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What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Truck Drivers?

Plenty of industries operate in environments that pose risks to their workers. As a result, millions of workers are injured on the job every year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private industry reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2018. Almost a quarter of a million of these occurred in the transportation and warehousing industry, which recorded more than 221,000 nonfatal workplace injuries in 2018. Unfortunately, this number has seen a continuous increase since 2014, when the industry recorded more than around 201,000 cases. These figures have landed transportation and warehousing in the top five sectors with the most number of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses. Because of the inherent danger of jobs in this industry, such as being a truck driver, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory. But when can truck drivers claim this, and what does it cover?

What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

The risk of accidents and other instances that can result in injury while driving commercial trucks is high. Drivers need to navigate long roads for hours using 18-wheelers, flatbeds, and other large vehicles that are usually full of cargo. Because of these occupational hazards, they are prone to injuries due to driving conditions, like carpal tunnel and musculoskeletal strain, as well as injuries from crashes. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that guarantees employees get financial support benefits if they are injured at work. If you want to understand this further, especially if you need to file a claim, it’s better to talk to trucking lawyers. Generally, though, workers’ compensation covers the following:
  • Medical Treatment
This includes hospital visits, diagnostic testing, surgery, prescription medication, rehabilitation or therapy, prosthetics, and other costs related to the treatment of the injury.
  • Lost Wages
Since injured drivers might have to stay at a hospital and might not recover from more severe injuries right away, they won’t be able to go out on the road. The workers’ compensation in Washington will cover 60 to 75 percent of the wage you would have been earning had you not been injured.
  • Death Benefits
This includes funeral and burial expenses, as well as an immediate payment of 100 percent of the average monthly wage in your state. The workers’ compensation for truck drivers can also cover the following injuries, mostly unique in their line of work:

1. Traumatic injuries

injured person with lawyer This is for drivers who suffered from injuries because of specific incidents, such as a crash. Injuries under this can include:
  • Broken bones
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Head trauma
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Rib and torso injuries
  • Seat belt injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Lacerations

2. Occupational injury or illness

This is for drivers who develop an injury or disease over time because of the nature of their work. These injuries can come from repetitive stress or musculoskeletal disorders and can include:
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Slip-and-fall injuries
  • Back and posture problems
Traumatic injuries are easier to claim than occupational injuries that have developed over time. Make sure to consult a doctor and have it on the record what you do for a living so you can have proof if you decide to file a claim. Overall, filing for workers’ compensation shouldn’t be too tricky, especially with the help of an experienced lawyer.
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