10 Steps Truck Drivers Should Take Immediately after Suffering an On-the-Job InjuryMarch 29, 2018
Commercial truckers have the 8th most dangerous job in the U.S., according to the latest findings.1 While driving a commercial truck can be risky due to the possibility of traffic accidents, loading and unloading trucks, inspecting and maintaining trucks, and operating trucks can also contribute to truckers’ risks of suffering job-related injuries.
However truckers sustain a work injury, knowing what to do in the aftermath can be essential to protecting a future claim for financial recovery. To help truckers who have suffered work-related injuries, the following highlights the most important steps these commercial motorists should take after any job-related accident.
If you or a loved one is a truck driver who has been injured on the job, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm whenever you are ready to find out more about your options for compensation.
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What Injured Truckers Can & Should Do after Sustaining a Job-Related Injury: 10 Essential Steps
- Get medical attention as soon as possible – If an incident has resulted in serious or potentially life-threatening injuries, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. If the injuries may be less severe, it is still critical to get medical attention as soon as possible in order to prevent further health complications and assure that the injuries are diagnosed by a medical professional and documented in medical records.
- Report the incident and injuries – Texas law provides employees 30 days from the date of an accident (or the date on which the job-related injury or illness is discovered) to file a report with an employer. Generally, the sooner these reports are filed, the better. This is largely due to the fact that prompt reporting can reduce the risk that employers and/or insurers may try to challenge the cause or severity of the injuries down the line.
- Take pictures of the accident scene – Snap as many pictures as possible of the injury site, the equipment involved, the resulting damage or debris, etc. These pictures can be incredibly helpful later, as the accident scene will likely change in the days or weeks following the injury.
- Record a detailed account of what occurred – Write down or record yourself speaking the details associated with the injury-causing event. Be sure to include specifics about the circumstances that occurred before, during and after the event, with details like who was present, what was happening, etc. These records can safeguard crucial details, which may be forgotten or misremembered in the months that follow.
- Explain the facts of the incident and NEVER admit fault – Whether you are speaking to an insurer, a physician, an employer or any party other than your lawyer, only disclose the facts of the incident (like where and when it occurred and the impacts it had on you). Do NOT apologize, admit fault or accept blame.
- Prepare yourself for the Independent Medical Exam (IME) – Depending on the employer, its insurer and the nature of the injury-causing event, injured truckers may have to undergo a so called “independent” medical evaluation (actually a defense medical evaluation to protect at-fault parties) in the process of pursuing a claim. These exams are NOT like standard doctors’ appointments, where physicians discuss the symptoms and work towards a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Instead, DMEs/IMEs are focused on reviewing medical records, evaluating the extent of the injury and making determinations regarding a trucker’s current or future ability to resume work. As such – and similar to dealing with insurers, injured truckers should NOT automatically assume the doctor is looking out for their best interests. Rather, truckers should be mindful and careful about what is disclosed to the physician conducting the DME/IME.
- Follow through with all prescribed medical care – This includes undergoing all recommended medical care AND avoiding any activities doctors have advised against. Compliance with doctors’ orders is essential to healing. It’s also important to minimizing the chances that an insurer (or another party) will later try to argue that the injuries were faked or were not as severe as a truck driver has contended.
- Keep records regarding missed work and other losses – These records can include paystubs, bank statements, medical bills, property repair bills and more. Such evidence can be integral to establishing the extent of the harm suffered and, potentially, the amount of compensation to which injured truckers may be entitled.
- Keep everything the insurance company sends you – Emails, letters and other documents from the insurance company can be critical to ensuring a claim is being properly handled and to holding insurers accountable if they act in bad faith with a trucker’s claim.
- Contact the Amaro Law Firm – Whether or not truck drivers can take any of the above steps, the most important thing they can do after suffering an on-the-job injury is to contact the Amaro Law Firm. Our lawyers can help injured truckers determine their recovery options and protect their rights and interests at every step moving forward.
Given how important financial recoveries can be to helping injured truckers rebuild their lives after a work accident, it’s crucial to work with an experienced lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm who can help you pursue all of the available legal remedies in order to position your claim(s) for the maximum recovery available.
Get Essential Answers & Advocacy: Contact a Truck & 18 Wheeler Accident Attorney at the Amaro Law Firm
If you or a loved one is a truck driver who has been harmed in any type of work accident, you can turn to an experienced truck accident attorney at the Amaro Law Firm for effective advocacy in the pursuit of justice and compensation.
Call (877) 892-2797, text (281) 612-8024 or email our firm for your FREE, no obligations consultation.
Tireless, strategic and dedicated, our attorneys can help truckers identify and pursue their best options for financial recovery in the aftermath of any job-related accident. While compensation may never erase the profound damage caused by these accidents, it can be the key to gaining some justice and restoring lives.
1: According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)