Car drivers often feel that truckers are well protected by the size of their rigs, and that if an accident should happen, they themselves would be far more vulnerable and likely to come out the losers.
In truth, the percentage of truckers killed or injured on the job is far higher than many people realize. Furthermore, many of these mishaps take place off the road. The number of ways in which a trucker can suffer physical injury pales in comparison to the devastating effect these accidents can have on their lives and future careers.
When Truckers Are Injured Behind the Wheel
Over half of truckers’ job-related injuries happen on the highway. When passenger cars and trucks collide, serious harm is likely to come to every person involved. Contrary to widespread belief, such accidents aren’t always the fault of the truckers. The truth is that despite appearances to the contrary, when one of these big rigs crashes, rolls or catches fire, considerable damage to its driver is generally unavoidable.
Long drives pose another hazard. A trucker whose company deadline forces him to travel considerable distances in a sleep-deprived condition is that much more likely to find himself involved in an accident. If the mishap traces directly to his having fallen asleep behind the wheel, would the bulk of the blame fall on the trucker or on his employer?
Truckers and Off-Road Injuries
The lawyers at Lloyd Baker Injury Attorneys are aware of the numerous causes and types of physical harm that truck drivers frequently face away from the highway. Many involve:
– Falls from high elevations. Despite what many people believe, no trucker spends all his working hours burning up the miles. Once they’ve reached their destinations, they must get out of their trucks and get their freight into a warehouse or storeroom. This puts them in danger of back and knee sprains from falls that can take place while going up and down stairs, navigating loading ramps, stepping into holes or even exiting their vehicles.
– Injuries occurring on level ground. For a trucker, heavy lifting is part of the job. Unfortunately, back injuries and musculoskeletal damage will often occur while they are engaged in toting cartons, changing tires, lifting bins or wrestling with cumbersome dollies. The physical strain of loading or unloading the truck is often the biggest culprit.
– Being struck by or pushed into extraneous objects. Pallet jacks, cartons, chains, binders, winch bars, lift gates and vehicle parts are just a few of the things that can strike a trucker accidentally. Broken bones and internal injuries commonly result, and if any of these objects should land on the trucker’s head, concussion and subsequent brain damage are distinct possibilities.
A Truck Driver’s Post-Injury Options
After a work-related accident, a trucker has two avenues through which to seek legal relief. He or she can:
– File a claim for workers’ compensation. This is the only means a worker has of seeking redress directly from an employer, and it is available regardless of whether the company’s negligence or carelessness played a role in causing the accident. Moreover, your injuries need not accrue directly from a one-time mishap. Overuse injuries and illnesses resulting from exposure to hazardous substances will also qualify you for this type of monetary relief. Workers’ compensation benefits will usually pay your medical bills. They will also partially compensate you for lost income if your injuries have left you permanently or temporarily disabled.
– File a personal injury suit. Although workers’ compensation laws do prevent workers from suing their employers directly, nothing stops them from filing for personal injury against any third party who shares responsibility for their injuries. For example, you could additionally file suit against the owner of the delivery site whose icy loading ramp was responsible for your tumble or the motorcycle driver who forced your rig off the road and into a tree. If you can prove negligence on the part of the third party, a successful personal injury lawsuit can reward you with damages beyond any you could obtain from worker’s compensation.
How Lloyd Baker Injury Attorneys Can Help
The attorneys at Lloyd Baker understand the numerous ways in which a work-related injury can change a trucker’s life. We want only one thing: to win you the compensation that your suffering deserves. If you are a trucker who has sustained injury on the job, we will carefully review your case and give you an accurate estimate of the damages you can expect. There is no charge for a consultation, so call Lloyd Baker today and see what your case may be worth.