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Workers' Compensation for Truckers in Philly

A truck accident in Philadelphia sent a truck driver and another motorist to the hospital recently. The accident also resulted in a massive fire that required 50 firefighters to get the situation under control. The incident occurred when a tractor-trailer hit an SUV which was at a gas station. The tractor-trailer caught fire and was very close to the pumps at the station.  The SUV driver reported being dizzy after the crash and a man who was working at a drug store across the street ran over and pulled him out of the car. 

CBS Local Philadelphia indicated flames were shooting as high as 50 feet in the air after the tractor-trailer caught fire. It is fortunate that no one was killed in the accident. Unfortunately, each year, hundreds of truck drivers do lose their lives as a result of motor vehicle accidents. Truck driving is an extremely dangerous profession, and new statistics show how common it is for a trucker to be killed on-the-job.

The new statistics on the dangers of the trucking profession come from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS warned about a leading cause of workplace fatalities: motor vehicle accidents. Truck drivers account for a substantial portion of workplace motor vehicle accidents resulting in injuries or fatalities. It makes sense that a person who drives for the vast majority of his daily work tasks would face a greater likelihood of getting hurt behind the wheel as compared with someone who rarely or never drives for work.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, tractor-trailer truck drivers recorded the highest level of fatal workplace injuries out of any occupation. In total, 745 fatal injuries in the trucking industry were recorded with Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS indicates that this was the "most [recorded number of fatal injuries] of any occupation."

Truckers could sustain fatal injuries when loading and unloading trucks, especially if forklifts or other heavy equipment is used. A mistake or malfunction could cause a worker to be crushed by the machinery or by objects falling onto the worker. Some truckers die as a result of fall injuries when loading, unloading, or making a delivery. Others are killed because they are violently robbed or otherwise fall victim to acts of violence while transporting goods and materials.

In most cases, however, truckers who are killed die due to accidents on roadways. BLS reports that roadway incidents were up around nine percent in 2015, with a total of 1,264 people killed as a result of incidents on roadways during the 2015 working year.  Since truck drivers must be on the roads all the time for their jobs, truckers account for many of the people who lost their lives in these roadway incidents. A total of 629 of the fatalities in roadway incidents involved a driver of a tanker truck, semi-truck, or tractor trailer. This is close to half of all workers killed in roadway accidents.  Family members of these truck accident victims must know their options for getting benefits through workers' comp and other sources of coverage after a work injury.

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