Tow truck drivers are among the most-injured on-the-job drivers on the road, and thus, they often find themselves in a situation where they must resort to workers comp payments in order to recover from a highway injury. It is important, therefore, that tow truck drivers and their family members understand the basics of workers comp law.
How Does Workers Comp Coverage Work?
All Georgia businesses that employ three or more workers, even if they are part-time, are required to carry workers comp insurance. This insurance covers all work-related injuries that may befall their workers, including while driving a company vehicle such as a tow truck. Workers comp coverage begins the very first day on the job. All injuries are covered, but they must be reported within 30 days of their occurrence to ensure benefits are received.
Your employer’s workers comp insurance will pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and loss of income for up to 400 weeks. The payments are generally 2/3 of your former weekly income but are capped at $525 per week. The exceptions to these rules are:
- Catastrophic injuries often receive a lifetime of payments.
- Loss of limbs or other body parts, loss of a basic faculty such as sight or hearing, and permanent disabilities can add extra weeks of compensation.
- There is heightened compensation for the loss of a family member, which goes to the deceased’s dependents.
Why It’s So Dangerous to Be a Tow Truck Driver
In 2011, Atlanta’s Fulton County saw 61 traffic accident fatalities. That number was the highest among all of Georgia’s counties. Fulton County also ranked first in percentage of the Georgia total for car accident deaths, at 5% of the 1,223 statewide incidents. Finally, the rate of injuries and fatalities on the road is twice as high for emergency workers, including tow truck drivers. All of that adds up to one thing- being a two truck driver in the Atlanta area is a job fraught with danger, day in and day out.
Some of the main dangers that tow truck drivers face include:
- Despite the Move Over Law, many are struck by passing vehicles as they prepare a car to be towed.
- When coming to remove a wreck, they may be cut by sharp, exposed pieces of car metal.
- Bad weather may lead them to slip and fall on the road.
- Coming to the rescue in crime-ridden neighborhoods or nasty stretches of highway also adds to the danger.
- When arriving to repossess and impound a car, the angry owner may assault them with knives, guns, fists, or attack dogs.
How Can Injured Tow Truck Drivers Get Full Workers Comp Reimbursement?
Employers are supposed to facilitate the process, particularly by providing a list of doctors whose services will be covered by workers comp insurance. However, if little or no assistance is given by the employer, contact us for a free consultation. Typical companies make it as hard as possible for you to get paid.