Workers’ compensation attorneys at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. understand the impact of an on-the-job injury. Our legal team is dedicated to providing clients with experienced representation to help them receive the benefits they are entitled to. We are here to help during this challenging time.
Workers’ compensation is a state-run, no-fault system designed to provide damages to workers who are injured on the job or develop a work-related illness. Some of the damages you can recover under workers’ compensation include medical costs and lost wages. If you are unable to return to work because of your injury or illness, you may be able to receive a settlement, too.
Many people wonder if delivery drivers have the same right to workers’ compensation benefits as other employees. Find out about Florida’s stance on this topic and your rights here.
Unique Risks Faced by Delivery Drivers
When you work as a Florida delivery, you have many tasks throughout the day. You may load your truck, deliver packages, run your route, and more. You will face different risks and potential hazards as you work through your daily tasks.
For example, you may be involved in an accident with a forklift as your truck is being loaded. You may use other equipment that causes injuries, too. These injuries can impact your knees, neck, and back and cause broken bones or TBIs (traumatic brain injuries). Delivery drivers are also at risk of developing repetitive stress injuries in some situations.
While you run your route or deliver food to an address, you may be involved in a car accident, or a dog could bite you. Poor weather conditions could cause a slip-and-fall accident or increase the likelihood of an auto accident.
As you can see, delivery drivers face multiple risks and hazards daily. While knowing what these are may help you prevent accidents to some degree, they still happen. If they happen to you, it’s best to contact our workers’ compensation attorneys immediately to discuss your rights to benefits.
Common Injuries Florida Delivery Drivers Experience
While there are many different types of accidents and injuries that delivery drivers can experience, some of the most common includes:
One of the most common accidents that delivery drivers encounter is because of their own errors or another driver’s negligence. The most common auto accidents that delivery drivers experience are rear-end collisions.
These accidents commonly cause whiplash. Another type of accident that delivery drivers experience is sideswipe and broadside accidents when turning at an intersection. Delivery drivers may also be hit by passing vehicles when they leave their trucks to deliver a package.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents aren’t unusual for delivery drivers. The fact is, these workers are constantly on their feet, delivering packages, loading and unloading trucks, and more. They can slip and fall in any of these situations.
A delivery driver may fall while they step down from their truck, or they could fall because of large or bulky boxes. If a driver falls, it may cause a broken arm or leg, back injury, head injury, or other types of harm.
Repetitive Stress or Overexertion Injuries
Delivering packages means you are constantly lifting, carrying, and placing materials or objects each day. Sometimes, large or heavy items can result in overexertion injuries. If this happens, the muscles may tear or be strained. These actions can also harm your tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues.
Overexertion injuries can be caused due to a single incident, or they can be the result of ongoing repetitive movements. Knee and back injuries resulting from heavy lifting are seen in all types of manual laborers.
Dog Bites or Animal Attacks
Delivery drivers may encounter aggressive dogs or other animals on their route, especially in Florida, where there are still many natural areas. Dog bites and animal attacks can result in deep lacerations that tear through the driver’s skin and muscle. If a dog or animal attacks a driver, they can be knocked down and experience a fall-related injury.
Along with the physical impact of this attack, it can also lead to psychological trauma, which can eventually result in PTSD. Animal bites can also result in the transmission of infectious diseases like tetanus and rabies.
Weather Related Accidents
The state of Florida is known for its unpredictable weather. Delivery drivers may be driving in sunshine one day and pouring rain the next. The temperatures in Florida may also become excessive, which can result in heat exhaustion and heat stress.
What Should You Do if You Are Hurt While Working as a Delivery Driver?
If you experience an on-the-job delivery driver injury, it’s important to take the right steps to protect your ability to recover benefits.
Report the Incident to Your Supervisor
If you are involved in an accident in your delivery vehicle or if an animal bites you while you are on your route, contact the police. This will help to protect your rights. Some insurance companies will look to see when you reported the incident to your supervisor and to the police when evaluating your claim. If you experience an injury at the loading dock because of a slip and fall accident or lifting something heavy, it’s a good idea to inform your supervisor immediately. This will help you protect other delivery drivers from experiencing the same situation.
Fill Out an Accident Report
Along with reporting the incident to your supervisor, it’s important to fill out an accident report right away. You shouldn’t wait to do this because it is much easier to remember what happened when you write things down. It’s wise to contact the OSHA representative for your employer. The police report will help you document what happened if you’re involved in an accident.
Call for Medical Assistance
You should call for emergency medical help if you are injured while on your delivery route. Slip and falls, dog bites, and car accidents can be extremely dangerous. Because of this, it’s imperative that you seek medical attention. If you are injured while you are at the loading dock getting your deliveries for the day, but the situation isn’t an emergency, find out what doctor you can receive treatment from. This will be outlined in your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. This is the only doctor that you can see without having to pay; instead, workers’ comp covers these costs.
Talk to Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
You should get in touch with our workers’ compensation attorneys right away. While the priority is medical attention, we can take additional steps to help protect your rights to benefits. Remember, your employer and their insurance company want to pay as little as possible for your injury claim. If you attempt to negotiate or settle this amount alone, you may not get the full compensation you are entitled to. Our attorneys will work for you and help you recover the benefits you are entitled to.
Protecting Your Rights to Workers’ Compensation Benefits as a Delivery Driver
If you work as a delivery driver in Florida, you face multiple challenges and hazards each day. If you are injured on the job or develop a job-related illness, you may be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
At Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A., our workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to help you with your benefit claim. We have represented thousands of injured workers and will use our expertise and resources to help you recover the benefits you deserve.