Truckers spend long hours on the road. As a result, truckers are at greater risk for being injured in a work-related auto accident than most types of workers. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident while transporting goods or equipment in the Charlotte metropolitan area, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which provides financial benefits for truckers and other commercial drivers who suffered disabling injuries while performing their job duties.
While workers’ compensation can provide significant benefits for injured workers in North Carolina, the process of getting fair compensation often proves difficult, even in cases where the severity of the injury seems obvious or straightforward. Employers and insurers frequently look for excuses to deny claims, or make errors that cause benefits to be delayed while the injury victim struggles to cope with expensive medical bills. Representation by a skilled and experienced workers’ compensation attorney can facilitate the process while ensuring that your best interests will be protected.
To learn more about filing a workers’ compensation claim and getting compensated for a work-related injury in North Carolina, call the Ramsay Law Firm at (877) 576-5500 for a free and confidential legal consultation. With more than 20 years of experience helping over 1,000 injured workers obtain benefits, our trusted team of aggressive attorneys is available to answer your questions and help you understand the next steps to take after getting hurt on the job.
Injuries for Drivers in the Commercial Transportation and Trucking Industry
The trucking industry can be highly dangerous, even for seasoned drivers who have years or decades of experience operating semi-trailer trucks and other commercial vehicles. Truckers are almost constantly exposed to the risk of automotive accidents, which are among the leading causes of accidental death and injury in North Carolina and the United States. Even when a truck driver operates his or her vehicle safely and defensively, the actions of other drivers can still cause an accident. Accidents can also occur due to defective truck components, such as faulty brake systems.
No matter what causes an 18-wheeler accident, the driver is at risk of sustaining a serious injury. Even though trucks are larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road, drivers are still vulnerable to an array of disabling injuries, such as:
- Back Injuries
- Broken Bones/Bone Fractures
- Burn Injuries
- Chest and Abdominal Injuries
- Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Crush Injuries
- Dismemberment and Amputation Injuries
- Ear Injuries/Hearing Loss
- Eye Injuries/Vision Loss
- Facial Injuries
- Foot and Ankle Injuries
- Hand and Wrist Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Joint Injuries
- Leg Injuries
- Soft Tissue Injuries (Sprains, Strains)
- Whiplash Neck Injuries (Cervical Sprain/Strain Injury)
Many but not all injuries occur on the road. Commercial vehicle operators can also be injured while loading or unloading their vehicles, while entering or exiting their vehicles, or while performing other job duties. For example, a slip and fall accident could occur at any time on the trucking company’s premises.
What Happens if You are Injured on the Job?
If you, your adult son or daughter, or your spouse suffered a disabling injury while operating a commercial vehicle, your family should discuss your legal options with an experienced work injury lawyer for truck drivers in North Carolina, like those of the Ramsay Law Firm. A job-related injury could entitle you to workers’ compensation, but in order to receive benefits, you must adhere to certain procedures and regulations established by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which administers and oversees North Carolina’s workers’ compensation program.
These regulations can be difficult to navigate successfully, especially while you are recovering from a serious injury. However, our attorneys are available to guide you through the process and assist with any questions or obstacles that may arise. With an experienced, knowledgeable, and aggressive work injury attorney from the Ramsay Law Firm fighting in your corner, you will have a greater likelihood of obtaining the full benefits you deserve.
In addition to filing a claim for workers’ compensation, you may wish to file a lawsuit against your employer, or against other parties, if your injury was caused by their actions or failures to act (“omissions”). Though state laws typically prevent injured employees from suing their employers, there are some exceptions for cases where employers deliberately inflict injury, or cause injury through egregious misconduct. Moreover, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit if your work-related injury was caused by a defective product. For example, if you were injured in a truck accident that was caused by faulty brakes, you could have a case against the company that manufactured the defective brake system.
Do Trucking Companies Provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance in North Carolina?
Regardless of what or who causes a commercial truck accident, workers’ compensation is generally available for truck drivers who are injured on the job in North Carolina. The North Carolina Industrial Commission explicitly states that trucking company owners and operators are generally required to make workers’ compensation coverage available, even in cases where the operator is classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee. Moreover, motor carriers are required to provide workers’ compensation in cases where owner-operators do not make coverage available.
Workers compensation benefits are typically paid on a weekly basis, and include compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and disability or impairment related to the accident and resulting injury or injuries. Benefits are available for temporary and permanent disability, and are calculated according to the employee’s wages prior to the injury. These Benefits may be paid for up to 500 weeks, or about 9.5 years, depending on the nature of the disability. These Benefits may be terminated if the employee rejoins the workforce, or if his or her employer successfully demonstrates that the employee is no longer disabled.
Charlotte Work Injury Lawyer for Truck Drivers and Commercial Vehicle Operators
Every day, North Carolina’s truck drivers put their lives on the line to transport the products that make our economy run. When a trucker is injured in the course of his or her job duties, workers’ compensation can provide compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and other financial consequences of having a permanent or temporary disability. To talk about how to file a workers’ compensation claim in Charlotte, contact the Ramsay Law Firm right away at (877) 576-5500 for a free legal consultation.