Trucking is one of the most important industries in the United States. Every day, billions of dollars in cargo travels across the country thanks to truckers, who face one of the most challenging and physically demanding jobs available today. If you work in the trucking industry as a driver, mechanic, or support personnel of any kind, it’s vital to know what to do if you sustain an injury at work. While truckers face the risk of vehicle accidents on their routes, they can face many other injury risks as well. A North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can help an injured trucking employee secure the benefits they need after any type of injury at work.
Attorney Bob Bollinger and the team at Bollinger Law Firm, PC have extensive experience helping injured North Carolina employees with their workers’ compensation claims. We understand the stress and uncertainty that can follow any workplace injury and want to provide the meticulous and compassionate legal counsel you need to approach the claim process with confidence and peace of mind.
You might think that if your injury occurred at work, you should have minimal difficulty securing workers’ compensation benefits. The reality is that many injured workers face unexpected complications with their claims, sometimes including outright unfair denials of benefits based on technicalities. Some injured workers mistakenly accept less than they should due to a lack of awareness of their rights under the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC).
If you are already struggling with the aftermath of a workplace injury, do not make an already challenging situation worse by trying to handle your workers’ compensation claim alone. The right attorney can significantly improve your chances of not only securing compensation for your damages but also of obtaining the maximum amount of benefits available for your situation. Dealing with workers’ compensation insurance companies is never easy, and your North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can help you prepare for every interaction with your employer’s insurance carrier.
Truck drivers, truck mechanics, and others working for trucking companies in North Carolina can potentially experience a wide range of injuries from work. The most obvious injury risk for truck drivers is a vehicle accident en route to their destination. Trucking companies typically have robust auto insurance to cover vehicles and transported goods, but workers’ compensation coverage will apply when a truck driver is injured on the road.
Some trucking industry injuries are related to acute incidents, such as vehicle malfunctions, equipment malfunctions, or unexpected accidents. Falling objects in truck maintenance centers and unexpected traumatic injuries can all potentially lead to workers’ compensation claims. It’s also possible for truck drivers to sustain less severe injuries that still prevent them from performing their job duties. For example, a truck driver could suffer an unexpected back injury or soft tissue injury when getting in or out of their truck. They may suffer repetitive strain injuries from long-haul driving, loading, and unloading their trucks, and other job duties.
It’s important to remember that both acute injuries and acquired repetitive stress injuries qualify for workers’ compensation in North Carolina. You should report any workplace injury to your supervisor immediately before seeking medical care, even if the injury seems mild. The NCIC requires you to report a workplace injury within 30 days, and your employer then has 14 days to submit a response to your report to the NCIC. Your doctor can provide you with a report that outlines the extent of your injury and any likely future complications that might arise from it. You will need to present this to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier and provide them with a statement concerning your experience.
It’s wise to consult with an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer before interacting with your employer’s insurance carrier. Your legal team can help you prepare for your statement and understand what the insurance company is likely to ask regarding your workplace injury. Once the workers’ compensation insurance carrier has reviewed their claim, they will deliver a determination of benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits function on a “total” or “partial” basis, and they may continue temporarily or permanently, depending on the severity of the claimant’s injury:
An experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney is the best resource to consult if you want to maximize your recovery from your claim. Depending on how your injury occurred, you may also have grounds for further legal action beyond a workers’ compensation claim.
North Carolina law does not permit injured employees to file civil claims against their employers, but they can file civil claims against third parties responsible for their workplace injuries. If another party caused your injury, you could potentially secure compensation for damages that workers’ compensation doesn’t cover. For example, you could obtain compensation for property losses, lost income that your disability benefits do not cover, and your pain and suffering.
Ultimately, a trucking industry injury can be a life-changing experience, and it’s understandable to feel uncertain and frustrated by your situation when facing a difficult workers’ compensation claim. The Bollinger Law Firm, PC is ready to provide the legal counsel you need to approach your workers’ compensation claim with confidence and peace of mind. If you are ready to discuss your case with a North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney, contact the Bollinger Law Firm, PC, today and schedule a consultation.