Year by year, truck driving is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous jobs in Georgia. While some jobs have become safer over the years, new research suggests that truck driving is actually becoming more dangerous. The number of fatal trucking accidents increased in 2019, according to a recent report.
Additionally, truck drivers have to worry about non-fatal injuries that can still affect a person’s life indefinitely. For example, back injuries and repetitive stress injuries are common among truck drivers. Shoulder injuries are also common as truck drivers have to load and unload cargo. In general, truck driving is hard work, and the risk of injury is significant.
What are the stats for fatal trucking accidents?
Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 5,333 fatal work injuries across the United States in 2019. That was the highest number of work-related fatalities that the BLS had reported since 2007. Over 1,000 of those deaths involved truck drivers and other people who drive for a living, such as delivery drivers and traveling salespeople. Of those deaths, more than 80% occurred with heavy/tractor-trailer truck drivers.
More specifically, there were 843 fatal work injuries among truck drivers. That is the highest number of fatal work injuries among heavy/tractor-trailer drivers since 2002.
Of all the industries in the United States, truck driving is currently ranked as the seventh most dangerous.
What does this mean for you?
The biggest thing truck drivers need to be aware of is that the trucking industry is very difficult on drivers who get injured on the job. Trucking companies will look for all sorts of reasons to deny workers’ compensation claims.
To get the maximum available benefits, it’s important for truck drivers to report their injuries to their employers in detail as soon as the injury happens. Also, keep a good record of everything you tell your employer about where, when and how you were injured. And DO NOT tell your employer, “I was shaken up but don’t need treatment,” just so you will not lose your job. If you are at all hurt while driving a truck, tell your employer that you need to see a doctor right away. It could cost you a lot if you’re wishy-washy or you wait to report your injury. Unfortunately, in many cases, trucking companies fire truck drivers who get in wrecks, regardless of whether the truck driver caused the wreck. In other words, it’s better to report your injury right away, and that will put you on stronger ground to get the compensation and medical benefits you need, even if your employer fires you.
Whether you’re a truck driver or another person injured in a trucking accident, it’s important to know your options for getting the medical and financial recovery you need to move forward. Truck drivers could see their workers’ compensation benefits delayed or denied, and people injured in collisions with large trucks could face challenges in the personal injury claim process. Skilled legal representation is essential in either case — whether you’re filing for workers’ comp or bringing a personal injury claim.