What Truck Drivers Need Know About Workers' Compensation Claims
Injuries can happen in any occupation, though some occupations are more inherently dangerous than others. For truck drivers, the threat of sustaining an injury while on the job is a very real concern for them due to the risks involved. Much like most other employees, of course, truck drivers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the event of a workplace injury or illness. That said, many of these cases are often quite complicated and require the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Common Risks Associated with Truck Driving
Some of the most common risks truck drivers frequently face due to their work duties include:
- Loading and unloading cargo
- Falls and strains caused by entering or exiting cabs
- Repetitive body stress over an extended period of time
- Falls from loading docks
- Raising heavy truck hoods
- Handling heavy equipment
- Traffic accidents
All of these risks are hazardous and can potentially be amplified after a driver spends a long period of time on the road. As in any other workers’ compensation case, it is the responsibility of the company’s owner to provide workers’ compensation insurance for drivers, though there are also some steps drivers themselves must take once they realize they are injured.
What You Need to Know About Filing an Injury Claim
Below are a few critical pieces of knowledge every truck driver should know to effectively handle their workers’ compensation claim:
- Understand your company’s procedures for reporting an injury: To start a claim, it is imperative that an injured driver establishes immediate communication with his or her supervisor. Of course, many truck drivers operate in a very independent manner, especially long-haul drivers, so there is often minimal contact with superiors. This does not mean you should skip this vital step in the claims process. If you are injured on the road or on a site, report it right away. Many companies have strict guidelines and require that injured employees report the incident within 24 hours, so make sure you do not miss out on this limited window.
- Alternative work availability: Oftentimes, trucking companies provide other options for drivers who wish to return to work, but cannot perform their usual duties. This includes light and modified duty programs, clerical work, and other stationary tasks that do not interfere with their recovery. All drivers should be made aware of their company’s return-to-work policy and give their doctors any necessary forms of materials. Without this, a driver’s doctor will not allow him or her to return to work despite it being possible to take on light duty work, such as payroll duties or answering phone calls.
- Getting back on the road: When the time comes for an injured worker to transition back into their usual job duties, it is important for them to assist in the claims process by providing relevant paperwork and copies of their doctor’s work status release to their workers’ compensation coordinator. It is also imperative that drivers follow through with all of their physician’s work restrictions to ensure that their condition does not worsen. Remember to also give your supervisor regular updates on the progress of your injury.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Orange County
If you are a truck driver and sustained injuries as a result of your job duties, you are going to need a skilled legal advocate on your side to fight for your right to workers’ compensation benefits. At Alvandi Law Group, P.C., our Orange Workers’ compensation attorneys are here to provide the exceptional representation you need during this difficult time. Backed by over 30 years of experience, you can trust in our ability to effectively handle your claim.
Get started today and contact our law office at (800) 980-6905 to request your free initial case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys.