Commercial Truck Drivers
Commercial truck drivers face a wide variety of risks in their job. Truck driver injuries and illnesses account for 12 percent of all fatal workplace accidents. When a commercial truck driver is injured on the job, claiming workers’ compensation benefits can be tricky with many claims being initially denied.
The South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP are dedicated to helping commercial truck drivers claim the maximum amount of benefits available. Serious injuries and illnesses related to the trucking industry often require long recovery periods that result in lost wages and high medical bills. Our experienced team of workers’ compensation lawyers work diligently to protect the legal rights of commercial truck drivers and claim the compensation they are entitled to receive.
Common Types of Commercial Truck Driver Injuries
The most common cause of truck driver injuries results from truck accidents. A commercial tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when it is fully loaded. When a truck collides with another vehicle, or gets into a jackknife, rollover, or rear-end accident, injuries can be catastrophic.
Truck drivers are also prone to many other risks, including repetitive stress, slip and fall injuries, being struck by heavy objects, and health complications related to sitting for long periods of time. Obesity and heart issues are common health complications for a majority of commercial truck drivers as long stretches on the open road leads to a poor diet and lack of exercise.
The most common commercial truck driver injuries and illnesses include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) resulting from accidents
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Degenerative joint disease
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Bone fractures
- High blood cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Depression and anxiety
When one or more of these injuries or illnesses occur, a commercial truck driver can be forced off the road for long periods of time. When this happens, workers’ compensation benefits provide much needed compensation to cover lost wages, medical bills, cognitive or physical therapy, and prescription medications.
Claiming Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Commercial Truck Drivers
Commercial truck drivers that are employed by trucking companies and fleet owners are covered by workers’ compensation as mandated by law. Unfortunately, a large majority of commercial truck drivers work as independent contractors, which can make claiming benefits difficult. Strict deadlines apply to filing claim, and missing these deadlines could result in a denial of benefits.
Workers’ compensation laws vary by state, but for truckers that are covered under an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance plan, claiming benefits typically includes the following process:
- Report the injury or illness to the employer, usually within a mandated 30-day period.
- Review the employer’s workers’ compensation policies to see if injured employees are required to see a company-dictated physician, or if the worker is permitted to be treated by their own physician.
- Seek medical intervention and collect detailed records of all emergency room visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor visits, assistive therapy sessions, and prescription medications related to the job-related injury or illness.
- Seek counsel of an experienced and reputable workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure all pertinent evidence is available, all deadlines are met, and the maximum amount of benefits are claimed.
What to Do If Workers’ Compensation Benefits are Initially Denied
It is not uncommon for workers’ compensation benefits to be initially denied, especially when a commercial truck driver is employed as an independent contractor. The appeals process for a workers’ compensation claim denial is best handled by a knowledgeable and skilled workers’ compensation lawyer.
Large trucking firms and fleet owners often have aggressive legal teams on retainer to fight claims. Going up against these giants is difficult since they most often have the time and money to invest in disputing a claim for compensation. A qualified and knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer will use their knowledge of workers’ compensation laws to claim the maximum amount of compensation available.
South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Help Commercial Truck Drivers Claim Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you are a commercial truck driver and were injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP at 856-761-3773 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden, Delran, Cinnaminson, Maple Shade, and Pennsauken.