Truck drivers in Virginia, like any other employees, face occupational hazards that can lead to injuries while on the job.
When accidents happen, it is important for truck drivers to be aware of the types of workers’ compensation claims they may need to file. These claims can help cover medical expenses and lost wages.
1. On-the-job injuries
Truck driving is physically demanding, with long hours spent on the road. This can result in various on-the-job injuries, including strains, sprains and back injuries. Lifting heavy cargo, prolonged sitting and exposure to vibration can take a toll on a driver’s body. These injuries may require medical attention and time off work. It is important that these injuries are reported timely to your supervisor and that you receive prompt medical attention.
2. Accidents and collisions
Road accidents are a significant concern for truck drivers. Even with their extensive training and experience, accidents can occur due to factors beyond their control, such as adverse weather conditions, negligent drivers or mechanical failures. Even if the accident is caused by your negligence, you can still receive coverage under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act if your claim is filed properly
3. Occupational diseases
Truck drivers are at risk of developing occupational diseases due to prolonged exposure to certain environmental factors. Exposure to diesel fumes, exhaust emissions and other air pollutants can lead to respiratory problems and lung diseases. Drivers can also face health issues related to poor dietary choices and a sedentary lifestyle while on the road.
4. Mental health issues
The solitary nature of truck driving and the demands of the job can also take a toll on a driver’s mental health. Conditions like anxiety and depression can develop over time. Truck drivers should be aware that workers’ compensation can also cover mental health issues resulting from accidents that happen at work.
In 2020, 43,500 heavy and tractor-trailer trucker drivers sustained injuries or illnesses that kept them from work. For many of those injuries, truck drivers need to file workers’ compensation claims to navigate recovery.