Workers Compensation Benefits for Truck Drivers
A while back, we blogged about trucking accidents and how smaller vehicles are generally more at risk during a truck-car collision. And while there’s definitely a lot of truth to that—during truck collisions, 60% of fatalities are people in the smaller vehicle—we also don’t want to overlook the hazards that truckers themselves face while on the job!
As of 2017, there were 1,871,700 trucking jobs in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most truck drivers in the United States are long-haul drivers, which means that they drive for long distances. Additionally, most operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight of over 26,000 pounds. They transport a wide variety of resources and goods, from oil to potato chips. They play an important role in helping people and businesses get the products they need.
All truck drivers must have a commercial license, which allows them to drive a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle. Once they have their commercial license, some truck drivers may operate their own trucks or work as a contractor. Many others become employees of a trucking company and operate a company truck.
No matter what route they take, many truck drivers face everyday challenges in their career.
Injury Risks on the Road
No matter what route they take to get into the trucking business, many truck drivers face everyday challenges. One of the biggest issues is an increased risk of traffic accident. While they might drive much larger vehicles, truck drivers can still be harmed by the dangerous behavior of others. For truck drivers, some of the main causes of accidents caused by other vehicles include:
- Driving in a truck’s blind spot or a spot where they have low visibility
- Suddenly changing lanes in front of a truck or making a sudden left turn in front of a truck
- Improper merging
- Failing to properly speed up or slow down for a merging truck
- Unsafe passing
When it comes to traffic accident, another major issue is drowsy driving. Truck drivers often spend hours on the road, sometimes traveling overnight. Because of this, they are more likely than other drivers to experience driver fatigue. When a driver has been on the road for a long time without rest, they might find themselves feeling drowsy, which affects their concentration, reaction time, and decision making skills, or might even fall asleep at the wheel. This is dangerous both for the truck driver and others on the roads, as even a split second can cause a major accident.
Along with the dangers of drowsy driving, truckers also face hazards like:
- Back injuries, sprains, and strains for loading or lifting heavy equipment
- Injuries from repetitive motions like steering, braking, or lifting
- Broken bones or traumatic brain injuries from falling equipment or machinery
Workers Compensation for Truck Drivers
When a truck driver works for a trucking company, they will likely be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If they are injured in a traffic accident while on the job, they might also be able to seek compensation from the reckless or negligent driver who caused the accident.
For truck drivers, there are many risks that come along with their job—but there are all many options for truckers who are injured on the job.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.