Posted Aug 2018
Common injuries suffered by truck drivers and delivery workers
Drivers of commercial trucks and delivery vehicles are crucial to our nation’s economy- without them, consumers would not have access to the assortment of goods and products that they do, and commerce would slow to a snail’s pace. Unfortunately, the valuable service that truck drivers and delivery workers provide often comes at a cost, as they face a variety of work-related health risks.
The variety of on-the-job injuries that professional drivers face is a reflection of their diverse job descriptions. Below are several aspects of the trucking and delivery business that can lead to work injuries.
Accidents on the road
The risk of an auto accident is inherent in driving, and anyone who gets behind the wheel as part of their job faces an increased risk of an accident due to the number of hours they spend on the road.
Although most truck drivers are subject to strict safety protocols and licensing requirements, and are trained to drive professionally, they share the road with other drivers who do not always drive with the same caution and skill. Anytime a collision occurs involving a tractor-trailer or delivery truck, the resulting damage and injuries can be particularly severe.
Additionally, despite their expertise, truck drivers are not infallible drivers and their mistakes can cause serious accidents. Furthermore, they are often expected to make long hauls involving many hours of driving, which increases the risk of drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel.
Loading and unloading
The job of truck or delivery driver does not end at getting from point A to point B. Rather, most drivers are also responsible for loading and unloading their vehicles. The often heavy lifting involved in delivering product can pose additional risks, including back strains and shoulder or elbow injuries. Knee or hip injuries can also occur from the repetitive entering and exiting of the truck and trailer.
Delivery workers are also expected to load and unload in all types of environments, including outdoors in inclement weather. Icy or wet conditions increase the chance of a slip-and-fall accident, which can result in serious injury.
Workers’ compensation for New York truck drivers and delivery workers
Injuries suffered on-the-job by truck drivers and delivery workers are typically covered by New York’s workers’ compensation laws, whether the injury is caused by an accident or by long-term wear and tear. Under the workers’ compensation system, injured workers may be eligible for payment of their medical expenses and cash benefits for missed work.
Third party action
Don’t forget about the potential for third party action claims in all of the above circumstances. Frequently, with both motor vehicle accidents and injuries while delivering, a third party can be responsible for the injury. Be sure to speak with a workers comp attorney about the possibility of filing both a workers’ compensation and a third party action/personal injury claim.
If you have suffered an injury at work as a truck or delivery driver, contact our office for a consultation about your rights to workers’ compensation benefits.