Posted On: October 13, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Filing for Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claim Got Him Fired, Says Truck Driver

A truck driver has filed a lawsuit against Gordon Trucking accusing the trucking company of firing him because he filed an Illinois workers’ compensation claim for a work-related injury he sustained on September 1. Helmut Drake is seeking over $50,000, in addition to punitive damages and costs.

Drake says his doctor told him to stop working because of his work injury. He intended to go back to work a few weeks later but he says the trucking company told him he was fired. As a result, Drake says he suffered reputation loss, emotional trauma, humiliation, and embarrassment.

Illinois Workers' Compensation
In Illinois, an employer cannot fire a worker because he or she has has availed of workers’ compensation benefits. Most workers are legally entitled to work injury compensation to cover medical costs, wages, time off from work, and any permanent disabilities or injuries.

Truck drivers can get injured while working, whether during a truck crash, while loading or unloading a truck, during a slip and fall accident, from exposure to hazardous substances, or due to another kind of work accident.

In addition to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, a trucker may be entitled to third party compensation.

Recently, trucker James Owens and his wife Melissa sued Fleet Car Carriers, Fleet Car Lease, CCJ Auto Tranport, Cotrell, and others for his work injuries.

Owens got hurt in a slip and fall accident while operating a rig on October 2, 2007. He had to undergo medical treatment and take time off from work. He also experienced mental trauma and serious pain and was disfigured and scarred. He is accusing the defendants of neglecting to warn about the dangers related to operating the rig and making a truck that did not have the adequate walkway and footing traction surfaces and handholds necessary to prevent his work accident from happening. His wife is suing for loss of her husband’s services and support.

The couple is seeking over $500,000 plus punitive and exemplary damages and costs.

Trucker claims work comp claim led to his termination, Madison Record, October 13, 2009

Man falls from top of his rig, sues, Madison Record, October 13, 2009

Related Web Resources:
American Trucking Associations

Truck Drivers United

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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