The DOT hours of service regulations are the bane of just about every trucker and trucking company. How often have you been 2 hours from home and were forced to take your off-duty time when you could have just finished the trip and gotten home.
The mandatory hours of rest routinely puts drivers on the sidelines when they are away from home and by law, are not supposed to be working. What happens when you get hurt during your mandated rest period? You aren’t working – you can’t be.
The law in Illinois treats drivers who are away from home during their mandated rest periods just like any other employee who has to travel for work. That means as long as you are hurt doing something that is foreseeable while you are traveling, you should be covered by worker’s compensation.
What does that mean for truck drivers in particular? It means that if you are doing anything that is consistent with getting your mandated rest hours in, you should be covered, even if you weren’t working and even if what caused your injury wasn’t particularly related to your job as a truck driver.
This little tidbit should be considered in tandem with the fact that you can file case in the Illinois worker’s compensation system for accidents that happened outside Illinois if your principal place of employment is in Illinois or if the contract for hire was formed in Illinois. The off-the-clock overage may not be as extensive in other states as it is in Illinois, so you may have more options than you ever thought ….
If you have a current worker’s compensation issue which you need help on, please feel free to reach out to our office by calling us at 312-263-1080 to discuss your issues and what options you have. There is no obligation to hire our law firm, and there is no charge for the call.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you know anyone who can benefit from this kind of information, please feel free to share this information.
We are here to help truck drivers after an on-the-job accident. Knowledge is power, and the first step in protecting your rights is to know what they are.