Delivery drivers are important cogs in the wheel of commerce. When you place an order or someone sends you something, they're the ones who take your package on the final leg of its journey, delivering it to its intended destination.
However, all the joy delivery drivers bring to package recipients can come at a price. Although delivery services might not at first glance seem like a particularly hazardous occupation, it truly can be.
On-the-job accidents and injuries are common—and when they occur, they can leave the injured driver unable to work for weeks, months, or even longer.
Fortunately, in Georgia, delivery drivers who are hurt while carrying out the duties of their employment may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. If you were injured on the job while working as a delivery driver for UPS, FedEx, DHL, or another area shipping company, here's what you need to know.
Delivery Drivers Face Unique Risks
A delivery driver's job entails a lot more than just asking people to sign for their packages. In addition to driving packages to their destinations and walking them to the door, their duties may also include loading their trucks—and even operating the forklifts and other heavy equipment necessary to do so. Throughout this process, the opportunities for serious injury are numerous.
Here are just a few of the many risks delivery drivers may face in the scope of their employment:
- Heavy-lifting accidents
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Forklift (and other heavy equipment) accidents
- Crush injuries from falling boxes
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Animal attacks
Common Delivery Driver Injuries
The on-the-job injuries associated with working as a delivery driver range widely, and can include:
- Back, neck, shoulder, or knee injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Repetitive motion disorders
- Lacerations, contusions, and abrasions
- Whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries
- Fractured, broken, or crushed bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Dog bites
Workers' Compensation Benefits for Delivery Drivers
Georgia requires most employers with three or more employees to carry workers' compensation insurance, regardless of whether their workers are full time, part time, temporary, or seasonal. A no-fault insurance system, workers' compensation provides medical treatment and income replacement benefits to injured employees to help them get back to work as quickly as possible.
Delivery drivers may be entitled to the following benefits after suffering an on-the-job injury:
- Medical treatment. This includes all reasonable, necessary, and authorized medical costs related to the workplace injury. Injured workers can select their doctors from a list of authorized treating physicians and have the option of changing doctors once during the course of their case.
- Income replacement. Delivery drivers who are out of work for more than seven days may be entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits equal to two-thirds of their average weekly gross income for up to 400 weeks. Drivers who can return to work on light or restricted duty may be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) payments, which is the difference between what they were earning prior to their accident and what they make in their current position. Other potentially available income benefits include permanent partial disability (PPD).
- Death benefits. The families of delivery drivers killed on the job may be entitled to death benefits that include reasonable funeral and burial expenses, and ongoing weekly payments for dependents.
What to Do If You Were Injured on the Job
- Notify your supervisor of the injury.
- Complete a workplace accident report.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Consult an experienced Georgia workers' compensation attorney about your rights and legal options.
Contact Us to Schedule a Complimentary Case Review
Rechtman & Spevak has helped countless injured Georgia workers obtain the workers' compensation benefits they deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.