Truckers seeking to recover workers' compensation benefits should seek the guidance of an experienced attorney.
Truck drivers have very challenging jobs. They are under tight deadlines, and if they miss any of their scheduled deliveries or pickups, this can cost them a significant amount of money. The demands of the position often require them to complete several extremely physical tasks each day, and it is not uncommon for drivers to be injured while they are working.
While the workers' compensation system is supposed to cover individuals injured on the job, there are many obstacles for truck drivers. A recent North Carolina case examined an issue that demonstrated just how difficult it can be for truckers to obtain workers' comp benefits.
A truck driver who resided in North Carolina worked for a trucking company located in Mississippi. The man had worked for the company from 2002 to 2003 before leaving to go work for another trucking business. The man was contacted by the Mississippi company in 2004, and again decided to go work for this particular employer.
Prior to being hired for the second time, the employers required him to come to Mississippi to complete certain portions of the hiring process. He was asked to complete a road test, a drug test and an examination to determine if he was fit to drive. This took approximately three days, and the man was rehired following the successful completion of these tasks.
In 2006, the man stopped at a truck stop in Maryland, and he was hit by another vehicle. The injuries were severe enough to prevent him from working. The man filed a request for North Carolina workers' compensation benefits, and his request was approved.
The man's employer and their insurance company contested the finding, stating that the North Carolina industrial commission lacked the authority to hear the case. They believed that the state was not the man's principle place of employment, nor the company's principle place of business.
In its review of the case, the North Carolina Court of Appeals agreed with the employer. They ruled that because the driver went to Mississippi to complete the hiring process, that North Carolina was not the proper forum to request benefits.
This case highlights how difficult it can be for truckers to get the benefits they need. Truckers are located and drive throughout the country, and finding the right place to request benefits if an injury occurs is a crucial component of the process.
If you are a truck driver who has been injured while working, it is important that you reach out to an experienced workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will help you understand all of the unique issues associated with workers' comp law, and help you file a claim to recover the compensation you deserve.
Many truckers going through the workers' comp process encounter significant obstacles, including difficulty computing their average weekly wages. Your attorney will ensure that the proper amounts are being used when determining the benefits that you are to be paid while recovering from your injuries.