Workers’ Comp for Truck Drivers in South Carolina

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Are you an injured truck driver? Workers’ comp for truck drivers in South Carolina may provide compensation for on-the-job injuries.

Whether you were hurt in a collision or as a result of one of the many other dangers of the trucking industry, you may qualify for compensation.

Robert “Bobby” Jones of Bobby Jones Law explains workers’ comp for truck drivers in South Carolina. Contact our workers’ compensation attorney to request a personalized consultation about your situation.

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Truckers?

Workers’ comp covers truckers in the same way that it covers other types of employees. If you work for a company that is required to participate in workers’ compensation, and you are an employee as opposed to an independent contractor, you may receive monetary compensation if you are injured as a trucker.

Your injury must occur in the scope and course of your employment.

What Truck Driver Injuries Can Get Workers’ Compensation?

Crashes are one way a truck driver may be hurt — but there are many risks and dangers in the trucking industry.

Examples of truck driver injuries that may qualify for workers’ compensation include:

  • Crashes with other vehicles
  • Single-vehicle collisions
  • Being struck while on the side of the road
  • Overexertion, back strain from handling the load being carried
  • Injuries while caring for the truck, maintenance, and routine upkeep
  • Harm that occurs at a warehouse, dock, or terminal
  • Incidental injuries that occur while on a trip
  • Repetitive injuries, shoulder pain, and muscle strain from driving
  • Blunt trauma from falling from an elevated height
  • Crushing injuries and incidents

Where can a truck driver file for workers’ compensation?

A truck driver may file their claim in the state where:

  • They are hired
  • They are injured
  • Their employment is located

(S.C. Code § 42-15-10).

South Carolina Legal Cases for Truck Drivers and Workers’ Comp

Vaughn v. Salem Carriers – Awarding workers’ compensation to a truck driver who suffered a heart attack doing trucking work, including climbing ladders, straightening straps, and securing a tarp.

Hill v. Eagle Motor Lines – A claim based on a brain injury and broken rib resulting from an overturned truck. A key issue in the case was whether the State of South Carolina had jurisdiction because the truck driver was hired in another state where the company offices were. The court said that jurisdiction was appropriate because the driver’s base of operations was in South Carolina.

Holman v. Bulldog Trucking Company – Reaching the opposite conclusion from the Hill v. Eagle Motor Lines case because the truck driver’s base of operations was in Georgia, where he was hired. The injury did not occur in South Carolina.

Brooks v. Benore Logistics System, Inc. – Clarifying the medical evidence needed for a repetitive trauma claim. Ultimately, the court ruled that a claimant need not obtain an ergonomics report. Instead, a doctor may give a causation opinion. The case is significant to all repetitive trauma workers’ compensation claims, including those involving truckers.

Truckers Misclassified as Independent Contractors for Workers’ Comp

To receive workers’ compensation, a truck driver must be an employee rather than an independent contractor.

It’s common for truck drivers to be classified as independent contractors — with one source saying that most truck drivers are independent contractors. However, the classification given by the trucking company isn’t necessarily conclusive. Of course, the trucking company wants you to be an independent contractor — they don’t want to pay workers’ comp!

Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor depends on the facts. The relevant factors are:

  1. Right to control, exercise of control
  2. Furnishing equipment for the truck driver’s use
  3. How the driver gets paid
  4. Right to fire

Are truck drivers employees or independent contractors for the purposes of workers’ comp?

A truck driver may be an employee or independent contractor for the purposes of workers’ comp. It depends on the individual situation and the amount of direction and control exercised by the trucking company in performance of the work.

In Wilkinson v. Palmetto State Transportation Company, the question was whether the truck driver was an employee or an independent contractor. The court concluded that the driver was an independent contractor, having intentionally moved to that status from a previous status as an employee. Even though the company required the driver to use a GPS system and comply with government regulations, these measures were not sufficient control to render the driver an employee.

Each case involving a truck driver depends on the individual circumstances. It depends on how things worked in practice and not just what your employer says. Attorney Bobby Jones can give you an evaluation of your situation.

Will workers’ comp cover delivery truck drivers?

Both Amazon and FedEx use a mix of employee-drivers and independent contractors for their delivery drivers. Whether you may receive workers’ compensation for an injury depends on how you’re classified.

Remember, your classification isn’t based on the company’s determination. It’s a legal determination based on how the law applies to the facts and circumstances of the case.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Truck Drivers

As a truck driver, you may qualify to receive workers’ compensation if you’re hurt while working. However, there may be hurdles to address and important things to do to prove your case.

Robert “Bobby” Jones of Bobby Jones Law is an attorney standing up for you. Contact us through our website to talk about your case and get help from an experienced lawyer.

The team at Bobby Jones Law LLC works tirelessly for the injured in South Carolina. His achievements include:
  • More than $60 million collected for our clients
  • Multiple recoveries exceeding $1 million, including an eight-figure settlement
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America
  • Named among the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report
  • Named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Named to Super Lawyers 2017–2024
  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Selected as Legal Elite of the Upstate 2021–2023
  • Named among Super Lawyers "Rising Stars"
We’re humbled to be considered one of the top firms in the Upstate and invite you to learn what sets our award-winning legal services apart. Call or request a consultation online.
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