevant CTP insurer. The legislation will then usually determine what entitlements the injured person has available to them and when those entitlements are available.
The Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017 specifically states that an injured person is not entitled to statutory benefits under that scheme if compensation is payable under the Workers Compensation Act 1987. Therefore, generally speaking, if the workers compensation claim is accepted, then statutory benefits for weekly benefits and medical expenses will be paid for by the workers compensation insurer as opposed to the CTP insurer. However, in the event that the workers compensation insurer was to deny payment of those benefits for any reason, the claimant would then be in a position to seek payment of such benefits from the CTP insurer.
Although in some cases the injured worker may never need to rely upon benefits under the Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017, it is nonetheless imperative that notice of the claim be made on the CTP insurer within the required time frame, being three months from the date of accident. Although the workers compensation insurer may pay the claimant’s statutory benefits, the claimant may be able to claim additional common law damages from the CTP insurer in the event that it is determined that they were not wholly or mostly at fault for the accident, and they sustained more than a minor injury.
It appears that recently CTP insurers have attempted to reject lodgement of the Application for Personal Injury Benefits where a worker’s compensation claim exists. However, it is important that the application be lodged with the CTP insurer regardless.
The claimant should also ensure that they notify the matter to police within 28 days so as to comply with all requirements under that scheme. By doing this, the claimant protects their rights, particularly in the event that a common law damages claim becomes available in the future.
CTP insurers will also notify claimants in circumstances where they believe a worker’s compensation claim should be lodged, in the event that it has not been already. Claimants should pay careful attention to such directions as time limits apply. Claimants should consider seeking legal advice for assistance with these procedures.
Although it can be difficult to ascertain immediately after the accident what benefits may be payable, the safest course is to ensure all initial documentation is lodged as soon as possible after the accident on all relevant insurers. Injured persons should consider seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity following the accident so as to ensure they have been properly advised as to all available entitlements.