Thanks for taking a moment to read. I have read this forum on and off since I became a professional driver, and never thought I'd have anything to contribute.
I have been a team driver with one of the larger expedited companies for about 18 months. About a week ago, when my co-driver and I were starting our trip, I went sleeper berth overnight, and he was first to drive, as is our routine. On an isolated stretch of the interstate, he fell asleep, crashed the truck up the side of a mountain, and then refused a drug test, resulting in his termination. I suffered a few injuries, which will limit my ability to work for a few weeks, require therapy, and more than that... it sucks. I hurt everywhere, can't use my phone or watch television, and am nearly immobile.
Does anyone here have experience or advice related to the personal injury aspect of this, and would you feel it is worth exploring? Right now my injuries are being handled through worker's compensation, but my spouse is angry about the lost income and the actual injuries, and wants to explore our legal options, if there are any. I am looking at physical therapy, and if that does not work, surgery, but I hope it doesn't come to that. But I'm wondering if I even can do anything about it, or should. I don't want to sound like an opportunist or scumbag, but also am concerned about my ability to earn in the future. Do you guys consider this worth exploring? Is the industry and your court experience slanted in such a way as to make it a waste of time?
Many thanks in advance.
Need advice relating to accident, and personal injury.
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Go and do everything to get what is necessary for your physical and financial well-being. As @Lennythedriver said don't under estimate those injuries. I would hope they don't come back to nag you later. Mine did in a bad way. All the best to you and your family. P.S. Your wife is right
First you need a lawyer to make sure the WC pays for the medical. Also they will explore the company’s insurance responsibilities to recover some lost income,
Here is the problem, when you go to this personal injury crap, it comes to who are you going to sue?
chances are you won’t get a penny,
the owner of the fleet?
They shouldn’t even be a consideration because they didn’t cause the accidents even indirectly.
So workman’s comp is the only place to go.
Everybody hates lawyers…… until you need a good one.
Definitely consult one.
Why not ‘explore’ suing your employer?
It was their employee, while on duty that caused the issue. Even though you were ‘off-duty’ at the time, you still were under control of the company at the time.
Maybe the company didn’t due their ‘due diligence’ during the hiring process of the co-driver?
It’s a work place injury, so WC is the first place to seek compensation, which should include lost wages.
Beyond that, you were injured due to the actions of your co-worker during his work hours, which means the company has liability.
if you consult a lawyer, be really careful about signing a contract. If it’s a contingency, their motivation will be to swing for the fences, rather than take a reasonable settlement quickly. If you pay hourly, their motivation is th get lost in the weeds for years and milk the hours. YOU have to manage the case and direct the lawyer. I suggest doing an initial consult with three or four.
But, I would not play the lawyer hand until talking to your company and discussing how they will address their liability in this case. It might be covered under their truck liability or business liability policy.
By the other driver refusing a drug test you pretty much are guaranteed to win any case for compensation as your company is liable. Don’t feel bad about it as that is what insurance is for. I would seek legal counsel.
Providing workman's compensation protects the employer from some liability but it looks like OP has a few additional reasons for seeking more than just surgery and/or therapy. Lawyer specializing in WC is needed, sorely needed.
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