When A Trucker’s Destination Turns Out To Be A Hospital or Doctor’s Office
Many people assume truck driving jobs are dangerous but few realize just how common injuries are in this profession. Truck drivers actually face up to seven times the risk of a fatal injury compared to your average worker, as well as an array of non-fatal injuries. So what types of injuries do truck drivers deal with on the job, and what should you do if you’re a trucker just trying to make a living? Let’s get in gear and find out.
Due to newer government regulations on how long a truck driver can spend on the road, there has been an overall decrease in traffic accidents. However, that’s not to say that traffic accidents are thing of a past. Not even close. In fact, these accidents make up a large portion of the injuries experienced by truckers. Based on a recent reports around 20,000 truck occupants might experience a non-fatal injury in a given year. Factors that attribute to this injury rate include sleep deprivation, hazardous road conditions, and civilian drivers. Winter tends to bring its own set of worries in northern states due to icy roads. Summer also presents complications with a high rise in traffic due to vacation travel. If your job is driving a big rig or a work truck, a trucking work injury is always a possibility. Please be careful!
Loading and Unloading Work Injuries
Truck drivers are no stranger to heavy lifting. When they aren’t travelling long hours on the road, they’re usually loading and unloading heavy cargo. This type of manual labor correlates to high risks of back injury due to improper lifting techniques or an overestimation of one’s lifting ability. Injuries simply from lifting, carrying, and lowering cargo aren’t the only ways to get hurt when not behind the wheel. Slips and falls are another all too common type of trucker injury. Drivers can often lose their footing or encounter a slippery substance when moving items from the truck. Tripping can leave you bedridden and unable to drive if your fall results in an injury. As you know, sitting in that driver’s seat all day is a lot more strenuous than it looks.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Long days on the road can be grueling. Consecutive hours of staying in the same position and keeping your arms and legs in the same place will often take its toll. For some, this limited range of movement of different muscle groups can result in sore backs, necks, or even injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist. These injuries may not be as dramatic as experiencing an auto accident or having heavy cargo fall on top of you, but they do leave lasting pain that makes performing the duties of the job substantially difficult.
It’s a shame that no matter what the injury, truckers often have a long road ahead of them if they want justice. Employers’ insurance companies are all too happy to deny claims or offer much less than they should.
What to Do if You’re a Trucker Injured on the Job
If you’ve experienced any of these injuries as a truck driver, it’s imperative that you first seek medical help immediately and, as soon as you can, document and report your work injury. Make sure you detail how you were injured, (this might be harder with repetitive stress injuries) where on your body you are experiencing pain, the severity of the pain and any other details that are worth noting. Also, keep in mind, just as deadlines matter in the trucking business, they also matter with trucking injuries. Waiting too long to file your injury claim can result in being shortchanged the amount due for damages, or completely missing out on compensation altogether. Also, keep in mind that while you’re used to doing things by yourself on the road, you never want to take on a big corporate insurance company by yourself. Insurance companies can mislead and misinform. The less they give you, the more they pocket. They are skilled at taking advantage of those who don’t know the ever-changing details of the law. Don’t risk losing the compensation you deserve. Trust an experienced, hard-working attorney with a track record of success in representing Georgia truckers. The wheel is in your hands. Make the smart decision and call the Law Office of Susan Mager if you’re a trucker who has been hurt on the job.