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We have helped thousands of truck drivers over the years with workers’ compensation cases. Many of these are based out of Illinois. Others were injured while traveling through Illinois.
While the most common truck driver injury comes from accidents in the truck or slip and falls, there is one other cause of leg, ankle and foot injuries that don’t get talked about enough.
Many of the drivers we have helped have been injured due to the repetitive act of jumping out of their truck cab. Over the years we’ve seen meniscus tears, foot fractures and most recently, a severe case of plantar fasciitis from the pressure of landing from a 3-5 foot drop on a regular basis.
While everyone who drives a car has to get in and out, truck drivers have a unique risk to their job due to the height that they sit at. Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, if your job duties increase your risk for injury and you do get hurt, it is a work comp case.
For our Illinois based drivers, filing the case here is not an issue. If you are based out of another state and drive through Illinois, you’d have to show that either you primarily drive in Illinois or the last time before you got hurt you were here.
While an office worker can get by with many leg injuries, a truck driver of course needs both of their legs/feet in order to do their job. So usually if they have any medical restrictions it will prevent them from doing any work at all. If that happens they are entitled to TTD benefits for their time off of work and of course payment of all of their medical expenses.
For whatever reason, many truck drivers don’t connect going in and out of the truck with their leg and foot injuries. And of all the professions out there, insurance companies try to screw over drivers more than any other job that we see. That of course doesn’t prevent you from getting benefits, it just means that they don’t always follow the law as they hope you will simply go away.
The other big cause of injuries to drivers is the heavy pressure on their legs from shifting, accelerating, breaking, etc. It’s not unusual to see knee, quad and foot problems to develop over time from these activities.
Our best advice is three things:
- Make sure you make your employer aware of the problems you are having.
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible.
- Give a very descriptive account of your job details to your doctor. If you think your injury is from jumping in and out of the truck, they should know how long you’ve done the job, how often you jump in and out, how far the drop is (measure it), the type of shoes you wear, what you notice physically when you land, etc.
And as always, if you want to discuss any of this for free, get in touch with us at any time.