Truck drivers often do not get the respect they deserve, given the conditions that they work under. Because of the grueling and intense nature of the work, truck drivers are especially prone to developing certain types of injuries.
Common truck driver injuries
Some of the injuries that are especially pervasive in truck drivers include the following:
· Neck and back injuries. These injuries are often caused by loading and unloading the truck or lifting cartons, boxes or other containers. Neck and back pain, which is often the result of herniated disks or muscle strain, can develop after collisions with other vehicles or because of constant lifting.
· Repetitive stress injuries. Commercial truck drivers perform their jobs while in the same or similar position for hours. As a result, they can develop repetitive motion injuries (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome) in their backs, necks, elbows or shoulders.
· Falls. Truck drivers are at risk of falling and injuring themselves when they are climbing in and out of their trucks, stepping on and off loading areas or walking on uneven pavement. Falls can cause injuries ranging from minor scratches and bruising to serious concussions or knee and back sprains.
· Hearing loss. Prolonged exposure to driving noise has been associated with hearing loss. Many truck drivers develop hearing loss in their left ears as a result of the noise of the wind coming through the driver’s window.
· Vehicle injuries. Since truckers spend all of their working hours on the road, they are especially vulnerable to being in a truck accident. When a collision occurs, it can cause a wide range of injures from whiplash to broken bones, brain injuries and other serious bodily injuries.
Compensation available to those injured
If you are injured while driving a truck for your job, or develop a medical condition because of your job, you typically have two avenues for compensation. First, you are entitled to file for workers’ compensation benefits, which include payment of your medical bills and partial wage losses (if you are unable to work as a result of your injury).
Additionally, if your injury was caused by the carelessness or negligence of another party (e.g. a drunk driver or a negligent landowner), you may be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party (other than your employer). In the lawsuit, you may recover compensation that is not available in a worker’s compensation claim, such as pain and suffering.
Since both compensation options involve complicated legal issues, it is important to consult an experienced attorney to ensure that your best interests are protected. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Katherine L. Niven & Associates, PC can work to ensure that you receive every penny of compensation that you are entitled to by law.