Last month we had a trial in Bessemer, AL. Our client had spent the last few decades of his life providing for his wife and family by being a tractor trailer truck driver. Unfortunately they suffered a serious job injury which required several surgeries, and once they reached maximum medical improvement, they were limited to light duty work.
We had to try this case because we were unable to reach a settlement. We were unable to reach a settlement because the defendant insisted that being limited to performing no more than light duty work (Light work involves lifting no more than 20 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighting up to 10 pounds) would not prevent our client from performing all the job duties of an over-the-road truck driver. You see, the defendants really didn’t know about the duties of a professional truck driver.
Driving an 18-wheeler involves more than simply driving from one location to another. Before and after every trip, the driver is required to perform Pre and Post trip inspections, which require them to bend, stoop, and lift objects if everything is alright with the truck. If the truck tandem gets stuck, the driver has to get them unstuck, and using a hammer to help is not atypical. If the trailer jumps the fifth wheel-the driver has to pull over, get under the truck and crank it up to realign everything. If your weight is off when you pull into a weigh station, the driver has to get in the back and shift the weight until it is legal. If you cross an international border (Canada, Mexico), the driver could be required to unload the truck for inspection.
If you are a truck driver, you know that no job-neither No Touch Freight nor Drop and Hook-can ever promise that the truck driver will not be required to perform heavy work from time to time. You also know that if you are limited to light duty work-your professional driving days are behind you.
If you operate a Tractor Trailer, you were hurt on the job and you have questions about your workers’ compensation claim, the Alabama Job Injury attorneys at Powell and Denny would be happy to speak with you and try to answer any questions you may have.
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