While the country sheltered-in-place, people relied – and still do – on truck drivers to deliver food, medical supplies, clothing, entertainment devices and materials, and a full range of products for essential living and for comfort. The rules for truck drivers are continually changing. Some of these rules have the force of laws such as suspending the hours truckers can drive without a rest when delivering some essential products. Other rules are local to the sellers, distributors, and warehouses, such as the need to wear masks, and temperature checks for truck driver.
According to Yahoo Finance, for some shippers, the number of loads has spiked drastically. Truckers at many locations have to go through numerous protocols to get their loads while avoiding contact with the people at the warehouses. Some truckers are fearful of driving into places where the number of COVID-9 cases is still high.
Types of truck accidents truck drivers suffer
Many of the injuries truck drivers suffer are due to accidents while they are out on the road. Trucking accidents can be caused by:
- Driver fatigue. Even though the requirements for taking rests have been suspended by the FMCSA for some drivers transporting essential products and people, drivers who are tired are more likely to cause accidents than rested drivers.
- Driver distraction. Drivers who are looking at a GPS system to figure their route, who eat or drink while driving, or who take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel, are more likely to get into accidents.
- Loads that are too big or aren’t properly secured. Heavy loads and insecure loads are more likely to cause a driver to lose control of his/her rig or semi than safely secured loads.
These distractions can cause the driver to lose control causing injury or death.
Can injured truckers file workers’ compensation claims?
Truck drivers may also have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim if they are injured due to:
- Overexertion injuries. While loading or unloading deliveries at company warehouses. These overexertion injuries can cause damage to a truck driver’s back, neck, and spine.
- Falls from heights. Many warehouses load goods at high heights. If these objects fall on the driver, he/she can be seriously hurt.
- Slips and falls. Many workplace injuries occur when the truck driver slips on uneven surfaces, wet surfaces, or other irregular surfaces. Drivers can also be injured when they step into holes or when they exit their trucks. They can trip over loose cables, tools, and other equipment.
- Being pinned by an object. Truckers who are pinned against forklifts or other machinery or who are pinned against other containers or trucks can suffer serious injuries. Forklift injuries may cause death.
If a trucking accident injures or kills the driver, then the driver or family of the driver can file a workers’ compensation claim for death benefits. If the driver is not eligible for workers’ compensation, the family can file a wrongful death lawsuit, instead.
Truckers are to be applauded for taking on the difficult task of helping the public get what they need to survive. Truck drivers should also understand they can rely on the experienced Chattanooga workers’ compensation and injury lawyers at Wagner & Wagner, Attorneys at Law. We have been fighting for injury victims since 1945, and have helped many injured workers get payment for their medical bills and the full amount of wages state law permits.
For help with any workplace injury, call us at 423-756-7923 or complete contact form to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorneys. We represent injured truck drivers in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, in North Georgia, and neighboring locations.