I got a call from a very sweet woman whose husband sustained a major injury. He had multiple blood clots because due to his work as an over the road truck driver he sat for long periods of time. Doing so in a confined space puts you at an increased risk of this happening. He ended up with a pulmonary embolism and was rushed to the hospital. The good news is that he lived, but unfortunately he had a stroke during surgery and will never work again.
The company is not based in Illinois and the accident didn’t happen here, so I couldn’t help them. I did think it would be a good case to talk about with my readers.
Generally under Illinois work comp law, if your job puts you at an increased risk of injury as compared to the general public, you have a compensable case. Sitting in general is something everyone does during the day so at first you’d think this isn’t a good case.
The reality though is that while everyone sits, truck drivers are forced to sit for hours at a time, in cramped spaces, without the ability to take frequent breaks. In fact some trucking companies limit the amount of stops you can take and generally speaking the nature of the job requires drivers to keep driving, day after day, for many hours at a time.
So while someone who works a desk job couldn’t likely make a good claim for blood clots developing due to sitting (as they can likely stand whenever they want), a truck driver would fit in to a different category in my opinion. Blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT, are a big risk because of the nature of the work.
The fact that other risks are associated with DVT’s such as age or obesity are relevant, but to win an Illinois work comp case you have to show that your job contributed to the bad result, not that it was the only cause. Every case is different, but I would bet that for any truck driver who has been driving for a long period of time, if they got a DVT we could win their case.
While some blood clots dissolve on their own, many can be life threatening, especially if they break off and go to the lungs. Bottom line is that if you suspect you have one, you should get to the emergency room ASAP.
We are Chicago based work injury attorneys who cover the entire State of Illinois. We’d be happy to talk to you for free. We can’t promise a result, but do promise direct, plain English, honest advice. We will treat you like a family member or friend. If you want to chat fill out our contact form or call us at (312) 346-5578.