Springfield Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers for Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you're an employee of a trucking company and have been injured in an accident while driving your commercial vehicle, you are likely eligible for workers' compensation. The situation becomes murkier, however, if you are an independent contractor, and often depends on how much oversight your employer exercises over your work.
If you are a tractor-trailer driver injured on the job, our Missouri commercial truck accident lawyers can answer your questions and guide you on how you might collect workers' compensation to pay for medical care, time off work, and other expenses related to your injury.
Webster & Carlton offers free initial consultations in which you can discuss the specifics of your case directly with one of our skilled attorneys. We work on contingency, so you don't pay us until we recover your benefits. When you need a lawyer with practical, focused workers' compensation experience, we are here to help.
Commercial Truck Accident Injuries
Truck drivers face many hazards related to their line of work, some obvious and some more subtle.
For example, a driver injury may result from:
- Injuries in a collision with another vehicle
- Injuries in a slip-and-fall accident
- Back injuries from loading and hauling cargo
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Crush injuries from falling cargo
Commercial truck drivers also face health risks stemming from the very nature of their work. Drivers sit for long periods, punctuated by short bursts of exertion during loading and unloading, which can put them at risk for back injuries.
Across State Lines
Workers' compensation is a state program that presents unique complications for commercial trucking cases. For example, a trucker might live in one state, be employed by a trucking company in a second state, and be involved in an accident in a third state. When this happens, it can be difficult to know in which state to file a claim.
In some cases, a commercial truck accident may be caused by a third party, such as another driver, a manufacturer of faulty truck equipment, or a company responsible for improper truck maintenance. In these instances, aside from the workers' compensation claim, the injured worker may also have the right to file a third-party liability claim against the party responsible for the accident. This claim is separate from, and in addition to, a workers' compensation claim.
A third-party liability claim can help recover damages not covered by workers' compensation, such as pain and suffering, complete wage loss, and full reimbursement of medical expenses. The claim must be filed with the insurance company of the party who caused the accident.
If you're a truck driver involved in a commercial truck accident caused by a third party, seeking legal advice is crucial before pursuing a claim. An experienced attorney can help determine the best course of action and navigate the complexities of dealing with multiple insurance companies.
Remember to promptly report the accident to your employer and seek immediate medical attention. Document the incident meticulously, including photos of the accident scene, witness statements, maintenance logs, or other relevant records.
Why Do I Need a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney?A workers’ compensation claim can take several months, even years, to resolve, especially if you continue to suffer from the effects of your work-related injury. Your employer and its insurance company will be represented by highly skilled attorneys who know how to exploit an injured employee. You need to level the playing field by hiring a Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer who will fight on your behalf.
What Happens If My Employer Denies Me Workers’ Compensation Benefits?In many cases, your employer or their insurance company will promptly pay any workers’ compensation benefits. But if they deny benefits–or stop paying them before you receive what you believe you are entitled to under the law–then you have the right to file a claim with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. An administrative law judge appointed by the Division will review your claim and either conduct mediation between you and your employer, or alternatively hold a formal hearing to determine your right to compensation.
What Kinds of Injuries Are Covered?
Under Missouri law, workers’ compensation only covers injuries that arise “out of and in the course of employment.” This includes accidents that occur during your work shift. It also includes “occupational diseases” contracted at work, provided workplace exposure was the “prevailing” cause.
Workers’ compensation is not necessarily limited to injuries suffered at your normal workplace. If your job requires you to travel–i.e., make deliveries or conduct on-site work with clients–you may be compensated for injuries sustained in the course of such travel. However, Missouri workers’ compensation law specifically excludes injuries sustained while commuting from home to work and back, even if you use a company-owned car.
The Long-Term Impact of Workplace Accidents on EmployeesWorkers' Comp, WorkplaceRead Article
Getting a Second Opinion for Missouri Work Comp ClaimsWorkers' CompRead Article
Safety Violations with Missouri Work Comp ClaimsWorkers' CompRead Article
Pre-existing Condition May be Covered by Workers’ CompensationWorkers' CompRead Article
Pre-Existing Conditions and Missouri Work CompPre-Existing ConditionsRead Article
Repetitive Injuries in Missouri Workers CompensationRepetitive InjuriesRead Article