In spite of social media, video conferencing and other new technologies, travel is a significant part of many workers’ job duties. Whether you’re a truck driver and spend a majority of your day on the road or have a consulting role that requires you to fly internationally to meet with clients, employees today are constantly on the go and are traveling more than ever before.
While getting paid to see the world is often considered a job perk, traversing unfamiliar territory comes with a number of health risks and occupational hazards you may not encounter in a typical office setting. Naturally, employers are concerned with, and may be legally responsible for, the wellbeing of workers wherever their job may take them.
But to what extent does workers’ compensation apply when you’re traveling for your job?
At the Law Office of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we often receive calls from workers who have become injured or ill while traveling for work. While most workers’ compensation policies provide employees with a basic level of protection on the road, getting the benefits they need to pay for medical bills and lost wages is often more difficult than it should be.
Consider the following scenario: A truck driver has traveled from San Diego to Albuquerque to deliver fresh produce to a big chain grocery store. While unloading heavy cartons of oranges, lemons, and limes from the trailer, the trucker falls from the loading dock and breaks his ankle. Since the trucker was performing duties related to his job when the accident happened, he is eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Unfortunately, due to the cost of workers’ compensation, many trucking companies try to cut expenses by classifying their drivers as independent contractors. But if you only drive for one company and are told when and where loads are to be picked up and delivered, you are an employee and therefore entitled to the same benefits as everyone else.
Though employers are responsible for providing workers’ compensation for their truck drivers, how a trucker responds to an injury or illness while traveling plays a pivotal role in how quickly he can collect his benefits. For example, while many truck drivers are very independent and don’t have direct contact with their supervisors for extended periods of time, it is crucial to report your accident as soon as it happens. In California, workers have five days to notify their employers of a work related injury. Waiting any longer will likely result in your claim being denied, thus delaying your benefits.
Injured while traveling for work? We can help.
At the Law Office of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we are very familiar with the tactics trucking companies use to deny employees the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. Luckily, we also know how to challenge these tactics to prove the extent of your injury. In fact, an injured trucker may be able to collect benefits from more than one state for a workers’ compensation claim.
Call us today to schedule your free, initial consultation. Our team of workers’ compensation lawyers will be happy to review your case and provide honest legal advice so you can get the benefits you need, right when you need them.