Why Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer After an Accident on the Job
Posted in Truck Accident on December 13, 2022
After sustaining an on-the-job injury, truck drivers may simply trust the process. That is, they may choose to trust that the workers’ compensation insurance carrier and their employer will treat them fairly. However, that is not always what happens. It is strongly advised that victims reach out to a skilled Seattle truck accident attorney after an accident on the job.
Will Workers’ Compensation Cover the Losses?
If you are an employee of a trucking company, then you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you sustain an on-the-job injury. The workers’ compensation laws in California are fairly stringent and require every employer, regardless of their size, to provide these benefits to their workers. Failing to do so could result in major fines and even criminal charges against the employer.
If you are a truck driver or someone else in the trucking industry and sustain an on-the-job injury, you should be able to file a workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits. However, that does not necessarily mean that the insurance carrier or the employer will simply payout benefits. It is not uncommon for the insurance carrier or employer to question the veracity of the claim or even deny the claim altogether.
We encourage any truck driver who has sustained a workplace injury to contact a skilled attorney who can walk them through this process, even if the ultimate goal is to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
What If You’re an Independent Contractor?
A significant number of truck drivers in California are independent contractors. This means that the individuals essentially are their own company. Sole proprietors who operate a truck for themselves are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This could be a problem when it comes to recovering compensation, particularly if the driver is responsible for causing their own injury.
However, if the trucking incident and injury were caused by the actions of another party, an independent contractor may be able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is a more complicated process than recovering workers’ compensation benefits because the truck driver will have to prove fault.
A skilled personal injury attorney should be involved, and this case should be treated just like any other type of truck accident injury. This means that there needs to be an investigation into the incident, evidence will need to be gathered, and the elements of negligence need to be shown clearly.
A lawyer will work diligently to recover full compensation for the truck driver’s losses, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more.
Even if a truck driver does work for an employer and is able to receive workers’ compensation benefits, there may be times when it is an option to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault party. This may be the case if the party aside from the employer or the employee caused the injury.
For example, if there was an accident on the roadway caused by another driver, the truck driver may be able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Additionally, if a third-party cargo loader improperly carried out their duties and this caused an injury or an accident, the truck driver may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the third party.