Truck drivers are some of the most essential workers in the United States economy, transporting billions in cargo across the country every day. Unfortunately, these individuals have demanding jobs and put themselves at risk every time they perform a delivery route. Unfortunately, when truck drivers experience accidents and sustain injuries, they are not always immediately able to discern the best options for recovering their losses.
A truck accident can easily cause devastating injuries to the truck driver and the other drivers and passengers involved in the collision. When this type of incident occurs, the resulting damages can be astronomical, and it may be necessary to prove fault to ensure accountability for the incident. In addition, any truck accident can be a life-changing experience for those involved, and victims must know their legal rights regarding truck accident injuries.
Perhaps because Charlotte is a major trucking center for tractor-trailers traveling north and south, and heading out westward across the U.S., our workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability law firm often advises and represents injured truckers. If you have suffered a back injury, shoulder injury or any type of injury while maintaining your equipment or handling freight, contact us.
The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, has extensive professional experience representing injured truck drivers in North Carolina. We understand how difficult it can be to successfully get through the claim process for workers’ compensation after a truck accident injury despite North Carolina enforcing some of the country’s strictest and most robust workers’ compensation laws. Our team can not only assist you in filing your workers’ compensation claim, increasing your chances of reaching a suitable result, but also help you explore additional options that may enhance your recovery outside of your claim.
It is common these days for trucking industry employers to try to set drivers up as “independent contractors” — so as to avoid paying benefits that full-time employees would be entitled to receive. However, just because your employer says you are an independent contractor does not necessarily make it so. Usually it is just not true, but you will need a lawyer to fight the battle.
A Charlotte truck driver injury attorney with experience can review any contracts or employment agreements between you and your employer that stipulate the nature of your working relationship. It’s common for workers to believe they are contractors due to what their employers tell them without realizing they technically qualify as full-fledged employees. A good attorney can help you prove the true nature of your employment status if your employer asserts that you are ineligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. If your employer has violated North Carolina law, they can face severe penalties while being compelled to take responsibility for your workers’ compensation claim.
Whether you are an employee or considered a self-employed independent contractor depends in large part on how much control your employer has over your day-to-day work activities. You may in fact be an employee and be covered by workers’ compensation in the event of an injury by accident or a specific traumatic injury. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney, such as Bob Bollinger, is an advocate who can help ensure that you receive all compensation that you are due when you have been injured while on the job as a truck driver while maintaining your equipment or handling freight.
Under North Carolina law, an injury qualifies for workers’ compensation insurance coverage as long as it occurs while working. This means that if you are driving your truck and experience an accident that results in an injury, you are likely covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Regardless of whether you face any controversies regarding your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina, a Charlotte truck driver injury attorney can streamline your path to recovering your losses.
A successful workers’ compensation claim can potentially provide full coverage of all the medical expenses related to treating your truck accident injuries. Most workers’ compensation policies provide full medical expense coverage for fully healing from and managing the symptoms of a covered workplace injury.
Beyond medical expenses, workers’ compensation can potentially award disability benefits, which can last until the claimant can resume their previous work duties. For example, workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina generally come in four possible forms:
Your Charlotte truck driver injury attorney will be invaluable in filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits and ensuring your claim determination is fair and reasonable. In addition, should you encounter any unexpected delays, if the workers’ compensation insurance carrier requests supporting documentation, or if your claim is denied for any reason, your attorney can assist you in addressing these problems effectively.
An injured truck driver covered by workers’ compensation insurance typically cannot sue their employer for a workplace injury. The only exceptions to this would be any situation in which an employer has intentionally caused the injury in question, if the employer has knowingly misclassified the injured employee as a contractor, or if the employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance as required by state law. However, if another driver caused your recent accident that resulted in your injuries, that party is liable for any damages that workers’ compensation can’t cover.
A successful workers’ compensation claim can be an invaluable resource for any injured truck driver, helping them manage their medical expenses and maintain some financial security while unable to work. The personal injury laws of North Carolina enable a plaintiff to seek compensation for any lost income or lost earning capacity that workers’ compensation won’t cover, through a third-party personal injury claim. Additionally, they can also seek compensation for property damage the defendant caused as well as compensation for their pain and suffering.
It is important to note that North Carolina’s contributory negligence law means that if the plaintiff is partly at fault for causing their damages, they lose the ability to seek compensation entirely. Determining fault can be difficult in some truck injury claims. If an at-fault driver asserts that you caused your own damages, you will need a Charlotte truck driver injury attorney with experience to disprove their claim and secure the compensation you need to recover.
The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, can provide the comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel you need after a truck accident injury in North Carolina. Our team has extensive experience with workers’ compensation claims and third-party injury claims filed on behalf of injured truck drivers in the Charlotte, NC, area.
Learn how to document and file a workers’ compensation claim pertaining to your truck driver’s injuries. Your initial consultation will not cost you a dime, only your time. If you are unable to work at all for a year or more, you might have a Social Security Disability claim as well. Your consultation functions as a strategy session, where we can help you determine the best course of action. Contact The Bollinger Law Firm in Charlotte, North Carolina, at 704-377-7677 or toll free at 866-326-3090.