Jan 2017

Work Accident Risks Rising for Truck Drivers

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyOn I-95 in Rhode Island, a tractor trailer rolled over and WPRI indicated the traffic was slowed or stopped for hours as crews tried to clean up the debris from the truck accident According to initial reports, it was unclear if anyone had sustained injuries in the rollover truck collision. Unfortunately, injuries in these types of crashes are common.

Commercial truck drivers spend many hours on the roads and travel many miles. They face a substantial risk of accidental injuries, including fatal injuries. When they are hurt at work, truckers must understand their rights.

Unlike in a traditional motor vehicle accident case, truckers may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits either instead of or in addition to other types of available compensation. Accidental injuries of truckers are on the rise, so knowing what to do after a crash is becoming more important than ever for commercial truckers.

Bureau of Labor Statistics came out with a report recently which emphasizes the added dangers of workplace injuries for truckers. Truck drivers are very susceptible to suffering serious or fatal injuries when roadside accident rates rise. Truckers account for around half of the annual workplace injuries that happen in road accidents, which makes sense because their job involves driving almost all of the time.

According to BLS, there was a substantial increase in fatal accidents involving transportation incidents. In 2015, there was a nine percent rise in the number of transportation incidents leading to fatal work injuries. Transportation incidents now account for 26 percent of all workplace deaths that happen over the course of the year, with a good portion of the victims coming from the trucking industry. Out of 1,264 fatal roadway incidents in 2015, a total of 629 involved a driver who was operating a tanker, tractor-trailer, or semi-truck.

Because of the increasing number of roadside incidents, and the disproportionate number of truckers who are hurt in this type of incident, BLS indicates heavy truck drivers and tractor-trailer truck drivers sustained the most fatal injuries of any occupation. A total of 725 fatal injuries were recorded in the trucking field, according to BLS.

Truck accident risks may be rising for several different reasons. One issue is the overall increase in road collisions, which is driven by improvement of economic conditions. There are more people who drive on the roads, and those who drive travel for more miles. This is because both gas prices and unemployment are down. A shortage of qualified truck drivers is also contributing to rising accident risks since companies may hire less experienced truckers and may pressure drivers to do more work than is safe.

If a truck driver gets into an accident while doing his work tasks, he should be covered by workers’ compensation, provided he was an employee of a trucking company or other business. Truckers can make workers’ compensation claims not only for truck accidents they are involved in but also if they are injured in other ways, such as getting hurt while loading or unloading their truck or making a delivery.

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