Truckers may be entitled to worker’s compensation if they’re ordinary employees working for a large company. Their employer should sponsor their coverage because they control the workplace, schedule, and manner of work. However, an owner-operator who has a contract with other parties to transport freight for a fee is a contractor rather than an employee of their clients.
Clients aren’t required to carry workers’ comp policies for owner-operator truckers. The key distinction to determine coverage eligibility here is the type of relationship in place between the trucker and the party they work for (employer and employee vs. client and contractor).
Workers’ Compensation in NC for Truck Drivers
Here are the main factors that determine whether a truck driver is eligible for workers’ compensation in NC:
- Where the accident occurred
- No-fault vs. fault rules
- Terms of contract (employee status vs. independent contractor)
- Workers’ comp coverage requirements of the state where the trucker is employed
Truckers can work in states where employers aren’t required to provide them with workers’ compensation insurance. In such cases, they can file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for any on-the-job injuries and related damages.
Interstate Trucking, Accidents, and Workers’ Compensation for Truck Drivers
The differences in workers’ compensation systems between states can impact truckers’ eligibility for coverage if injured while on out-of-state duties. Also, the type of policy the employer carries can dictate eligibility for compensation if the accident occurred in another state. The good news is that interstate reciprocal coverage agreements ensure that truck drivers are always protected wherever they go. However, intrastate truckers should confirm eligibility for their employer-sponsored insurance benefits just to be sure.
Injury Coverage by Workers’ Compensation Policies
Truckers can sustain serious injuries in different types of accidents, including:
- Road crashes
- Blood clots
- Falls on slippery surfaces due to fluid leaks
- Loading/unloading accidents
These and many more trucking accidents can cause career-ending injuries to body parts like the back, shoulders, and neck. Other potentially disabling or fatal injuries for truckers include:
- Broken bones
- Broken ribs
- Spine injuries
- Head trauma
- Severe cuts/wounds
- Torso injuries
- Seat belt injuries
Workers’ compensation covers all such on-the-job injuries. Typically, eligible truckers may receive coverage benefits for:
- Medical expenses (covered costs include hospital admission/doctor’s appointments, medical exams, surgery, drugs, prosthetics, physiotherapy, and medical devices)
- Lost wages
- Permanent injury damages
- Death benefits to the trucker’s surviving dependent (including funeral coverage and weekly payouts for the dependent’s upkeep)
Truckers play a vital role in ensuring important goods reach their intended destination every day. If you operate a trucking company with several drivers, you should carry workers’ compensation in NC to comply with the law and protect your employees. Contact our agents at Pittman Insurance Group, LLC today to discuss and work out the best solution for your trucking business.