Workers’ Compensation: What is it and How Does it Work for Truckers?

a truck driver looking at the side mirrorTruck driving is probably one of the most popular jobs in America…or rather, it used to be. In the 80s, truckers made $110,000 a year. Today, there the profession has seen a considerable drop in popularity. Despite its waning popularity, though, US census data from 2015 found that it’s still one of the most dominant jobs in the country, with truck drivers making up the majority of full-time working adults in 29 states.

The past few years haven’t been kind to the American workforce, in general. As of 2014, one-fifth of US workers were laid off. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of opportunities, especially for young people. It might do you well to consider trucking. It’s daunting, of course, and you may have heard of some legal cases handled by firms such as Truck Driver Rights.

Here are some things to keep in mind, if you are considering a profession as a truck driver:

Know Your Rights

It’s no secret that driving a truck can be dangerous. As with any job, injuries can happen. What’s important is for you to know your rights should you ever find yourself in such a scenario.

Workers’ compensation laws vary depending on the state. In the state of Washington, for example, if you are injured on the job, your employer must pay for your medical fees, give you partial compensation for the salary you can’t earn while you’re recovering, and pay you for partial or total disabilities. Some companies offer additional compensation insurance. Be sure to review worker’s compensation with your company’s human resources office.

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Protecting Your Rights

You also have a part to play in protecting your rights as an employee. If you are injured while doing your job, be sure to report it as soon as you possibly can. After that, you need to file a claim in your state’s workers’ compensation court or industrial court. Most states also have a statute of limitations or a deadline for filing claims. Check to see how long the statute runs in your state.

Understandably, these things can make trucking seem even more intimidating than it actually is. Don’t be put-off. Just think: The more you know, the better you’re protected.

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