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.
When truck drivers suffer injuries, they often lose out on wages until they recover. In some cases, workers’ compensation or other insurance payments for medical expenses and lost wages may be delayed during an investigation or while insurers negotiate liability. Don’t wait for them to decide. You should speak with an experienced workers’ compensation and workplace law attorney as soon as possible.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 23 percent of fatalities in commercial truck accidents are drivers of commercial trucks. Given how much time they spend on the road, commercial drivers are at an increased risk of suffering a serious or fatal injury in a traffic accident. Other than fatalities, there are several kinds of common injuries.
Of these injuries, strains and sprains represent nearly 50 percent of reported injuries. When it is a limb or extremity, these are generally less serious injuries that will heal over time, allowing a worker to return to work. When the affected area is the back, however, the outcome is less certain. Broken bones may result in conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome, which is a traumatic nerve disorder that can last for life. Serious traumatic injuries may take months to heal or result in permanent disability.
Negotiating with insurers can be stressful and complicated. It can also be hard to fight back on your own if your employer is contesting your workers’ compensation claim. Retaining the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney early in the process increases the odds of a favorable outcome.
The worse your injuries, the more important it is to speak with an attorney. In addition to negotiating, an attorney can review proposed settlement offers to see if you are receiving a fair offer.
If you suffered injuries as the result of your work as a truck driver, workers’ compensation should cover your medical expenses and lost wages.