Delivery Driver Injuries
Delivering food or packages can be a great job, offering flexibility, good pay, and a large amount of freedom. However, delivery drivers also face a significant number of workplace hazards, making it one of the more dangerous occupations. While motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of injruy, there are many other types of accidents that lead to delivery driver injuries. For example, many drivers experience neck and back injuries due to the amount of time they spend sitting. Additionally, delivery drivers can also suffer serious injuries related to dog bites and falls.
At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we’ve assembled an exceptional team of Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers who have specific experience handling workers’ compensation claims based on delivery driver injuries. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients, during which we will discuss the application process, review your eligibility and provide you with an overview of your options.The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation System
The North Carolina workers' compensation system is designed to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Instead of suing their employers, injured workers can file a claim to receive medical treatment, wage replacement, and other benefits.
If an employee is injured, they must report the injury to their employer within 30 days. The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) oversees the system and handles disputes between employers and employees. A Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney can be instrumental in convincing your employer or their insurance company to reverse a workers’ compensation denial.
Possible workers’ compensation benefits may include payment for medical expenses, compensation for lost wages (typically two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage), and compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement. In the tragic event of a work-related death, the deceased employee’s surviving loved ones can pursue worker’s compensation death benefits.Common Delivery Driver Injuries
Delivery drivers spend almost the entirety of their day behind the wheel. Not surprisingly, the primary cause of injury among delivery drivers is auto accidents. However, other types of accidents also occur. For example, dog bites and falls are both common.
Dog bites typically occur when a delivery driver exits their vehicle and approaches a residential home to complete a delivery. While most pet owners take care to secure their pet when they expect a delivery, that is not always the case.
Falls usually occur as a result of a property owner’s failure to safely maintain their property. For example, cracked or chipped pavement, loose gravel, uneven landscape, missing or damaged sidewalks, and missing handrails are the most common causes of falls.Can Delivery Drivers File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in North Carolina?
It depends. The North Carolina workers’ compensation system only applies to employees and not to independent contractors. Thus, if you are a formal employee, you may be entitled to benefits. However, if you drive as a contractor for a food or grocery delivery company, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
That said, delivery drivers may qualify to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit in cases where someone else was responsible for the accident leading to their injuries. Third-party injury claims are preferable to workers’ comp claims in many cases because they offer a greater range of damages. However, the trade-off is that you must be able to prove someone else was at fault, whereas, in a workers’ compensation claim, fault is essentially irrelevant.Have You Been Injured While Working as a Delivery Driver?
If you were hurt on the job while making deliveries, it is important you understand your rights. While a workers’ compensation claim is the default for most injured workers, the nature of your job is such that a third-party injury claim may be appropriate. If so, you could be leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table by not looking into this type of lawsuit. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our Charlotte injury lawyers command an impressive knowledge of both personal injury and workers’ compensation law and are here to advise you on your options and help connect you with the compensation you deserve. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Charlotte work injury lawyers, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Cabarrus County workers’ compensation attorneys at 704-918-4747. We proudly represent clients in Charlotte, Concord and Kannapolis, as well as throughout Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, and Union Counties.