If you work in the trucking industry, then you need to know whether or not you are covered by the workers’ compensation system in Illinois. The good news is that just about every employee in this state is covered by workers’ compensation in the event they sustain a workplace injury. This includes truck drivers. However, you do need to know what type of coverage you can receive in the event you sustain a workplace injury and have to turn to the workers’ compensation system.
What is Available for Truck Drivers Through Workers’ Comp?
Just about every employee in the state of Illinois is covered through the workers’ compensation system. Most employers are required to have this type of insurance for every employee under their purview. Almost every type of injury that occurs in the workplace will be covered through workers’ comp, and this is considered a “no-fault” type of insurance. This means that individuals can recover compensation regardless of who caused the injury, even if the injury victim was the one responsible.
There are various types of compensation available to truck drivers who are employed by trucking companies and sustain an injury as a result of on-the-job duties. Workers’ compensation in Illinois will pay for:
- The medical costs associated with the job-related injury
- Any rehabilitation or physical therapy expenses
- Temporary total disability benefits that pay two-thirds of a trucker’s average weekly wage if the employee cannot work while recovering
- Temporary partial permanent disability benefits that pay two-thirds of the difference between the average amount of the worker typically earned at their pre-injury job and the amount they are able to earn while on light duty while they were cover
- Permanent total disability benefits if there is a loss of a body part
Job retraining if necessary
Complications for Owner/Operators in Illinois
It is not uncommon for individuals in the trucking industry to be the owner-operator of their individual trucks. These individual drivers then enter into an independent contractor agreement with other companies for their services. This could seemingly complicate the individual’s ability to recover compensation if they sustain an injury while carrying out job-related functions.
Often, workers’ compensation insurance carriers will deny owner-operator claims, and they will do so based on the fact that the owner-operator is an independent contractor and not a protected employee of a truck company. However, under a 2007 Illinois Supreme Court ruling, owner-operators of trucks, even if they are independent contractors, may still be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you or somebody you care about has been injured on the job in the trucking industry, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to examine your case and determine the best steps moving forward for your situation. In some cases, it may be necessary to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party to recover full compensation for your losses. A lawyer will walk you through this entire process, gather the evidence needed to prove liability, and handle all negotiations to recover compensation on your behalf.