Kansas workers’ compensation benefits for truck-driver injuries
Kansas truckers are at high risk of injury on the job and of developing work-related diseases. Thankfully, trucking employers must carry workers’ compensation benefit coverage for appropriate injury claims by their truck-driver employees. Long hours, fatigue, lifting and the sedentary nature of the work contribute to the dangers of the occupation.
Tragically, the occupation carries an elevated risk of fatal injury as well. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2011, almost half of Kansas work fatalities were in the transportation industry, most frequently in “roadway incidents.”
Nature of the job
Injury and disease risks vary among three distinct aspects of the job:
- Physical harm like back injuries, sprains, strains and fractures can result from physical demands of the job like lifting or sliding freight, getting in and out of the cab and trailer, loading-dock incidents, falling and so on.
- Death or a whole host of serious injuries can happen to a truck driver in a crash with another vehicle, an impact accident against a stationary object or another type of road accident like a rollover.
- Occupational illnesses can develop from the sedentary nature of the job, long and irregular hours, and high inherent levels of stress and isolation, including depression, anxiety, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and more.
A study of truck-driver workers’ comp claims in Washington state from 1997 to 2005 sheds light on the elevated risks of the job. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries found that injury rates in that state’s trucking industry were “far above the state average for all industries combined” and that the most common trucking injury was musculoskeletal, especially upper extremity. Other injuries with high rates were those from vehicle accidents, falls and “struck by or against” injuries.
What to do
Any Kansas truck driver who suffers a work-related injury or illness should give notice as soon as possible to his or her employer and file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are a Kansas truck driver who has been injured on the job or is suffering from an employment-related impairment, speak with an experienced Kansas workers’ comp attorney to understand and pursue your rights to workers’ compensation benefits like lost wages and medical bill coverage. If your loved one was killed in his or her work as a truck driver or died from an occupational disease, contact a knowledgeable Kansas lawyer to discuss whether you might be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits.