Truck drivers often do not get the respect they deserve in light of the tough task they face and the often grueling conditions they operate under. Truckers are the lifeblood of the American economy transporting goods to consumers and retail stores from coast to coast. Some drivers, mainly delivery drivers, may focus on short haul routes with numerous stops. These drivers may even be expected to lift heavy packages up to 50 or 100 pounds and deliver it to the doorstep of residences and businesses. Long haul drivers often face extended period of days, weeks, or months on the road driving for up to 10 hours at a time in all types of weather and traffic conditions. Fayetteville AR Workers’ Compensation lawyer Ken Kieklak explains common reasons for claims.
Due to the intense and grueling nature of driving commercially, truck drivers often suffer from an array of injuries, degenerative conditions, and gradual onset injuries. The workers’ comp lawyers of Gunn, Mason, Kieklak, & Dennis, LLP can provide step-by-step guidance for injured truck drivers who wish to pursue a works’ compensation claim. Likewise, if your claim was denied by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission, we can appeal the determination and seek the benefits you need. Below, we discuss injuries commonly experienced by truck drivers that often result in disability benefits awards.
1. Highway Accidents & Incidents Can Cause an Array of Debilitating Injuries for Truck Drivers
While most workers commute to and from their place of an employment, the nature of work as a commercial professional driver means that you will be on the road for most of your waking hours. Perhaps the most straightforward reason for truck driver injuries is a problem that occurs while out on the road. Accidents while carrying cargo short or long distances can result in an array of medical problems. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries suffered in trucking accidents. However, should the truck jackknife or overturn, even more significant injuries are possible. These injuries could include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and other serious bodily injuries. If you’ve been in an accident an experienced attorney can use evidence from the crash along with your medical records to document your need for partial or full disability benefits.
2. Repetitive Motion Injuries Are Common Among Truckers
Commercial drivers spend long hours behind the wheel and are often locked in the same or similar positions for hours on end. Truckers may develop an array of conditions including pain and discomfort in the upper or lower back. Other commercial drivers begin to experience pain in their elbow, neck, or shoulder due to being locked in a single position.
The problem with repetitive stress and other delayed onset injuries is that they are significantly more difficult to prove than injuries that occur through a single, documented event. Injuries of this type often require significant amounts of medical proof and medical evidence. Truck drivers who do not provide this proof often face denials of disability benefits despite having a serious condition or injury. In some cases, the AWCC may even require the truck driver to see a so-called independent medical examiner (IME) who often find ways to minimize the injury and the effects experienced. Working with an experienced Arkansas truck Workers’ Compensation lawyer can minimize the chances that the driver experiences these events.
3. Delivery Drivers can Suffer Overexertion, Lifting, and Machinery Injuries
Many truck drivers are expected to lift and carry heavy packages, parcels and other goods. In many cases these packages and parcels can weigh more than 50 to 100 pounds. In some delivery jobs, truck drivers may have the responsibility of unloading entire pallets of goods and transporting the pallet to the designated deliver location. In some occupations the truck driver may be assisted by a hydraulic lift or a powered dolly. While these items may reduce the likelihood for lifting and overexertion injuries, they can also cause a severe personal injury if they are misused. Furthermore, should the driver make an error with a hydraulic lift, slip and fall while using a powered dolly, or make other errors significant injury can often occur.
Injured Truck Drivers Should Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to File Their Claim or Appeal
If you have suffered a serious injury working as a truck driver, workers’’ compensation benefits may be available. However, the nature of your injury may make it likely that your injury disability claim will be denied or unfairly reduced. Furthermore, AWCC may attempt to cut off benefits before you are able to return to work. The Workers’ Compensation attorneys of Gunn, Mason, Kieklak, & Dennis, LLP can provide step-by-step guidance for injured truck drivers who wish to pursue a works’ compensation claim. We can also file an appeal if your claim was denied unfairly. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.