Delivery drivers face multiple job hazards. The most obvious risk is motor vehicle accidents. However, drivers are also often injured while unloading, carrying or delivering packages.
Can a delivery driver receive workers’ compensation benefits for a fall that happens on a customer’s property?
Personal injury claim or workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation laws usually prevent employees from suing employers for injuries. This tradeoff makes it possible for employees to collect benefits even if their actions caused a workplace injury. However, sometimes an employee may have both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury case against a third party.
When does an injured delivery driver have a third-party personal injury case?
A delivery driver who sustains an injury due to a fall on a customer’s property may have a personal injury case against the property owner if the fall happened because of the negligent actions of the property owner. For example, if the property owner failed to fix a rotten porch step and a driver fell because the step gave way during delivery, the property owner may be liable for the driver’s injuries. If a driver falls because of improper lifting technique or because of carrying an unstable load, the property owner likely is not at fault.
In some cases, a delivery driver who falls on a customer’s property may be able to file both a workers’ compensation and a personal injury case. However, the driver must be able to prove the property owner’s negligence to collect damages from the property owner.