Truck drivers are spending long hours on the road. They’re exposed to any risk a potential auto accident brings. No matter how careful they are, these drivers may end up in an accident. Fatigue, sleeping behind the wheel, weather conditions, road hazards, inability to stop fast if another vehicle suddenly cuts the lane are just a few of the factors that may lead to an accident.
This is why workers compensation is so important in the trucking industry. If you’re a truck driver who was injured in an accident (or any other way) while driving, be sure to seek help from a workers compensation attorney.
How Workers’ Compensation Works
Most people know what workers compensation means and how it works. When it comes to commercial truck insurance, it is an effective coverage that gives protection for trucking companies; this way the company will be financially saved during litigation.
When it comes to financial support for the truck driver, workers compensation will cover medical costs, lost wages, or disability payments. The employee must report any injury or illness that happened while they were doing their job and should notify their employer and file a claim immediately.
Workers’ Compensation in Trucking
This workers compensation doesn’t work differently in the trucking industry. The basics are more or less the same. An employed worker injures themselves, file for a claim, and get a settlement. However, many truck drivers aren’t necessarily employed by a commercial trucking company. Many truck drivers are owner-operators who aren’t employed for the trucking company which means the company is not required to pay them workers compensation if they get injured.
The trucking company can include them in the company worker’s compensation program. They can also select a different alternative (Occupational Accident Injury Coverage), where the owner-operator buys their own coverage for medical benefits and disability coverage in case they get injured while doing their job.
Types of Workers Compensation Injuries
Truck drivers often get musculoskeletal injuries; this number is quite higher compared to workers in other workforces. This happens due to the nature of their work, which involves long hours of seating, short periods of active labor such as loading and unloading the truck. Truck drivers are more prone to injury than people in other occupations. Many truck drivers are also overweight due to their sedentary job and poor physical activity. Most of them are paid by the mile, so their working hours vary, which leads to constant changes in their sleeping habits (lack of sleep is exceptionally dangerous for drivers).
Here are the most common truck driving injuries:
- Slip and fall accidents while the driver climbs in and out of the cab or trailer
- Slip and fall on loading docs
- Vehicle accidents
- Strains and backs injuries from lifting or moving things
- Incidents While loading or unloading the trailer
- Carpal tunnel injury
- Accident injuries where a part of the load falls on the driver
If you’re a truck driver and got injured in a motor vehicle accident while driving a truck (or any other way, while being on the job) you may be able to collect workers compensation. Even if you’re an owner-operator and not eligible for workers compensation you should still check if you’re eligible for the settlement. If you aren’t formally employed, you should consult with a worker’s compensation attorney.
If you got injured in an accident and the other driver is at fault due to negligence, you can file a liability claim against the other driver’s insurance company.
Workers’ compensation is a complex thing so if you’re a driver and are exposed to the risk of accidents, things may get even more complicated. It’s important that you seek medical help as soon as possible and inform the trucking company you collaborate with. Also, it’s essential that you hire a worker’s compensation attorney with experience in this area.
Don’t assume that just because you aren’t employed by the company that you can’t collect your claim. It doesn’t matter if you contributed to the accident either; let your lawyer review your case and advise you on the further steps.
Your recovery might take longer, and you might not be able to work any time soon. The worker’s compensation claim will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other fees related to your injury.
Our lawyers at Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition will review your case for free. Let us help you go through the process easily. We’ll do our best to help you get the settlement you deserve.