What rights do injured workers have when hurt while delivering?
Delivery workers have long played an essential role in the economies of North Carolina and South Carolina, and the services that they provide have taken on greater importance since the pandemic when there was a major surge in online shopping. Today, delivery companies—including UPS, FedEx, Amazon and USPS—maintain a large presence and provide many people with steady careers.
Currently, the U.S. Postal Service has over 5,000 employees in South Carolina and around 11,000 in North Carolina. FedEx recently added 1,200 employees to its Charlotte, North Carolina staff, and Amazon added over 500 new employees to the area over the summer. The demand for delivery workers is only expected to rise as people increase their online shopping.
Yet, this job does come with some serious risks that can lead to catastrophic injuries. Fortunately, workers’ compensation is meant to help you take care of your health and finances if you are injured at work. Unfortunately, many injured workers don’t fully understand their rights and responsibilities.
What are the most common types of injuries among delivery drivers?
Delivery drivers may serve a variety of roles in the course of carrying out their duties. A driver may be tasked with loading a truck with packages, or they may serve as a driver who must frequently get in and out of the vehicle while carrying heavy boxes.
Other common work-related injuries for delivery drivers include:
- Lumbar strains
Are injuries from work-related car and truck accidents covered?
Getting hurt while delivering can also happen while you are driving. The rise in motor vehicle accidents are a cause for serious concern, especially for delivery drivers. An injury caused by a vehicle collision can include amputated limbs and crushed bones. Traumatic brain injuries are another serious injury that would lead to filing a workers’ comp claim.
These injuries are typically covered under workers’ compensation—provided that you were using the vehicle during your normal working hours and while serving in your job position.
How do major workers’ compensation claims work?
An employee that is injured while driving for UPS, Fedex, Amazon and other private companies must follow the steps required to file a workers’ compensation claim through their employer. You will also need to be stringent about documenting your injuries and medical treatments. Injured postal workers, however, will go through a different system in order to obtain compensation since they are employed by the federal government.
Regardless, workers’ compensation cases can be complicated and stressful, especially if your employer disputes or denies your claim. Choosing to work with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer near you can help reduce the stress that you are under and could make it easier to get the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
What types of benefits are delivery workers entitled to?
Workers’ compensation was created to offer injured workers several important types of benefits. You may already know that you can be compensated for their lost wages. Having to take time off of work to get treatment for your injury results in decreased pay, and you can file a claim to recover a portion or all of your wages.
Your workers’ comp settlement can also cover the cost of your medical care. Medical exams, testing, medications, surgeries and physical therapy all add up. Although your health insurance may cover a portion of it, many delivery workers are left with out-of-pocket costs that can reach into the thousands of dollars. When you file a claim, your lawyer can include documentation of costs that you incurred to help them get paid or reimbursed.
There are also times when you may experience diminished work capacity. This could be a permanent situation that affects how much money you can make over the course of your lifetime. In these cases, you could receive special disability benefits that are meant to help you make up for this change.
What should delivery workers do after a work accident or injury?
There are 2 common mistakes that workers make after they experience a work-related injury. The first is trying to brush off an injury as “no big deal.” You are required to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible, so delaying a report could result in your claim being denied.
The second mistake is trying to handle a claim yourself. Workers’ compensation negotiations and settlements can quickly get complicated. In some cases, an employer may try to claim that the injury was a pre-existing condition or that you didn’t follow the right protocols for accident prevention—or you may be tempted to accept a small settlement before you know the full extent of your injuries because you need the money now.
Working with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer who understands the nuances involved with these claims increases your odds of securing the best possible outcome.
Work-related injuries are physically, emotionally and financially damaging. While you focus on healing your mind and body, an attorney can help you start working on making sure that an accident doesn’t permanently ruin your finances. Making sure that each detail of your case is covered helps you move forward with recovering from a recent injury.