Among all motorists traveling on the road, truck drivers are proven to be the ones most at risk for crashes and accidents. This is not surprising considering the amount of time they spend driving on the highway.
In fact, based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), truck driver fatalities have hit a record high in 2017. A total of 840 confirmed deaths is recorded among truck drivers that year. BLS claimed that this is by far the highest rate for workplace casualties.
Unfortunately, many are still not aware of their rights and responsibilities as they take this job. This is why the BLS is encouraging drivers to become more informed, so they can keep themselves (and everyone around them) safe on the road. Likewise, trucking attorneys in Washington are urging drivers to seek professional assistance. This way, all the information they are learning are accurate and correct. Aside from that, there are more valuable reasons to consult a lawyer. Below are some of them:
Provides a Clear Explanation of STAA
Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) is a comprehensive transportation policy referring to the routes and network of highways where truckers could operate. Collectively, these truck routes are referred to as the “National Network.” With these roadways, there are larger turning radius that are not typical on most roads. The idea is to help big trucks operate without causing inconvenience to other motorists.
Educates Drivers About Their OSHA Rights
As truck drivers are doing the field work themselves, they are more aware of the road’s condition. Unfortunately, many trucking employers ignore their opinions and tend to mismanage them. As these workers are left with no choice, they blindly follow commands even if they have doubts and uncertainties. In cases like this, having an attorney can be of great help.
Drivers could take counsel and get to know more about their Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rights. If they feel that their company is taking advantage of them, they could immediately seek their assistance for advice. If there’s any law or rule they don’t fully understand, a trucking lawyer could also provide guidance.
Assists in Making Work-Related Injury Claims
There have been many cases of work-related injuries and accidents wherein truck drivers are not properly compensated. Many companies employing their service often deny them of fair settlement when they are struck with unfortunate events.
For the fear of not getting anything at all, most of them have no choice but to accept whatever is given to them. This should no longer be the case, though, if they are backed up with strong legal support. That is why it is necessary to consult a lawyer when under these circumstances.
May these reasons shed a light on why truck drivers need to have their own attorney. Aside from learning about safety standards and national routes, having a legal expert by their side can help ensure they are properly compensated and are safe as they work. Be informed and choose which attorney to trust.