If you get injured while performing your job as a truck driver, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Iowa through your employer. Workers’ compensation benefits help pay for your medical and living expenses during the period when you are unable to go to work. It is important to be aware of your rights when you are injured on the job. This article will help you become informed and prepared should you ever experience an accident while on the job.
Common Injuries Experienced by Truck Drivers
One of the dangers of driving for a living is the potential for collisions. These collisions can result in mild to serious injuries that might postpone or prevent you entirely from being able to perform your job. Collisions aren’t the only type of incident that can lead to injuries as a truck driver. Driving a truck can also be fairly strenuous on the body, especially when done over days, months, and even years. Many of the injuries experienced by truck drivers happen not as a result of getting in an accident with another driver, but as a result of physical strain on the body. Here are some common ways truck drivers develop or experience injuries while performing their job duties:
- Collision with another vehicle on the road
- Single-car collision (no other driver or vehicle involved)
- Loading and unloading heavy cargo for long periods of time, resulting in repeated strain on the back, neck, legs, shoulders, or spine
- Slipping and falling during poor weather or visibility conditions
- Driving for long hours at a time without taking regular breaks to stretch, walk, or improve blood flow through the body.
How to Know if You Are Eligible
When you experience an injury on the job, the first question that probably pops into your head is, “will this be covered?” To find out whether you will be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Iowa, the first thing to do is to report the accident directly to your employer. Most employers have a process in place to administer benefits and provide medical treatment. If you do not report your injury within 90 days of the incident, you may not be eligible to receive benefits from your employer’s insurance carrier.
In general, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you become injured in Iowa while performing your normal job duties as a truck driver. You may also be eligible to receive benefits if you are injured while performing your job duties outside of the state of Iowa, so long as your employer’s business is located in Iowa, you regularly travel to and from that location as part of your job, and your employment contract was drafted and signed in the state of Iowa. You may also be eligible for benefits in Iowa if your contract has a provision stating that you are subject to Iowa’s Workers Compensation system.
If you act as an independent contractor and not a full-time employee for the company you drive for, you may still be eligible to receive benefits should you become injured while on the job. To fully understand your workers’ compensation rights as an independent contractor under Iowa law, gather any and all documents that outline your working relationship with the company you drive for and contact an experienced Iowa attorney right away.
Where to Go When You Still Have Questions
Are you experiencing a new or worsening injury as a result of driving a truck in Iowa for your job? To speak with a professional about your rights and options, contact the Platt Law firm. We offer free consultations for personal injury and workers compensation inquiries, and we will travel to meet with you if you live outside of the Des Moines area.