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Does workers’ compensation cover independent truck drivers?

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Commercial truck drivers play a vital role in the nation’s economy. Truckers typically spend 300 days on the road each year, work long hours and, on average, log 80,000 to 110,000 miles – with some driving closer to 125,000 miles.

With so much time spent at work, truck drivers are more susceptible to workplace injuries than workers in almost any other industry. When injuries occur, many Wisconsin long-haul truckers are unaware that workers’ compensation benefits cover them.

More injuries and more time away from work

Spending so much time at work means truckers are more susceptible to motor vehicle accidents than other drivers. But they’re also more likely to suffer injuries unrelated to crashes, such as strains, sprains and tears. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports:

  • Truck drivers are nearly three times more likely to suffer workplace injuries compared to the average rate for workers in all other industries.
  • Truckers are eight times more likely to have nonfatal injuries or illnesses that involve days away from work.
  • Truck drivers are nearly twice as likely to suffer injuries related to contact with objects or equipment.

Many of these work-related injuries and illnesses can be devastating in medical costs and lost wages.

Wisconsin covers over-the-road truckers

Regardless of whether you work for a trucking company or are an independent contractor, the state’s inclusive workers’ compensation law likely applies to you. Under the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act, an “employee” is defined as:

  • “Every person in the service of another under any contract of hire, express or implied, all helpers and assistants of employees, whether paid by the employer or employee, if employed with the knowledge, actual or constructive, of the employer.…”

Workers’ comp covers nearly all full-time and part-time public and private employees in Wisconsin, with some exceptions. If you are injured while working as a commercial truck driver — whether you’re an independent contractor or employee — it’s crucial to file a claim within the acceptable timeframe to receive the financial benefits you deserve.

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