If you work as a commercial truck driver, you are at risk for several types of common injuries that can not only cause pain and medical expenses but also take you away from your job. If your company is based in Minnesota, or you live there or worked there at the time you were injured, you may be eligible for the state's workers' compensation program.
Stress injuries from long drives
When people think of repetitive stress injuries, many imagine the typica l office worker with carpal tunnel syndrome. Though their job environment is far different, truckers spend even longer stretches seated in the same position and performing the same action. Arm problems and shoulder pain are frequent occurrences, as well as pain in the back and neck. Many tend to ignore these symptoms at first, as the pain is often not very severe in the beginning. If you do begin to experience problems in these areas, chances are they will not go away on their own. It is a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible so that you can get treatment.
Risks of loading and unloading
Loading and unloading are an important part of many truckers' job duties. These actions can also cause repetitive stress injuries or traumatic injuries that result from an accident. Carrying a heavy load can cause back problems and increase the likelihood of falling. Using safety equipment and getting help for heavy loads can help you avoid getting hurt during loading and unloading.
Of course, commercial truck accidents are infamous for the extreme damage they tend to cause. This is because trucks are large, harder to handle and often carry toxic or flammable loads. Truckers should stay aware of the specific challenges of handling a big rig, especially in bad weather. It is also important to get enough sleep and stay away from distractions like cell phones when you are behind the wheel.
While it makes sense to take precautions to avoid getting hurt, failing to take them will not cause you to be denied workers' compensation. As Minnesota offers no-fault workers' comp, you may also be able to get compensation even if you were injured in an accident that was your fault. You may also be eligible to get coverage even if your employer has you listed as an independent contractor. In the case of a road accident, other drivers' insurance companies may become involved. Speaking with a knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney can help you figure out the best options to get compensation.