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Truck Driver Injuries and Workers' Compensation

At The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, we fully comprehend the unique challenges faced by truck drivers on a daily basis. From the long, exhausting hours on the road to the numerous potential hazards faced, truck driving is indeed a high-risk profession. For truck driver injuries on the job, the consequences can be not only physically debilitating but financially crippling as well.

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Call us at (866) 907-1145 24/7 to arrange to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case, or contact us through the website today.

 

To ensure that injured truck drivers aren't left to bear these burdens alone, North Carolina, like most states, has in place a workers' compensation system designed to provide essential benefits. However, the process is often complex and can be overwhelming, particularly when you're also dealing with the aftermath of an injury. This is where a seasoned workers' compensation lawyer like John M. McCabe can step in and offer invaluable assistance.

What is Workers' Compensation?

Workers' compensation is an insurance program mandated by the state, which provides benefits to workers who become injured or ill as a result of their job. These benefits can cover medical expenses, wage replacement, and disability benefits, depending on the severity and duration of the worker's condition. In exchange for these benefits, employees generally forfeit their right to sue their employers for negligence related to the injury or illness.

How Does Workers' Compensation Apply to Truck Driver Injuries?

Truck Driver Injuries

Due to the inherent risks of trucking, truck drivers are among the workers most likely to need the benefits provided by workers' compensation. Common risks include vehicle accidents, slips and falls during loading/unloading, or overexertion injuries from handling heavy cargo.

In North Carolina, trucking companies are required to carry workers' compensation insurance for all employees, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers. Independent contractors are typically not eligible for workers' compensation benefits, but the line between an employee and an independent contractor can sometimes be blurred, especially in the trucking industry.

How a Workers' Compensation Lawyer Can Help

Navigating the complex world of workers' compensation claims can be a daunting task, especially when you're already dealing with an injury. At The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, we specialize in handling these types of cases and can help in several ways:

Filing a Claim

We can guide you through the process of filing your workers' compensation claim, ensuring all necessary paperwork is filled out correctly and submitted in a timely manner.

Gathering Evidence

We can help gather evidence to support your claim, such as medical records and witness statements. We will also help demonstrate the relationship between your work activities and your injury.

Negotiating Settlements

If your claim is disputed by your employer or their insurance company, we can negotiate on your behalf to secure a fair settlement.

Appealing Denied Claims

If your claim has been denied, we can represent you in an appeal, working diligently to overturn the decision and secure the benefits you're entitled to.

Common Injuries for Truck Drivers

Truck Driver Injuries

Truck driving is a physically demanding job that puts drivers at risk for certain types of injuries. Some of these injuries occur as a result of road accidents, while others are associated with the physical demands of the job itself. Below are some of the most common injuries for truck drivers:

Traumatic Injuries

Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, accidents involving these vehicles can lead to serious traumatic injuries. This could include:

Overexertion Injuries

These injuries are often the result of loading and unloading heavy cargo. They can include:

  • sprains
  • strains
  • and injuries to the back, neck, or shoulders.

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Long hours behind the wheel can lead to repetitive strain injuries, such as:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • tendonitis
  • or bursitis.

These conditions occur when the same motion is repeated over and over again, causing wear and tear on the body.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

These common incidents can occur during vehicle inspections, loading/unloading, or entering/exiting the cab and can lead to a variety of injuries including broken bones, sprains, and head injuries.

Whiplash and Other Soft Tissue Injuries

During a collision, the rapid back-and-forth motion can cause injuries to the soft tissues in the neck and upper back, resulting in whiplash.

Hearing Loss

Constant exposure to loud engine noise can lead to noise-induced hearing loss over time.

Mental and Emotional Trauma

Being involved in a serious accident can lead to mental and emotional trauma, including conditions, such as:

  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • anxiety
  • and depression.

What Does Workers' Compensation Cover for Truck Drivers?

Workers' compensation is designed to provide financial support and medical care to workers, including truck drivers, who are injured on the job. The specific benefits available may vary somewhat from state to state, but in general, the following are covered under most workers' compensation programs:

Medical Expenses

All reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury should be covered. This includes:

  • hospital stays
  • surgeries
  • medications
  • physical therapy
  • and any necessary medical equipment such as wheelchairs or crutches.

In some cases, ongoing care or rehabilitation may also be covered.

Disability Benefits

If a truck driver's injury results in a temporary or permanent disability that prevents them from working, disability benefits may be available. Temporary disability benefits are typically provided while the worker is recovering, whereas permanent disability benefits may be provided when the injury is so severe that the worker can't return to their job or any job.

Wage Replacement

If a truck driver has to miss work due to a work-related injury, workers' compensation generally provides a portion of the lost wages. The exact amount varies, but it's usually about two-thirds of the worker's average weekly wage.

Vocational Rehabilitation

If an injury prevents a truck driver from returning to their previous job, workers' compensation may cover vocational rehabilitation services. These services can help the injured worker learn new skills or find a new job that they can perform despite their injury.

Death Benefits

If a truck driver is killed in a work-related accident, workers' compensation can provide death benefits to the worker's dependents, including a spouse or children. This usually includes a portion of the worker's wages and may also cover funeral and burial expenses.

Contact The Law Offices of John M. McCabe

Navigating the complexities of workers' compensation can be challenging, particularly for truck drivers facing unique occupational risks and often complicated employment classifications. Whether you're an employee or an independent contractor grappling with the intricacies of an injury claim, it's crucial to understand your rights and options.

FREE Consultations

Call us at (866) 907-1145 24/7 to arrange to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case, or contact us through the website today.

 


Truck Driver Workers' Compensation FAQs

Understanding workers' compensation can be complicated, particularly for truck drivers who face unique challenges and risks in their line of work. Below, we've compiled some frequently asked questions to help clarify some of the most common concerns.

I'm an independent contractor. Am I eligible for workers' compensation?

In most states, independent contractors aren't covered by workers' compensation. However, the classification between an employee and an independent contractor can sometimes be blurred, particularly in the trucking industry. If you believe you're misclassified and should be eligible for benefits, you should consult a workers' compensation lawyer.

Do Trucking Companies Have to Offer Workers' Compensation?

Yes, trucking companies, like all other businesses, are generally required by law to offer workers' compensation coverage to their employees. However, the specific requirements can vary from state to state.

I was injured in a truck accident while driving out of state. Where do I file my workers' compensation claim?

Typically, you can file a claim in the state where you were hired or the state where the injury occurred. The specific rules can vary by state, so it's recommended to consult a lawyer to understand the best course of action.

How long do I have to report a work-related injury?

In North Carolina, a worker has 30 days to report a work-related injury to their employer. However, it's generally best to report any injury as soon as possible.

Can I choose my own doctor for treatment?

Under North Carolina law, your employer or its insurance company has the right to direct medical treatment. This means they usually select the doctor you see. However, you may request a change of physician or a second opinion under certain circumstances.

What if my workers' compensation claim is denied?

If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. This process can be complex, and it's recommended to have a skilled workers' compensation attorney help guide you through it.

Can I be fired for filing a workers' compensation claim?

It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a workers' compensation claim. If you believe you've been fired or otherwise retaliated against due to your claim, contact an attorney immediately.

 

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