Drivers of commercial vehicles, like large trucks and buses, are an essential part of the economy. However, for the drivers themselves, driving a commercial vehicle is one of the most dangerous occupations there is.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, approximately 475,000 trucks with a gross weight of over 10,000 pounds are involved in crashes that cause roughly 5,360 fatalities and 142,000 injuries every year. Of these, 23 percent of the fatalities are the occupants of the large trucks.
If you are a trucker or bus driver who has been injured on the job, read on to learn about your options for compensation.
Commercial drivers should be able to receive workers’ compensation insurance should pay for medical expenses and lost wages after an on-the-job accident.
The four types of benefits that are available under Texas workers’ compensation law are below.
However, if you are a contract worker, then workers’ compensation doesn’t extend to you. There are other options.
When workers’ compensation isn’t an option, filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company may be the best course of action. In Texas, all drivers are required to carry car insurance in policy amounts of liability coverage of $30,000 per person per accident, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability.
Sometimes, the at-fault driver may not carry insurance at all, or may not carry enough insurance to pay fully for injuries. If the trucking/bus company has uninsured or uninsured motorist coverage, this coverage can help to pay for injuries.
In the event that the accident was the fault of the commercial driver, then the company’s insurance should pay for damages. Under federal law, commercial trucking companies must carry at least $750,000 in liability insurance.
In the event that filing a claim after an accident with a commercial vehicle with an insurance company doesn’t yield the amount of compensation necessary to fully pay for injuries, filing a lawsuit against an at-fault party (trucking company, other drivers, trucking part manufacturer, etc.) may be a more viable option.