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Truck Driver as Traveling Employee

Chicago Lawyer for Truck Drivers Injured While Traveling for Work

Truck drivers may be regarded as traveling employees who are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when they are injured while out on the road for the benefit of their employers. If you are a truck driver who was injured on the job or your loved one was a truck driver who died in a work-related accident, you should give the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca a call.

Truck Driver as Traveling Employee

Many workers’ compensation claims arise out of workplace accidents that occur on the job. However, under the going and coming rule, employees usually can’t obtain benefits if they were injured on the commute to work. For instance, a truck driver who is involved in an accident while on the way to pick up a truck for work may not be able to get workers’ compensation benefits. However, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act does allow employees who are injured while traveling to seek workers’ compensation benefits for those injuries. Under the traveling employee exception, you can pursue workers’ compensation benefits even if you were not injured at the trucking company’s offices or premises.

The critical question that needs to be answered when evaluating whether benefits should be recovered is whether employees are furthering the goal of their business or performing job-related tasks. If you were acting within the scope of your job when you were injured, you may be considered to be on the job and entitled to benefits for them. For example, if you pulled into a truck stop to eat a sandwich for lunch while delivering goods to a client ten hours away from the trucking company, slip on a banana peel and hurt your back such that you can’t drive for three months, you may be able to obtain benefits because you were traveling a long distance for work and needed to stop for lunch. Likewise, if the trucking company asked you to make a stop while returning from a trip to pick up supplies for its office workers, and the truck jackknifed on an oil slick on your way there, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Requests by your employer may be considered a special mission, and likewise, accidents resulting in injuries while you’re traveling between various jobsites, such as to pick up cargo and deliver the goods to multiple locations, could be construed as job-related.

On the other hand, if you were running a personal errand at the time of the truck accident, you may not be able to obtain benefits. For example, if you were picking up shampoo for yourself at the drug store while traveling to work to pick up a truck, you may not be able to recover benefits based on a slip and fall accident by the drug store. For another example, if you took a detour from your route to stop by your house to pick up some extra clothes for the road and while lifting a heavy package, you herniated a disc, the trucking company or its insurer may deny it owes you benefits.

Third Party Liability

In most cases, workers’ compensation benefits do not completely make up for losses caused by a work-related accident. When a truck accident was caused by a third party’s negligence or other fault, we may be able to bring a lawsuit for damages against that third party. For example, if you were traveling on the road for many hours to deliver cargo, and you were injured in an accident caused by dangerous road conditions, such that you sustained a skull fracture and broken bones, we may be able to recover damages by proving the liability of the property owner in a premises liability lawsuit. Damages that may be recovered in a personal injury or premises liability lawsuit include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment.

Consult an Experienced Attorney for Truck Drivers

Truck drivers who are injured on the road are regarded as traveling employees for workers’ compensation purposes. If you are a truck driver who was injured on the job, you should consult an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer. Our lawyers represent truck drivers in Rockford, Champaign, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.