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Can a paperwork issue keep truckers from workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Trucking is a demanding profession. Many commercial drivers are on the road and away from their families for the majority of the week. They may spend more than half the day behind the wheel of their vehicle and need to sleep in an uncomfortable sleeper cab.

Not only do truck drivers have to stay alert and awake for huge amounts of time, but they also need to constantly keep their focus on their safety and the safety of others. Commercial vehicle crashes can leave a professional driver out of work for months. Incidents that occur while loading or unloading cargo could cause injuries that require medical attention.

Some truck drivers only realize after they get hurt on the job that they may not qualify for benefits through Ohio workers’ compensation.

Many companies claim truckers are independent contractors

If you own and maintain your own truck and get to pick and choose what loads you carry, you may be self-employed. However, many companies misclassify workers who are employees as independent contractors.

Doing so saves the company money. They don’t need to pay into unemployment on behalf of that worker or contribute to their payroll taxes. Additionally, the company won’t have to pay workers’ compensation insurance premiums for the workers they classify as independent contractors.

However, many people who are independent contractors on paper are technically employees. They don’t manage their own projects or provide their own equipment. They don’t have control over their schedule or what work they receive. They are subject to micromanagement by the company. These drivers may meet the criteria to be an employee and thereby deserve workers’ compensation benefits for a job injury.

You can fight back against misclassification

Just because you pay quarterly taxes or agreed to fill out a 1099 instead of a W-2 doesn’t mean you have no options or right after you get hurt on the job. You can potentially appeal the denial of your benefits based on your misclassification.

Understanding your right to workers’ compensation benefits if you get hurt due to a crash or overexertion as someone who drives for a living can help you get those benefits when you can’t work.

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