Commercial trucking can be a dangerous job. There’s the risk of theft or hijacking, depending on the content of your truck, as well as ongoing risk of injury due to an accident. Every year, nearly half a million commercial trucks are involved in crashes, causing over 5,000 deaths and 142,000 injuries annually. While those operating or riding in smaller vehicles involved in commercial truck collisions sustain many of those deaths and injuries, many commercial truck drivers are injured on the job every year. If you have been injured while driving a commercial truck, an attorney may be able to help.
Many people would assume that the only way a truck driver gets hurt is when they are involved in a collision. In reality, there are a number of injuries common to truck drivers. Many commercial truck drivers are expected to assist with loading or unloading their vehicle, which increases the potential for joint and back injuries. There’s also the risk of repetitive stress injuries in the hands and arms due to gripping the wheel for long hours and manually shifting. From broken bones to overworked joints, these work-related injuries may qualify under North Carolina’s workers’ compensation law.
Under North Carolina law, simply filing your taxes using a 1099 form does not mean that you are properly classified as an independent contractor. In fact, many truckers who work as independent contractors may actually be considered direct hire employees in the state of North Carolina, when it comes to workers’ compensation. The final determination will depend on how much decision-making control your employer has over your daily workflow. If your employer exercises their “right to control” under the law, you are probably entitled to workers’ compensation for on the job injuries.
If you are a commercial truck driver who has sustained injuries in a trucking accident or who has developed a repetitive stress injury from driving for so many years, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Regardless of whether you file taxes using a W2 or a 1099 form, you should speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. There are time limits on filing claims, so looking into your rights and options sooner rather than later is in your best interest.
If you are experiencing a medical issue that is a result of your work as a commercial truck driver, you owe it to yourself and your family to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. The initial consultation will always be free, and you could gain some very valuable insight and advice.