Common denominator in America’s deadliest professions is driving

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistic for 2011 reveals that the deadliest job is not police officer, firefighter or deep-sea fisherman, as many would suspect. Rather, the most deadly professions are those of truck drivers and traveling salespeople.

In 2011, 683 workers in industries that require long days behind the wheel died. In fact, almost four in ten workplace fatalities involved transportation and traffic accidents. Other dangerous industries include farming and ranching, fishing, and logging.

Employer liability for workplace injuries and fatalities

Truck drivers and other employees who drive in the course of employment are generally entitled to workers' compensation benefits if injured in the course of their employment.

The North Carolina's workers' compensation program requires employers to purchase worker's compensation insurance to provide for employees injured or disabled while on the job. If an employee dies in a workplace accident, workers' compensation benefits provide income to surviving family members who were dependent upon the income of their loved one.

Workers' compensation is meant to help cover the following:

  • Medical care reasonable and necessary to treat the injury
  • Partial wage replacement, approximately two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage
  • Compensation for reduced earning capacity
  • Costs associated with vocational retraining, if necessary
  • Survivor benefits to family members of workers who are killed on the job

For permanent injuries, lifelong benefits may be required. It is necessary to submit clear and convincing evidence of the permanent disability.

Obtaining Workers' Compensation Benefits

Obtaining workers' compensation benefits precludes an injured employee, or the family members of an employee who died on the job, from filing a lawsuit against their employer for negligence.

A workers' compensation claim does not prevent an employee or the employee's family from seeking additional compensation from a negligent third party. For example, if a negligent driver injures an employee in a traffic accident, there may be an available remedy in a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.

If you have been injured on the job, the first thing to do is notify your employer and seek medical treatment. Many workers' compensation claims are initially denied. The appeals and hearing process can be complex. Seeking the help of an attorney is a first step to navigate the process. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help you appeal the denial and get you the benefits that you deserve.