One reason truck drivers pursue their particular career path is its independence. Out on the open road, you can enjoy the solitude the journey provides. If you have an accident while behind the wheel, this self-reliance may lead you to believe you are on your own to deal with the consequences.
Many truck drivers fail to realize that they may be eligible for workers’ compensation, even in accidents where they may have been at fault. Understanding your available benefits can help expedite your recovery and relieve a lot of unnecessary financial stress.
The goal behind workers’ compensation is to protect employees who sustain illness or injury while at work. Eligibility of these benefits does not change to align with fault. In other words, whether it is you or your employer who bears direct responsibility for your condition, workers compensation should be available.
In the state of Missouri, employers with five or more employees must carry insurance to cover costs related to workplace injuries. For you, this means that if your boss has a substantial staff, there should be funds available to cover your expenses, regardless of how the injury happened.
Whether you are full-time, part-time, temporary or seasonal, you should have access to workers’ compensation benefits. The only gray area is independent contractors. If you drive for a company as a contractor, the process of receiving financial assistance can seem murky.
Typically, you cannot file a traditional workers’ comp claim. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, you may have a case for personal injury. In these situations, fault becomes important. Regardless of your employment status, the company has a responsibility to provide a safe environment and functioning equipment. Failure to do so may create an opportunity to prove negligence and collect damages.
Missouri employees who file for workers’ compensation collect monetary aid to make up for the financial hardship the injury caused. In most cases, this includes medical expenses and lost wages. However, in some extreme cases, you may be able to receive more long-term benefits.
When an accident results in a permanent or temporary disability, the injury may limit your ability to work for an extended period of time. Once a medical professional has evaluated the range of your disability, you may be able to receive regular payments in proportion to your physical restrictions.
If you get into a truck accident, do not immediately take on the burdens yourself. You may be able to receive help from your employer. In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit may be a viable option.