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Can Truck Drivers Receive Workers’ Comp for On-the-Job Injuries?

 Posted on November 10,2021 in Workers' Compensation

california truck driver injury lawyerEmployees who suffer work-related injuries can receive workers’ compensation benefits that will address their medical expenses and loss of income due to temporary or permanent disabilities. These benefits may be available to truck drivers who suffer on-the-job injuries. However, a truck driver’s ability to receive workers’ comp may be affected by their classification as an employee or independent contractor. Those who have suffered injuries will want to determine their options for receiving benefits or other forms of compensation.

Legal Issues Affecting Workers’ Compensation for Truck Drivers

Employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance that will provide coverage for employees who are injured while working. However, many truck drivers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees. Since they do not work directly for a trucking company or motor carrier, independent contractors may not be eligible for workers’ comp benefits

However, recent changes to the laws in California and ongoing court cases may affect how truck drivers are classified. AB5, a law that went into effect in 2020, applies what is known as an “ABC test” to determine whether a worker may be classified as an employee or independent contractor. Under this test, a worker may only be considered an independent contractor if they are not under the direct control of a hiring company when performing work, they perform work that is outside of a hiring company’s typical business practices, and they are involved in an independently established business or occupation. Under these rules, some truck drivers may be able to receive the benefits that apply to employees. The California Trucking Association has filed a lawsuit challenging this law, and a court has allowed it to be temporarily exempted from these rules. Depending on how this case proceeds, truck drivers’ ability to be classified as employees and receive workers’ compensation benefits may change in the future.

Truck drivers who work as employees of a trucking company may qualify for workers’ comp in multiple situations, including motor vehicle accidents, injuries suffered when loading or unloading cargo, or repetitive stress injuries that occur due to the work they have performed. Truck drivers who are owner-operators may be able to obtain workers’ compensation insurance that will address work-related injuries, or other insurance policies may be able to provide them with coverage for accidents and injuries. An injured truck driver may also be able to pursue third-party claims against other parties who were responsible for an injury, such as a manufacturer of defective truck equipment.

Contact Our Morgan Hill Workers’ Comp Lawyers for Truck Drivers

If you are a truck driver who has been injured while on the job, Cramer + Martinez can help you determine whether you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. We will assist in filing a claim, and we will also help you receive coverage under any insurance policies that apply in your case and determine whether you can pursue compensation from other parties. Contact our Santa Clara County workers’ compensation attorneys at 408-848-1113 to arrange your free consultation.


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