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Trucker injured due to covid rules

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by Artmaker, Feb 6, 2021.

  1. Artmaker

    Artmaker Law Topic Starter New Member

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    hi, I just want to pick some legal brains here,

    So my husband is an over the road trucker. Last week he was at a loading dock, and had to secure his own load which is common. However, due to insane covid rules, he was not allowed on the dock. So instead of being able to walk onto his trailer to secure the load, he was told due to "security reasons and covid" he had to pull away from the dock and climb in from the ground.
    Now he has done this many times, but this time, thanks to ice on his truck, he left one door closed, and uses that to climb on with. Well his foot slipped on the ice, he did the splits and landed on the ground that way causing a hairline fracture in his hip.

    Now he is on workers comp because this happened on the job, but my question is does the shipper have any responsibility for causing an unsafe condition that didn't have to be if only he could have stepped onto his trailer from the loading dock? Or is this just a job related hazard and that's that?

    BTW, it happened in Iowa, but he thought it was just bruised and sore and actually drove to Louisville KY before checking into an ER. He's home now and we live in Michigan. His trucking company is also in Michigan. I can only enter one state in tags, entering our home state but I know laws for other states may be at play here.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Workers comp isn't concern with fault.

    Workers comp wants to make sure injured workers receive the best medical care possible to assist every worker who can is fully able to recover from their injury(ies).

    If that isn't possible, workers comp assists the injured person with transitioning to disability status.

    This is the State of Iowa workers compensation official website:

    Frequently Asked Questions | www.iowaworkcomp.gov

    If your husband has additional concerns, he can retain the services of a workers compensation attorney.

    These Iowa licensed attorneys explains how the attorney's fees are paid and by whom:

    What Does It Cost To Hire A Workers' Compensation Attorney In Iowa?

    How Are Attorney Fees Paid For Iowa Workers' Compensation Claims? | Pothitakis Law Firm, P.C.

    Your husband's employer will assist him in filing the necessary paperwork.

    From what you describe, he has done what is required to initiate the workers comp process.

    He should communicate with the party(ies) as communicated by his employer's benefits or designated department.

    Again, when he is ready, he would be wise to seek the counsel of a Michigan licensed attorney, as you reside in The Great Lake State -aka- Water-Winter Wonderland.
     
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  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    I'm not seeing any negligence on the part of the shipper. It is possible to safely enter trucks from the ground rather than from an elevated loading dock. So it wasn't the dock rule that was the cause of your husband's injury. Rather, the cause of the injury was your husband slipping on the ice. So unless there is an argument to be made here that the shipper was responsible to clear the ice from the area and failed to do so in a timely manner I'm not seeing anything pointing to the shipper being liable. He can discuss that with an Iowa personal injury attorney, however.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  4. Artmaker

    Artmaker Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Ok, the just of what I'm seeing here is it's on workers comp to do what ever they will do regarding fault. I just think it's wrong not to allow a trucker access to his own trailer through the dock using covid as an excuse. Sure workmans comp will cover medical etc but not pain and suffering or the cut in pay for the next several months. Not to mention this could have ended much worse.

    But ok, thanks for the replies, guess there is really nothing more we can do.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    One must accept that Covid will be used to alter much of what we've done for decades, if not centuries.

    If your husband thought the snowy situation was too dangerous for him to attempt, he could have sought guidance from one (or more) of his employer's supervisors or managers BEFORE doing anything.

    You're right, there were other options available to him.

    One comes to mind, hiring a lumper(s) to do the unloading.
     
  6. JustinforJustice

    JustinforJustice New Member

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    As others say, Covid rules and improvised regulations on job sites for covid safety makes it more complicated. But, my recommendation is to get in touch with a licensed attorney in your state. In theory, the case could be disputed to put the liability on the dock.

    Even with the Covid safety precautions in place, it is still the site's responsibility to provide a safe environment for workers. Even more so in an already kind of hazardous place like a loading dock. An attorney could help you and your husband without a doubt
     

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