Leading Occupational Hazard: What Is the Number One Injury for Truck Drivers?
Over 2 million truck drivers traverse the vast landscape of the United States, embodying the American dream and making significant contributions to the economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that their numbers will increase to 2.2 million by 2031.
However, truck driving presents a unique set of occupational hazards. Long hours behind the wheel, maintaining the same position, and poor posture for extended periods often give rise to serious injuries.
Truck driver injuries, from aggravated neck pain to degenerative disc disease, are not uncommon. Hence, traffic accidents pose another grave risk, with thousands of workers falling victim to them each year. A Cincinnati semi truck accident lawyer can help navigate the legal process.
In this article, drivers will learn more about the most common injury experienced by truck drivers and the health dangers they encounter while on the road.
Furthermore, this article also provides essential information about workers' compensation benefits and how they can provide a safety net in case of work-related injuries for many truck drivers.
What Is the Number One Injury for Truck Drivers?
The number one injury for drivers in the trucking industry is musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
They are a prevalent and serious concern for drivers due to the nature of their work, which involves long hours of sitting, repetitive movements, and physically demanding tasks such as the loading process and shifting gears.
These common injuries, such as repetitive stress injuries, can result in significant pain and discomfort for truck drivers. Moreover, if left unaddressed, MSDs can lead to long-term health issues, affecting their ability to work and earn a living.
Seeking timely medical attention is crucial to prevent further complications, and truck drivers may be eligible for workers' comp benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages.
Additionally, considering a personal injury lawsuit or seeking a free consultation with a legal expert experienced in trucking-related injuries can help protect the rights of truck drivers and secure the compensation they deserve.
Prioritizing health and safety, as advocated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, is essential in reducing the risk of MSDs and ensuring the well-being of truck drivers.
Other Common Injuries for Truck Drivers
In the demanding world of truck driving, long periods behind the wheel and laborious physical tasks are part of the profession.
This challenging reality is often accompanied by an array of common injuries that drivers may sustain, underscoring the potential for workers' comp claims.
A critical risk for truck drivers is back pain. Extended periods of seated and vibrations from the vehicle put undue pressure on the spinal column and discs, leading to conditions such as degenerative disc disease.
Serious injuries to the back might necessitate medical attention, highlighting the challenges that long-haul driving can pose to spinal health.
The repetitive nature of truck driving, particularly operating pedals and climbing in and out of tall vehicles, can inflict a significant toll on drivers' knees.
This frequent strain can result in patellar tendonitis, a condition that, if persistent, may require professional care.
Poor posture and prolonged seating also contribute to neck discomfort. Although stretching exercises might provide temporary relief, persistent pain is a signal that professional medical intervention is required.
"Trucker shoulder" is an umbrella term for shoulder pain arising from repetitive strain. Tasks such as climbing into trucks, loading, and unloading can cause joint inflammation, bursitis, and shoulder dislocation, reinforcing the need for caution and care.
Slip and Fall Injuries
In the world of truck driving, slips and falls are common hazards. These can occur while mounting and dismounting the vehicle or during cargo unloading, especially in adverse weather conditions.
Such accidents can lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, and demand immediate medical attention.
Traffic accidents pose a significant risk to each truck driver, independent contractor, and many others on the road.
Collisions can lead to catastrophic injuries such as burns, spinal cord damage, or even more life-threatening conditions, emphasizing the immense risk that comes with this demanding profession.
Essential Workers' Compensation Benefits for Truck Drivers
When a truck driver sustains injuries on duty, the path to relief often lies in workers' comp benefits. Truck drivers, especially those employed by a company, are legally entitled to receive these benefits when they encounter injuries linked to their duties.
Such benefits come in several forms, tailored to meet various needs arising from the injuries sustained. Wage loss benefits, for instance, occur when a truck driver misses more than a week of work due to injuries.
These benefits aim to replace a portion of the lost earnings, providing financial support during the recovery period.
Workers' compensation covers medical expenses, ensuring that treatment for injuries sustained on duty doesn't drain the truck driver's pockets.
Furthermore, these expenses include but are not limited to consultations, medication, procedures, and rehabilitative services.
Each driver is also reimbursed for miles traveled for medical appointments related to their work injuries.
Additionally, vocational rehabilitation is available if a driver's injuries make it impossible to return to work. It equips them with new skills for different job roles within their capability.
While these benefits are often paid out weekly, truck drivers may have an option for a lump sum payment. However, it's important to note that independent contractors may face different regulations regarding workers' compensation benefits.
The support available to them might differ from that of truck drivers under employment contracts.
Navigating the intricacies of workers' compensation, especially in the aftermath of an injury, can be a daunting task for truck drivers. Moreover, the complexity increases for independent contractors and those dealing with repetitive injuries or aftermaths of a traffic accident.
Regardless, it's vital to remember that assistance is available. At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, the team is ready to put its experience and dedication to work. They can answer questions such as, "Why are truck accidents worse than car accidents?"
With a strong commitment to its clients, the firm goes to war for every single case, striving to ensure that each driver gets the full compensation they rightfully deserve. Drivers should make the call today and let the experienced team fight for their cases.