Trucking is a vital industry. More than three-quarters of the nation’s total freight volume is transported by large commercial trucks. Further, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), reports that the trucking industry supports more than 700,000 jobs in California. Of course, as with any industry, accidents and injuries can happen.
This raises an important question: Are truckers covered by workers’ comp in California? The short answer is ‘yes’—all employers, regardless of size, most provide workers’ comp coverage in California. Here, our Fresno workers’ compensation attorney explains the most important things that truck drivers should know about workers’ comp claims.
First and foremost, it is important to clarify that California law requires all employers to obtain workers’ comp coverage for all of their employees. The regulation applies regardless of an employer’s size. If you are employed as a driver for a major commercial trucking company, you should have workers’ comp coverage. If you are employed as the only worker for a trucking company, you should have workers’ comp coverage. There is no special exemption to workers’ comp insurance requirements for the trucking industry. As long as you are classified as an employee, you are entitled to workers’ comp.
In California, workers’ comp insurance covers a wide range of work-related accidents, injuries, and illnesses. If you are employed as a truck driver in California and you were hurt in a crash, you may be entitled to compensation through a workers’ comp claim. Likewise, if you are employed as a trucker and you were injured through another part of your job—perhaps from getting in or out of the vehicle or while unloading freight—you can seek workers’ comp benefits.
The Cause of the Truck Accident Still Matters
Workers’ comp insurance provides no-fault medical coverage and wage replacement benefits. If you have a valid workers’ comp claim, you can pursue benefits regardless of who was at-fault for your injuries. You are not required to prove that your employers (or any other party) did anything “wrong” to cause that accident. That being said, fault still matters in a truck accident case.
If you are a trucker who was injured due to the negligence of another party—a third party motorist, a vehicle manufacturer, etc—you may be entitled to additional financial compensation through a third party liability claim. For example, damages may be offered for pain and suffering. In California, injured workers can pursue both a third party liability claim and a workers’ comp claim.
Joseph C. Yrulegui is an experienced, effective workers’ compensation lawyer. If you or your loved one was injured while working as a truck driver, we are here to help you get the full and fair benefits that you rightfully deserve. Contact us now for a confidential, no strings attached evaluation of your case. With an office in Fresno, we represent injured truckers throughout the region, including in Clovis, Sanger, Mendota, Firebaugh, Madera, Reedley, Friant, and Prather.