Workers Comp For Trucking Companies – There are a few ways in which an owner-operator manager differs from a company manager. However, just because they differ does not mean that one driver has more rights or superiority over another. Most owner-operator managers tend to get overlooked or lost when it comes to injuries and workers’ compensation because they don’t have the power of a company to back them up.
Company drivers work for large companies that provide them with their trucks, fuel, vehicle insurance, repair coverage, and sometimes per diem allowances for other expenses along the way. Most company executives also have the option to purchase health insurance, and after a certain amount of time with the company they may be eligible for paid vacation time. The details of these offers are determined by the company’s standards.
Workers Comp For Trucking Companies
On the other hand, as an owner-operator, you may make more money than company managers, but you also have a higher overhead. As an owner operator driver, you have the freedom to move anything you choose, whether through a broker or by leasing your vehicle to a corporation, and even then you will still have greater control over your loads than a commercial manager.
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Owner operators can also deduct a variety of reasonable expenses on their tax return. Even though you have more freedom over your workload and there are some advantages to being an owner operator, there are also disadvantages. Unlike company drivers, you are solely responsible for your truck payment, repairs, insurance, vehicle maintenance, meal showers, fuel, health insurance, taxes, and so on. Workers’ compensation for owner-operator managers is another commonly faced issue.
Workers’ compensation is a government-mandated, “no-fault” insurance system that pays you benefits if you’re injured on the job to cover medical care, part of lost wages, and permanent disability. In return, employers receive immunity from civil lawsuits by employees over such workplace injuries.
A truck driver can sustain a wide variety of injuries while performing their job. Injured truck drivers usually suffer from gradual injuries or traumatic injuries, and these types of injuries may be covered by workers’ comp insurance.
Repetitive stress injuries and falls from vehicles are some of the common injuries sustained by truck drivers. In addition, a truck driver may suffer from musculoskeletal disorders or injuries mainly caused by lifting heavy containers or boxes while unloading or loading the truck. Head and neck injuries, broken bones and traumatic injuries are some of the common injuries truck drivers sustain in trucking accidents.
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Employers generally must carry workers’ compensation insurance. But the Workers’ Compensation Act exempts a very small, specific group of employees, which includes farm workers, domestic servants, certain real estate agents and direct sellers, and commercial motor carrier owner-operators.
However, whether a truck driver is covered by workers’ compensation insurance can depend on their employment status. For example, truck workers who are classified as employees may be entitled to workers’ compensation for truck drivers. But in Missouri, for example, trucking companies are not required to pay workers’ compensation coverage to owner-operators. So they often deny workers’ coverage requests.
If this has happened to you, make sure you contact a lawyer who can protect your rights and fight for the benefits and compensation you deserve.
To learn more about workers’ compensation, read our “What to Expect from a Workers’ Comp Claim” blog and schedule a free case review with Hurt Trucker Attorneys today to speak with an experienced attorney to review your options .
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According to Zippia, there are more than 679,000 owner-operators on the road as of 2021. These drivers enter into an agreement where they are considered independent contractors and the owners of their own trucks. Thus, if a work-related accident causes an injury, workers’ compensation for owner-operators may be more difficult to obtain.
In fact, insurance companies routinely deny workers’ compensation claims for owner-operator truckers, citing the fact that the owner-operator is an independent contractor rather than a covered employee of the trucking company.
For owner-operators who lease or work under a broker or lease from a corporation, those trucking companies can choose to include you in their workers’ compensation program if they choose. They can also choose another alternative called Occupational Accident Injury Cover. This would allow owner-occupiers to purchase their own coverage for medical benefits and some disability coverage in the event of an injury while on the job.
Occupational accident insurance is an insurance option that provides both you and your employers with a certain level of financial protection in the event of an injury sustained on the job. A number of factors play into the coverage amount, such as the perceived risks of employers and their workplaces. Unlike workers comp plans, employers can choose the plan’s coverage amounts and deductibles, and these plans cover medical expenses and lost wages only up to the coverage limits set in the plan’s policy. What the company may total about the amount you receive.
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Another option available is to purchase workers’ compensation for owner-operator managers from a private insurer, or if you can meet the requirements of the Workers’ Compensation Division, you can self-insure as an individual business or as a ‘ a member of a self-insured group.
Your access to workers’ comp coverage may also depend on the state under which you are employed or registered. Trucking companies usually always refuse to provide workers’ compensation benefits to owner-operators who are injured because they are not “workers”. In some cases, the trucking companies’ decision to deny benefits is legally correct. For example, under Missouri law, a trucking company is not required to provide employment benefits for an owner-operator—even if you have a lease-purchase agreement with the trucking company and are not yet the title owner of the rig.
However, workers’ compensation laws in other states, such as Illinois, allow owner-operators to recover benefits in some cases—even if you have an owner-operator agreement with a firm that states you cannot collect. These states recognize that many trucking corporations refer to truckers as “owner-operators” to escape workers’ compensation requirements, but consider them employees nonetheless.
As an owner operator, if you are injured on the job, you should never accept the companies denial of benefits. If you find yourself in a situation where you are being denied the benefits you rightfully deserve, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney.
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Contact an experienced attorney In most cases, a truck driver can file their workers’ compensation claim in one of two places: the state where they were employed, or the state where they were injured.
Where you choose to file your workers’ compensation case can have a significant impact on the outcome, not only whether you win, but how well you are compensated. Always contact an experienced Hurt Trucker Attorney. Our attorneys will speak with you free of charge and can tell you where to bring your claim, what law will apply and whether you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
When we represent you, we will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries, and we will not receive a fee until you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 855-4-HURT-TRUCKER (855-448-7887) or email us at [email protected] to set up a free case review so you receive the compensation you deserve. Workers’ compensation insurance is required by almost all states. The coverage provides benefits for injuries or illnesses that occur while an employee is at work.
Individual state laws determine not only the types of injuries and illnesses covered, but also the benefit levels an employee is eligible to collect. In general, the injured employee is eligible for mainly four types of benefits:
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Previously, Work Comp premiums were based on employee payroll through classifications established for the expected frequency and severity of claims. For trucking companies, the class codes were Truck Drivers or Clerical and Mechanics. Each classification then had a different class code and premium. However, that all changed earlier this year.
Trucking workers’ compensation took a new turn this past January as the industry transitioned to one combined class code.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has reclassified the distinction between the local truck driving class code (#7228) and the long-haul driving class code (#7229) into one control class code (#7219) for all truck drivers.
The original thought behind the two different class codes was that on the one hand, a local driver was home every night and “off the clock” due to a work-related injury. On the other hand, the long-haul driver had an opportunity for a compensable injury for most of the time they were away from the terminal.
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However, a main factor for the reclassification was that a local driver actually has more exposure to slip/fall/lift claims due to getting in and out of the trucks and more involvement in the loading and delivery of cargo than a long-haul driver who is mostly “no touch load”.
I’m sure many of you remember back in the 1980’s when you couldn’t even get job coverage. At the time, premium costs were three times the cost seen today, with many having to rely on state pools to get coverage.
But over the past decade, the number