The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report in December 2017 that provides some important data on fatal work injuries during the year 2016. Truck and sales drivers in South Carolina should know that the industry they work in experienced the highest number of fatalities of any industry that year: 918 in all. This can be startling considering that the industry with the second-highest number, farming, incurred 260 deaths.
Even truck and tractor-trailer drivers in the construction and agricultural industry suffered from transportation-related accidents although these two industries were affected more by slip and falls and other accidents. Transportation-related accidents accounted for 2,083 of the 5,190 work fatalities in 2016. This comes to just over 40 percent and marks them as the most frequent cause of fatalities for that year.
The total number of fatalities for 2016 represents a 7 percent increase from 2015. The last year to have such high numbers was 2008. Several factors are involved in this increase, such as the advance of automated vehicle technology, the growing number of small packages being delivered and the greater opportunities that drivers have for being negligent. Human error, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is to blame for 88 percent of all crashes.
When truckers are injured on the job, they may be able to seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages and other losses. It depends on whether the employer has workers compensation insurance and whether the injuries are indeed job-related. Victims may wish to retain a workers comp attorney, who might hire third-party experts to gather the necessary evidence for their claim. This could be crucial because the insurance provider will be conducting its own investigation. Victims may have their lawyer with them at any hearings, usually for determining the amount of permanent disability compensation.