What Truck Drivers Should Know About Workers’ Compensation
Truck drivers, including delivery drivers and tractor-trailer drivers, can sustain serious injuries on the job in a variety of ways. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), not only do truck drivers spend a significant amount of time on the road, which puts them at risk of repetitive strain injuries and traffic collision injuries, but truck drivers also perform tasks that pose other injury risks. Indeed, truck drivers are often responsible for loading or unloading cargo or packages, securing cargo, and making deliveries to the doors of customers. In doing that work, truck drivers can sustain struck-by injuries from falling packages in a truck, slip and fall injuries while walking up to front doors, and even dog bite injuries while delivering packages.
What do truck drivers need to know about workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania? A Harrisburg workers’ compensation attorney at our firm can provide you with more information.
Truck Drivers Often Suffer Injuries On the Road That Can Be Eligible for Workers’ Compensation
Many workers mistakenly assume that they need to be at a workplace when an injury occurs in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This is not true for many kinds of workers, since they can be “on the clock” even while they are traveling or while working from home. For truck drivers especially, it is critical to know that workers’ compensation coverage can apply while you are driving a truck, making a delivery, stopping for fuel on the road, and in various other circumstances.
Whether you sustain an injury in an automobile collision while driving, while securing or loading cargo, while delivering goods, while stopping at a warehouse to pick up packages, or any other tasks that truck drivers perform, you may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits. To be clear, you do not need to be at a specific worksite for your injuries to arise out of your work and to be compensable.
You Must Report the Injury to Your Employer Promptly
Truck drivers, like other workers in Pennsylvania, must report any work injury to their employer as soon as possible. The injury must be reported within 21 days from the date of the injury in order to receive retroactive benefits. If a truck driver fails to report a workplace injury within 120 days from the date of the injury, then the truck driver may lose their ability to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
Surviving Family Members Can Be Eligible for Death Benefits
Truck drivers are injured frequently in collisions, including in crashes that occur at high speeds on freeways and other major roads. While the majority of deaths in trucking crashes are occupants of smaller passenger vehicles, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) emphasizes that the rate of truck driver fatalities has increased in recent years. In 2020, 15 percent of all people killed in trucking collisions were truck drivers.
It is important for surviving family members to know that they may be eligible to seek death benefits through the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. Pennsylvania law requires that any injury resulting in death be reported to the employer within 48 hours.
Contact a Harrisburg Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have questions about seeking compensation after a truck driving injury, you should get in touch with a workers’ compensation attorney in Harrisburg at Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. for assistance.