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Personal Injury

Updated:

February 20, 2022

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Can I Get Workers’ Compensation for a Truck Accident?

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An employee who sustains an injury at work is guaranteed benefits under workers’ compensation. Therefore, if the insurance company doesn’t provide you with workers’ compensation benefits, it’s likely that you can sue your company if you were injured in a truck accident while you were on the clock for your job.

If you find yourself injured and dealing with an insurance company and your employer, a work injury attorney can help.

Workers’ Comp Benefits You Can Receive After a Commercial Truck Accident

A truck accident can leave both the truck driver and the occupants of the other vehicle seriously or fatally injured. You could require substantial medical attention after your injury and have to take some time off work while you recuperate.

Workers’ compensation benefits could potentially cover medical costs, including:

  • Hospital bills
  • Medical expenses
  • Therapy services
  • Medication
  • Travel costs associated with your injury. 

Workers’ compensation will also pay for a percentage of your lost wages if your work-related injury prevents you from working for more than a week. For most employees, the rate of wages covered is 70-75%.

A truck accident attorney can determine whether you’re eligible for workers’ compensation and file your claim.

When you can work again, when your condition has improved to its fullest extent, or after two years of receiving benefits, these temporary benefits come to an end.

Who Is Legally Responsible for a Trucking Accident?

truck driver accident

Accidents involving commercial trucks differ from those involving passenger automobiles, partly because the truck driver engaged in the collision is often employed by a separate trucking business. The trucking company, also known as a carrier, may be held liable for the activities of its drivers as well as for the security of the trucks it owns.

So what happens if a truck driver gets in an accident? The outcome of a trucking accident at work may vary, depending on the fault.

Several other parties may be responsible for a truck accident, including the carrier and the truck driver. These parties may include:

  • The company that made the vehicle and its components
  • Vendors offering the carrier services
  • The company that owns the cargo.

With so many parties potentially involved, the answer to the question, “How much does Workers’ comp pay in Texas for truck drivers” can become very complex.

When I Can’t Be Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits

You might not be eligible for workers’ compensation for a truck driver accident if:

  • Your deliberate wrongdoing caused the incident
  • There’s reason to assume that alcohol or drugs had a role in the accident and you declined to submit to a drug test
  • You do not work for the employer.

Only full-time or part-time employees are covered by an employment contract. Therefore, independent contractor drivers are typically not entitled to trucking workers’ comp after commercial truck accidents.

Obstacles to Receiving Semi Truck Accident Compensation

When denying payments, a workers’ compensation insurer may come up with many reasons to deny benefits to the injured truck driver. For example, they might claim that an injury did not happen while doing work-related duties. 

The insurance company can also blame an injury on a pre-existing condition. However, if a work-related injury worsens a pre-existing ailment, the employee may be entitled to trucking workers’ compensation insurance. 

If an accident happens away from the employee’s regular place of employment, the insurance company can also try to reject the claim. For instance, the “coming and leaving rule” disallows workers’ compensation payments, typically for accidents that occur while an employee is traveling to and from work. 

But if an employee was traveling for work-related purposes, they should qualify for workers’ comp for trucking companies.

Employers and insurers may also assert that a claimant was an independent contractor rather than an employee. 

Is the Driver an Employee or Independent Contractor?

how much does workers' comp pay in texas

Professionals in a trade or business who provide their knowledge or services to the general public are known as independent contractors. They’re typically not considered to be employees because the employer contracts with them only for individual projects.

Employees are workers who perform labor for an employer, and as a consequence, that employer has authority over their actions. In other words, the employer controls the worker’s schedule, location, and method of accomplishing their tasks.

One significant distinction between an independent contractor and an employee is that employees get a set income or compensation, usually once a week or once a month. Many times, employees receive benefits as well. 

Independent contractors are paid an hourly or project rate that has been set or agreed upon in advance. They generally do not receive workers’ compensation for truck drivers and must pay their employment taxes.

What If the Drivers’ Actions Were Intentional?

You would not be entitled to workers’ comp for truck drivers if your injury came about because of your deliberate or willful wrongdoing. This usually describes accidents brought on by breaking a company’s regulations or policies. 

For example, if a truck driver injured their back when lifting heavy boxes onto a truck, they would generally be entitled to workers’ compensation. However, if the company had strict rules about using a forklift to load the truck rather than doing it by hand, the driver’s claim for workers’ compensation could be in jeopardy.  

What to Do After an Injury on the Job

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident while on the job, contact the experienced team at Brooks & Radchenko today. Our skilled attorneys understand how important it is to get the truckers workers’ compensation insurance benefits you need in a timely manner.

As a leading law firm in Texas, our truck accident attorneys are more than ready to assist you with your workers’ compensation claim. We can also help you gather documentation to support your claim or appeal a denial of benefits.

Reach out to our team today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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