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Risks & Options for Trucking & Warehouse Workers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that each year 17 deaths and 7 non-fatal work injuries occur per 100,000 employees in the transportation, warehousing, and utilities sectors, which means thousands of workers are injured or killed annually in these industries.

In 2012, the latest statistical year, more than 333,000 crashes involved large trucks. Truck drivers accounted for 18% of the deaths in fatal multi-vehicle accidents, and more than 25,000 truckers were injured in road accidents.

More than half of all truck driver fatalities are caused by vehicle-related injuries. Drivers may be hurt when they lose control of the vehicle or when they collide with another car; they also are at risk of being rolled over by their own vehicle.

If you are trucker, an injury can end your career and leave you coping with medical bills and financial uncertainty. Fortunately, Illinois' current workers' compensation laws protect you and your family if a serious accident occurs while you are on the job.

Risks for Trucking & Warehousing Industry Risks

Every truck driver and warehouse employee has a physically demanding job that can take a toll on the body. Unfortunately, high risk of injury always exists, but the labor-intensive nature of trucking and warehouse jobs often means that an injury can end a career.

  • Musculoskeletal disorders of the neck, back, and shoulders: Employees in transportation and warehousing frequently suffer from chronic injuries from years of loading or unloading trucks and lifting boxes, cartons, and containers. Sudden, acute injuries commonly occur from overexertion when loading a truck or working on vehicle tires.
  • Falls from elevations: Falling from vehicles and loading docks, stumbling on stairs, and dropping into open spaces are all causes of work injuries for truckers and warehouse employees. My firm handles many knee and back sprains that occur from falling out of a vehicle; head injuries and broken limbs are also common results of falls.
  • Injuries due to being struck by or against objects: Warehouse workers and truck drivers are always at heightened risk of being struck by or against objects, which often result in back, head, arm, and shoulder injuries. Drivers are frequently struck by or against objects when lifting hitched trailers, opening containers, and attaching trailers to trucks. Both drivers and warehouse workers are often injured by vehicle parts, lift-gates, winch bars, pallet jacks, boxes or cartons, binders and chains, and fork lifts.

Your Options After an Injury

When you suffer an injury on the job, there are two primary ways that you can take legal action. Your options include:

1. Workers' compensation claim: Workers' compensation is the only way to receive compensation from your employer for a work injury. As long as you are not an independent contractor, you should be able to file a workers' compensation claim when you are hurt as a result of your job. Workers' compensation provides broad coverage. Currently, under Illinois law, you can file a claim even if your employer wasn't careless or negligent in any way. Learn more >>

2. Personal injury lawsuit against a third party: You cannot sue your employer after a work-related injury. However, if there was someone besides your employer responsible for your injuries then you may be able to file a personal injury claim (e.g., the at-fault driver in a traffic accident or the manufacturer of a truck that had a bad design or faulty brakes). Third-party injury lawsuits can make it possible to be compensated for things that workers' compensation doesn't cover. Learn more >>

At Styka & Styka, we understand how a sudden acute injury at work or chronic work-related pain can change your whole life. Our goal is to make sure that your injury doesn't cause you financial or emotional stress. You can focus on getting better and trust us to focus on obtaining the maximum compensation for you and your family. If you or a loved one is injured in any type of work-related accident, be sure to contact me at (312) 357-8000. I can help you understand your options.

Sources:

Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Lifestyle Risk Factors in Commercial Drivers, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Large Trucks, Traffic Safety Facts 2012, U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Safety Administration

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