Working as a commercial truck driver puts one at risk of being involved in an accident that could potentially result in serious injuries. If you’re a truck driver in California who has been harmed in an accident while on the clock, California’s workers’ compensation laws ensure you have means of pursuing financial compensation for your medical bills and other such losses.
Unfortunately, when you initially file a claim to recover workers’ compensation benefits, you may learn a harsh truth: workers’ compensation insurance companies are profit-driven businesses. Their goal is not to offer you the full amount of compensation you deserve. Their goal is to lose as little money as possible in these circumstances.
Thus, an insurance company might look for reasons to deny your claim entirely. Your employer may also wish for your claim to be denied so that they can avoid high insurance premiums.
If your claim can’t be denied, an insurer is still unlikely to offer a genuinely fair settlement. It’s more likely an insurer will attempt to convince you to settle for less than your claim is really worth.
Whether you’re planning on filing a claim and want to be certain you have proper representation or you’ve already filed a claim and it has been denied when you believe it should not have been, our Los Angeles truck driver accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach are here to help.
Data from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) indicates the following are the most common types of injuries truck drivers sustain when they are involved in accidents:
Naturally, truck drivers may sustain these types of injuries as a result of on-the-job motor vehicle accidents. That said, a trucker does not necessarily have to be operating their vehicle to be involved in an accident that can leave them with serious injuries.
For example, when loading or unloading a truck, a truck driver may be struck by falling heavy items. They might also fall to the ground themselves if they are working in unsafe conditions.
Under California law, a trucker’s employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Thus, as long as a truck driver’s injuries resulted from an accident that happened when they were operating as an employee, they can file a claim to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
They do not need to prove that their accident resulted from another party’s negligence to demonstrate that they are eligible for compensation. However, along with negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement, a qualified Los Angeles truck driver accident attorney can also investigate a case to determine if an accident was actually caused by a negligent party. A truck driver might be able to recover additional compensation by filing a separate third-party claim or lawsuit if their accident happened because someone else was careless.
In Los Angeles, as in the rest of California, all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover the costs of an employee’s medical care and lost wages if they are injured on the job.
There are several types of benefits that workers’ compensation may cover in Los Angeles, including:
It is important to note that workers’ compensation does not cover all types of injuries or losses. For example, it does not cover injuries sustained while commuting to or from work, or injuries that are the result of an employee’s intentional actions. It also does not cover emotional distress or pain and suffering.
The fact that workers’ compensation benefits don’t offer compensation for such non-economic losses/damages as pain and suffering doesn’t necessarily mean it’s impossible for an accident victim to seek compensation for these losses. You may have grounds to seek additional compensation beyond what workers’ compensation will provide by filing a claim against a negligent third party.
Potentially liable third parties in these circumstances can include:
Determining the identity of a liable third party will likely require conducting a thorough investigation into your accident. This is one of many reasons it’s wise to enlist the help of a qualified Los Angeles truck driver accident attorney. At our firm, we have the resources and expertise necessary to thoroughly investigate your accident on your behalf.
Our investigation won’t merely serve to help us determine who might have caused your accident. It may also help us gather evidence showing their negligence caused your injuries. We can then present this evidence to an insurance company to demonstrate why you deserve to receive compensation.
At the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, you will find a team of Los Angeles truck driver accident lawyers with the means, experience, and dedication necessary to optimize your chances of recovering the full amount of compensation you may deserve. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online today or calling us at 818-609-7005 to schedule a consultation.