Long and short-haul truck drivers make up the lifeblood of the American economy. Truck drivers are key players in the journey that products make from the factory or farm to an American family’s household. Truck drivers are responsible for transporting cargo across towns, states, and even the nation. Without the work performed by truck drivers store shelves would empty, factories would idle, and the economy would grind to a halt.
As part and parcel of their job duties truck drivers are, unfortunately, subjected to long hours and significant physical and mental stress. Either a single accident or the long term accumulation of occupational wear and tear can lead to the development of conditions that make it difficult or impossible to work. The lawyers of Schmidt, Kirifides, & Rassias can fight for workers’ comp benefits for individuals in Delaware County and beyond. To schedule a confidential consultation at our Philadelphia or Media, Pennsylvania offices call 1-484-679-5239 or contact our team today.
What Does a Truck Driver Need to Do to Get Benefits?
The general requirements to claim workers’ compensation begins with the individual suffering a “work injury.” After suffering the injury, the worker would report the injury and seek medical attention. He or she should inform the doctor that he or she was involved in a workplace injury and provide relevant details. The worker should also file paper work with the employer documenting the injury. At this point, the worker must file his or her claim to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Applicants should ensure that sufficient evidence is included in the application. A failure to do so will mean that your claim will be more likely to be denied. Working with an attorney can increase the likelihood that your claim is legally sufficient and well-supported.
What Types of Work Injuries Are Common in Truck Drivers?
In general, the law requires an individual to suffer a “work injury” before he or she is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. There are generally two scenarios under which a compensable injury will occur.
The first scenario involves a single accident that produces serious injuries in the trucker. There are many reasons that can contribute to truck and eighteen-wheeler accidents. For instance, distracted driving accidents occur frequently due to the use of cellular devices and portable computers. In other circumstances, mechanical failures due to a defect or deferred maintained can mean that a truck does not brake or steer as the driver intends. Still other accidents can be caused by drivers who drink and drive or drive aggressively. Truck crashes often cause serious injuries like broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and many others.
The second scenario through which a truck driver can suffer an injury that makes work difficult or impossible is less dramatic, but equally debilitating. That is, injuries develop over the course of a career due to the wear and tear that is involved in daily tasks and responsibilities. This includes repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel, “truckers’” shoulder, and many other “worn out worker” injuries.
Can Truckers with PTSD or Anxiety Get Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Many people are of the mistaken belief that the workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania only covers physical injuries. Other people may realize that the workers’ compensation system technically covers mental injuries and illnesses, but they may fear that the evidentiary requirements will result in the denial of their claim. There is actually good reason for this fear because heightened evidentiary requirements apply when the claimed condition in mental in nature. However, certain “mixed” mental conditions — like anxiety, depression, or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – that are caused by a physical injury do not trigger the heightened evidentiary requirement. In the case of a purely mental condition not caused by a physical workplace injury, the claimant will need to show that there is an actual objective problem with working conditions and not a subjective or perceived problem.
Rely on Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Serving Delaware County
If you or a loved one have become seriously injured due to a trucking accident, the attorneys of Schmidt, Kirifides, & Rassias can fight for workers’ comp benefits for individuals in Delaware County and beyond. Likewise, if you have developed a disability or another difficult condition due to your years of service as a truck driver, we also may be able to help. To discuss your concerns and a potential path to workers’ comp benefits, call 1-484-679-5239 or contact our team today.