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Truck Drivers and Workers' Comp Archives

The most common injuries suffered by truck drivers

Commercial truck drivers have a difficult job. They are responsible for transporting thousands of pounds of goods across hundreds of miles while navigating traffic on highways and surface streets. Their vehicles have massive blind spots, and turning can be difficult. In inclement weather, stopping a commercial truck may prove difficult. Accidents and turnovers happen frequently. Combine that with the real risk of repetitive stress injuries from the manual work of driving and back injuries from loading their cargo, and you have a very risky profession.

5 things truckers should know about injuries

Semitruck drivers face some very specific injury risks. The nature of the work puts you in danger on each shift if you drive these large trucks. Repetitive motion, falls and crashes are all possible sources of injuries. You might opt to file for workers' compensation benefits if you suffer an injury while you are working. These are some points to consider if you are facing this situation.

Injured truckers misclassified as independent contractors

Work-related injuries are very common among truck drivers, including back injuries and shoulder injuries. Typically, when a worker is injured on the job, workers' compensation will help cover medical expenses relating to the injury as well as income that is lost because of the injury.

Truck drivers as independent contractors - am I covered by workers' comp?

Many truck drivers are considered independent contractors and file a 1099 form for IRS tax purposes - meaning they are not considered employees of the company in which they perform work for. So what happens when they are injured on the job? Are they covered by the employer's workers' comp insurance? Surprisingly, if you find yourself in this situation, you may in fact be covered by the employer's workers' comp, even though you are not officially an employee of the company.

Truck drivers face great risk of injury

Trucking is tough and truck drivers face a number of occupational hazards. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly half a million large truck accidents occur each year, and many of these crashes result in fatalities on the road. Though non-truck vehicle occupants constitute the majority of fatalities, about a quarter of those killed in large truck crashes are truckers themselves.

Injured Truck Drivers and North Carolina Workers' Comp Claims

Many truck drivers can file their injury claims here in North Carolina even if the driver is hurt in another state.  This is because of the "jurisdiction" rules of the NC Workers' Compensation Act.  The workers' compensation benefits under NC law may be better than the benefits in other states.  For instance, Florida only allows 104 weeks of TTD (temporary total disability) payments.   North Carolina allows up to 500 weeks of TTD.   Being able to pursue your claim under North Carolina workers' comp law is important if you live here in our state.  Your doctors are likely to be here near your home, and it is much easier to fight the insurance company here on your home turf than to have to travel to Kansas or Oregon to do it.  Under NCGS 97-36, an injured worker can file his or her claim in North Carolina if: 

Senate Bill 614 Affects Rights of Truck Drivers in NC

NC Senate Bill 614, filed April 4, 2013, would affect the ability of truck drivers injured at work to obtain workers' compensation benefits.  The Bill would make it much harder for drivers to prove that they are "employees" rather than "independent contractors."   Employees are covered by workers' compensation but independent contractors generally are not covered.  This bill appears to be an effort to reduce trucking company costs by minimizing their responsibilities to their drivers.  The Bill tries to shift the responsibility to an "occupational accident insurance policy" that the driver may have to pay for himself.  This Bill is sponsored by two Republican Senators, Harry Brown of Jacksonville and Brent Jackson of Autryville.  Here is a link to the Bill:   http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/HTML/S614v1.html         

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