Illinois Injuries to Package Delivery Drivers
In 2012, drivers of package delivery trucks experienced higher rates of fatal and nonfatal injuries and illnesses than the average of all private industry occupations. Particularly in busy cities such as Chicago, any job that requires driving throughout the city and surrounding areas comes with added risks. Delivery drivers, like large commercial truck drivers, are on a constant deadline, which can lead to physical and mental stress and injury.
Package delivery drivers get in and out of their trucks hundreds of times each and every week. This leads to added strain on the body that results in repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and rotator cuff injuries. The injuries sustained by a package delivery driver could be covered under workers’ compensation or third-party liability, depending on the facts surrounding the accident and any subsequent injuries. An experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from Malman Law can help you determine the best course of action to ensure that your medical expenses and lost wages are fully covered.
Causes of Chicago Truck and Package Delivery Driver Injuries
There are many reasons why a truck and package delivery driver could experience injury while on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 41 percent of these injuries are related to overexertion and bodily reaction (lifting heavy boxes and packages). In addition, 23 percent are related to falls, slips and trips (largely on uneven surfaces, poorly lit walkways, slick floors, or ice, sleet and snow), 19 percent are due to contact with an object or equipment, and 13 percent are due to transportation incidents. Other causes of injury to package delivery drivers include:
- Repetitive strain injuries due to lifting heavy items repeatedly, or getting in and out of the truck repeatedly;
- Dog bites while attempting to deliver packages;
- Injuries resulting from poorly maintained vehicles or faulty equipment;
- Poorly designed ergonomics in delivery trucks, resulting in injury;
- Personal injuries resulting from an auto collision with another vehicle; and
- Injuries resulting from a violent act, such as a robbery or burglary.
Truck and Package Delivery Driver Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp
All of the above accidents, and resulting injuries, are covered by workers’ compensation for those Chicago package delivery drivers who are not independent contractors, but rather work for a company (e.g., Fed-Ex). Workers’ comp is a program that is meant to help those who are injured on the job and may be facing expensive medical expenses, rehabilitation, long-term care, lost wages, partial permanent disability, and/or permanent work restrictions.
As an example, if a package delivery driver is delivering a package during Chicago rush hour traffic and a car slams into the delivery truck from the rear, workers’ comp will probably pay for injury expenses related to the accident, since the driver was on the job. Unfortunately, workers’ comp may not cover all expenses; the delivery driver could benefit from speaking to a Chicago workers’ comp attorney from Malman Law. Whether you simply need help filing your workers’ comp claim in order to get your medical expenses covered and collect temporary disability benefits while you are unable to work, or if workers’ comp is refusing to pay, our attorneys can help.
Third-Party Liability for Chicago Truck and Package Delivery Driver Injuries
In some cases, a package delivery driver may be entitled to file a third-party claim following injuries from a work-related accident caused either totally or in part by negligence, recklessness or the intentional act of an outside party. As an example, if an auto collision was caused by the negligence of another, the package delivery driver may have a personal injury claim, in addition to collecting workers’ comp benefits. The same would be true for a slip and fall in a public place due to the negligence of the business owner, or a serious dog bite while delivering a package. While workers’ comp is a no-fault system, a third-party personal injury claim requires proof of negligence on the part of the third party. This negligence can be demonstrated by showing that:
- An accident occurred;
- The accident was the result of negligence on the part of the other person or entity;
- The driver was injured in a manner which can be compensated;
- The driver was injured as a result of that negligence; and
- The driver’s injuries were foreseeable.
In addition to medical expenses not paid by workers’ comp, the driver may also be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering or emotional trauma suffered as a result of the accident, or even for the loss of his or her “normal” life outside of work.
Skilled Representation for Professional Illinois Truck and Package Delivery Drivers
If you have been injured on the job while delivery packages, and that accident has a third-party liability element, it is important that you speak with an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from Malman Law. Call us at (888) 307-7068 or contact us online today to get started with your workers’ compensation claim. We offer a free consultation and review of your case, and our attorneys are ready to fight for you.