Owner-operator truck drivers have unique needs regarding workers’ compensation. These drivers often work long hours, often with unpredictable schedules and unforeseen risks due to the nature of their occupation.
Owner-operator truck drivers must be protected through a robust, comprehensive workers’ compensation policy that provides coverage for any medical bills and lost income due to injury, illness, or death in the workplace.
Were you injured on the job driving as an owner-operator truck driver? Are you concerned about your worker’s comp insurance? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can help ensure you receive maximum compensation and benefits for your injuries.
Contact our truck accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for additional information or schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
How Owner-Operator Truck Drivers Differ from Company Truck Drivers
Owner-operator truck drivers are independent contractors who own and operate their trucks.
They have the freedom to move anything they choose and may earn more money than company drivers, but their independent trucking operation also has a higher overhead.
These sole proprietor owner-operator truck drivers are solely responsible for the following:
- Monthly truck payment
- Commercial truck insurance
- Vehicle maintenance
- Health insurance
- All taxes to operate their trucking company
A self-employed owner-operator truck driver can deduct various expenses on their tax return but may not be able to file claims for workers’ compensation like employees in trucking and other industries.
A company truck driver working for large businesses or trucking companies is provided with trucks, fuel, workers’ comp, repair coverage, and sometimes per diem allowances.
Special Workers Compensation Rules for Owner-Operator Truck Drivers
Owner-operators are an integral part of the US trucking industry, with over 3.4 million drivers and 129 billion miles driven annually.
Most independent truck drivers sign a lease agreement with a trucking company, making them dependent on the company for dispatching services.
However, commercial truck insurance carriers typically treat hired owner-operators as uninsured contractors and include them in the payroll of the trucking company for rating purposes.
Because of that, owner-operators are not protected workers of trucking companies and, therefore, ineligible for workers comp benefits.
Couriers Workers Comp Benefits
Couriers’ worker’s compensation is an essential form of financial protection for any self-employed couriers, providing workers’ comp benefits for medical bills and lost income due to an injury or illness sustained while working.
Benefits are tailored to meet each courier’s specific needs and any legal requirements in their state or area.
Couriers workers’ comp benefits can also provide support in the event of death, helping to ensure that their families remain financially secure even in the face of an unexpected tragedy.
By taking the time to understand their policy and ensure it meets all necessary requirements, couriers can rest easy knowing that they have a sound plan to protect themselves and their families in case something happens at work.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated, “no-fault” insurance system that benefits those injured. Common injuries sustained by truck drivers include:
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Falls from vehicles
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Head and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic injuries
Workers’ comp policies can cover medical costs and temporary total disability (TTD) payments for injured employees.
Employers generally have to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but some exceptions exist.
Whether workers’ compensation insurance covers a truck driver may depend on their employment status with a trucking company.
This policy should be tailored to the independent trucking workers’ needs and provide adequate financial protection in case of an accident.
With such a policy, owner-operator truck drivers can rest assured that they will be cared for if something happens while on the road.
Why Workers Comp Coverage Is Important For The Owner Operator Truck Driver
Workers’ comp coverage for independent contractor truck drivers is an essential form of financial protection for any self-employed driver.
It can compensate for medical expenses or lost wages due to an injury sustained at work.
In some cases, workers’ comp can even provide financial support in the event of death.
This coverage is typically tailored to fit each driver’s needs and skill set, so drivers must ensure their own coverage that meets their specific needs and any laws or regulations in their area.
With a solid workers’ comp policy in place, contractors are ensured that their financial future will remain secure even if something unexpected happens at work.
Motor carrier employers are legally required to carry workers’ compensation coverage; failure can result in stiff penalties.
Owner-operator truck drivers who operate their own vehicles without employees or company drivers typically do not need a workers comp policy.
Still, motor carriers may require owner-operator truck drivers to get trucking industry occupational accident insurance.
Workers’ Comp Insurance with Disability Coverage
Disability coverage is an essential protection for any independent or company driver working for a motor carrier.
The injured policyholder is compensated by pay for their work-related damages.
This type of trucking workers’ comp insurance helps independent truck drivers provide income support and financial assistance if a driver becomes temporarily or permanently disabled due to an illness or injury related to their job.
Benefits pay medical costs, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering. Disability benefits are tailored to the individual and the motor carrier’s needs.
Hence, drivers need to ensure they have the correct type of policy in place that meets both their personal needs and legal requirements.
Compensation Options for Owner-Operators Running Independent Truck Companies
Owner-operators are independent contractors and the owners of their trucks.
This means they are not eligible for trucking workers’ compensation benefits in the same way as employees, which can leave them with few options if they are injured in a work-related accident.
Insurance companies often deny workers’ compensation claims for owner-operator truck drivers due to their status as independent contractors.
However, other legal and compensation options may be available for owner-operators injured in work-related accidents.
An owner-operator who operates their truck with no employees typically does not need to have a worker’s comp policy.
Motor carriers may require owner-operator truck drivers to get Occupational Accident insurance policies for the industry, which pay medical expenses, lost wages, and death benefits if an injury or illness occurs while on the job.
Occupational Accident Injury Coverage
Occupational Accident Injury Coverage is an insurance option that provides financial protection in case of an injury incurred on the job.
This coverage can be tailored to meet the needs of employing trucking companies, allowing them to choose the coverage amounts and deductibles that best suit their business.
Unlike workers’ comp plans, trucking companies have total power over the coverage limit their employees receive.
Workers Compensation: Avoid Trucking Accidents to Reduce Claims
Trucking accidents can be a primary source of workers’ compensation claims, and the associated costs can be significant.
To reduce these costs, it is crucial to take preventative measures to reduce the chances of accidents.
Just a few examples of injury prevention include:
- Truck companies require drivers to wear adequate footwear, which can help reduce ankle problems and other common injuries.
- Companies train truckers to follow safety protocols when operating, driving, inspecting, and maintaining their vehicles.
Hire Personal Injury Lawyers Specializing in Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Owner-Operators
Did you suffer a work-related accident and seek benefits from a workers’ comp policy as an independent contractor?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury law firm represents short-range and long-haul trucking workers, including independent owner-operator truck drivers working as owner-operators, and can help you too.
Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.
We can work directly with authorities on the workers’ compensation program to ensure our clients receive maximum medical benefits, lost wages, and other damages caused by their work-related accidents.