Compared with the general public, commercial truck drivers are much more likely to encounter health problems. This is the case for a number of reasons linked to the nature of the job: long hours, stress, irregular schedules, limited physical activity, and lack of healthy food options while on the road.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the rate of nonfatal injuries among long-haul truck drivers is three times higher than the rate for other adult workers in the U.S.
These facts, combined with the reality that virtually every American depends on the trucking industry for goods and services, underscores the need for full and fair workers’ compensation for injured truck drivers.
What kinds of trucking injuries are covered under North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system?
If you’re a truck driver in the Charlotte area, then you undoubtedly know that this part of the country is a trucking hub. We owe it to our local drivers to ensure that their medical and financial needs are covered when an on-the-job injury happens.
The most common types of injuries experienced by truck drivers include back, neck, shoulder, knee and hip injuries, along with hernia. Other compensable injuries may result from wrecks, falls and contact with objects.
Depending on the severity of the injury, any of these ailments could prevent you from working at all, and in many cases, it is necessary for the injured driver to seek Social Security disability benefits in addition to workers’ comp benefits.
Under North Carolina law, an on-the-job injury must be categorized as an “accident” in order for the injury to be compensable.
We discussed this category of “accident” in a recent series of blog posts. Essentially, workers’ comp covers injuries that result from on-the-job accidents and not injuries that develop gradually in the ordinary course of employment. Exceptions to this rule include back injuries and hernia, which may develop over time as a result of job activities.
Note, too, that North Carolina law requires truck owners and operators to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If an owner-operator is not covered by workers’ comp, then the motor carrier is required to provide coverage.
If you’re wondering if your injury is covered by workers’ compensation in North Carolina, then don’t hesitate to contact a workers’ comp attorney who offers free initial consultations.
Your free meeting with a lawyer will allow you to explore your options for maximizing a successful claim.
At The Bollinger Law Firm in Charlotte, we offer free initial consultations in our effort to help injured truck drivers in Mecklenburg and Cumberland counties obtain full and fair workers’ compensation benefits.