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Maximizing Compensation Options for Transportation & Delivery Workers in Colorado

The transportation and logistics industry in Colorado employs almost 200,000 people in the state. These employees receive almost $13.5 billion in net payroll each year as they travel across thousands of miles of interstate freeways. Delivery workers also contribute to Colorado’s economy, with more residents shopping online than ever before. Employees are attracted to these industries by relatively high wages and excellent job security. Truckers are in especially high demand, and the nation is struggling with a serious shortage of these workers. That being said, the transport and delivery industries in Colorado are also inherently dangerous. When workers spend so much time on the road each day, crashes are almost inevitable. How can these workers pursue compensation for their injuries – and what challenges might they face?


Transportation and Delivery Workers are Often Classified as Independent Contractors

The first thing you need to realize is that you may be classified as an independent contractor. This is especially true with “gig workers” who drive for various food delivery apps. For all intents and purposes, you are a freelancer in this situation. As such, you may not be eligible to make a workers’ compensation claim. That being said, there are still potential routes toward compensation.

This situation may also apply to truckers. If you own your own truck and you are operating as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation, you may not be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you are an “employee” of a trucking company in Colorado, however, you can file a workers’ comp claim like any other worker.

Dog Bites: A Serious Hazard for Delivery Workers

If you have been working as a delivery worker for a few years, you likely already know about the dangers posed by animals. Many homeowners leave these animals in their yards, and they can become highly aggressive and territorial toward any stranger. This is something that postal workers have been struggling with for many decades. Amazon delivery workers, UPS and FedEx employees, and a range of other similar workers have been severely injured, disfigured, or killed by dogs in the past. While this type of incident definitely falls under the classification of a “workplace injury,” it might also lead to a dog bite lawsuit against the owner of the animal.

Personal Injury Lawsuits vs. Workers’ Compensation Claims after Accidents

Many injured transportation and delivery workers will have the opportunity to file either a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury lawsuit, or both. As previously noted, a dog bite could lead to a personal injury claim against the owner. In addition, a worker could file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver who causes a traffic accident. For example, you might have been struck and injured by a drunk driver while driving an Amazon delivery van.

But why would you want to do this? What would be the benefit of filing a personal injury lawsuit instead of simply turning to the workers’ compensation program? First of all, you might not even have the option to file a workers’ compensation claim if you were operating as an independent contractor.

But even for employees, it may be highly beneficial to file personal injury lawsuits instead of workers’ comp claims. This is due to the amount of potential compensation that a personal injury claim can provide. A workers’ compensation claim only provides a certain level of compensation for missed wages and medical expenses, and it does not provide any compensation for non-economic damages. In contrast, a personal injury lawsuit can cover all your various damages, including non-economic damages. Sometimes you may want to pursue both a personal injury lawsuit and a worker’s compensation claim.

Non-economic damages include emotional and psychological losses, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, disfigurement, depression, anxiety, PTSD, loss of purpose of life, and so on. All of these are legitimate damages that can arise from traffic accidents, dog bites, and a range of other workplace incidents. Dog bites are especially likely to cause disfigurement, and this highlights the need to explore the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit.

Find a Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Colorado

If you have been searching for an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Colorado, look no further than the Law Offices of W. Dan Mahoney, P.C. We understand that delivery and transportation workers face numerous hazards every day. If you have suffered a serious injury, you are perfectly justified in exploring your options for compensation. Approach this situation with confidence and discuss your unique circumstances during a consultation. Reach out today to get started.