Apr 21, 2020

Workers’ Compensation for Truck Drivers: What You Need to Know

Just like any other covered employee in the state of Georgia, truck drivers and commercial vehicle operators are entitled to workers’ compensation when they suffer job-related injuries. This includes injuries related to truck accidents, as well as any other injury or condition caused by work-related duties or incurred in the course of one’s employment.

At Hansford McDaniel LLC, we provide comprehensive workers’ compensation representation for all injured employees across a broad range of industries, including truck drivers. Here, we’ve compiled information for injured commercial vehicle drivers and their loved ones, including common covered injuries, benefits for injured truck drivers, and how to file a claim. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your case with a knowledgeable and experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta, we invite you to contact us and schedule a free consultation.

Common Truck Driver Injuries

Because truck drivers and commercial vehicle operators spend hours on the road, they are at a significant risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, truck accidents tend to be particularly devastating, often leading to severe, disabling injuries. However, one-time accidents and collisions are not the only cause of truck driver injuries. In fact, drivers can suffer a number of overexertion or overuse injuries, repetitive motion injuries, and other injuries and conditions due to their work.

Some of the most common truck driver injuries include:

  • Strains and sprains caused by heavy lifting and loading/unloading cargo
  • Traumatic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, resulting from collisions
  • Moderate accident-related injuries, such as fractures, cuts, lacerations, and bruises
  • Back and shoulder pain from long periods of sitting
  • Repetitive motion injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Overexertion injuries, such as tendonitis or epicondylitis (“tennis elbow”)

Whether the result of a single, traumatic event or the cumulation of hours of repetitive motions, these injuries can ultimately be debilitating for truck drivers. If your injuries were work-related, you should be able to recover workers’ compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent disability.

What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can I Recover?

In Georgia, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning you do not need to prove that your employer or another party acted negligently or wrongfully in order to file a claim and receive benefits. In exchange, injured workers are only entitled to recover certain benefits.

Like other injured workers, Georgia truck drivers can collect the following workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Medical benefits, including all medical expenses associated with your injuries and treatment, such as hospital expenses, doctors’ visits, medications, medical equipment, and transportation to and from appointments
  • Temporary disability benefits, or wage replacement benefits, in the amount of two thirds your pre-injury average weekly wage, subject to a maximum weekly amount set by the state of Georgia
  • Permanent disability benefits—another form of wage replacement—meant to compensate you if your injuries are so severe, they leave you permanently disabled and unable to return to work; the amount you can receive will depend on various factors

Additionally, if an employee dies in an on-the-job accident or due to a work-related injury, illness, or condition, the surviving spouse and/or minor child/children of the deceased can recover death benefits. Again, the recoverable amount will depend on a variety of factors, including the deceased’s prior average weekly wage, whether or not the deceased has any minor children, and more. Surviving family members can also recover funeral benefits up to a maximum amount.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim as a Truck Driver

If you were injured on the job or due to your work-related duties, you will need to report your injury to your supervisor/employer within 30 days. However, you should also keep in mind your company’s protocol for on-the-job accidents and injuries. It’s important that you follow all proper procedures in order to reduce the likelihood of your claim being disputed or denied.

Once you have reported the incident to your employer, they should begin the workers’ compensation claims process on your behalf. You may also file your claim independently. However, if you are experiencing any difficulty whatsoever with your claim, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced attorney who can help you navigate these challenges.

There is no cost in speaking to a workers’ compensation attorney at our firm. If you are a truck driver who was been injured on the job or as a result of your work, we encourage you to reach out to Hansford McDaniel LLC to learn how we can help you seek your rightful benefits. Contact us today to get started with your free initial consultation.