New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Trucking Companies
Workers’ Compensation rules for trucking companies can be complex. The need for coverage often depends on how a trucking company chooses to classify its workers in New Jersey.
Trucking companies typically need to provide their employees with Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey. Trucking companies that hire drivers as independent contractors are not required to get insurance by law. Workers’ Compensation will likely cover any workplace accident that causes injury to an employee, even if that accident occurs when an employee is driving in a different state. Trucking companies can reduce the frequency of workplace accidents by taking certain steps, such as checking the licensing of drivers, regularly inspecting trucks, and discouraging drivers from working overtime hours.
You can go to our website to learn more about how the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers can help your trucking company get coverage today.
Workers’ Comp Insurance Requirements for New Jersey Trucking Companies
Workers’ Compensation is mandatory for the vast majority of companies in New Jersey, regardless of the type of work their employees perform. This includes trucking companies, depending on how they classify their employees.
Whenever trucking companies employ any number of regular workers, including part-time, full-time, or seasonal employees, Workers’ Compensation becomes mandatory. Our Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers can help you find coverage in these instances, as operating without it could make your company vulnerable to expensive financial penalties and other consequences in New Jersey.
The rules differ a bit regarding contractors. Many trucking companies hire workers as independent contractors, or 1099 employees. Independent contractors are exempt from Workers’ Compensation, meaning they are ineligible for benefits in most cases. That does not mean, however, that independent contractors cannot file a lawsuit if their employer’s negligence causes their injuries. By including independent contractor drivers on your trucking company’s Workers’ Compensation policy, you can protect your business from litigation in the event that a workplace accident occurs, causing injury to an independent contractor under your employment.
Workers’ Comp Coverage and Out-of-State Accidents for Trucking Companies in New Jersey
Many truck drivers travel out of state on delivery routes. If an accident occurs in a state other than New Jersey, but your company is based in New Jersey, how will Workers’ Compensation apply to the situation?
If a truck driver is out of state and they are hurt on the job, they can submit a Workers’ Compensation claim, provided they are covered and not an independent contractor. If the driver is hurt out of state in a non-work-related accident, they cannot file a Workers’ Compensation claim. If they attempt to do so, that claim would be fraudulent. Carefully investigating out-of-state accidents is important so that you and your insurer can confirm that the accident qualifies the employee for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
What if you own a trucking company that is primarily based in different state but routinely operates in New Jersey? In that instance, you will need Workers’ Compensation that adheres to New Jersey’s requirements for employees that are based in the Garden State. This mainly applies to trucking companies whose headquarters are based in different state but have warehouses or other locations for employees that live and work in New Jersey.
Ways to Lower the Risk of Workplace Accidents for New Jersey Trucking Companies
Driving is dangerous, so any profession that requires extensive driving, such as trucking, can lead to expensive Workers’ Compensation premiums. To lower the chances of workplace accidents occurring and to positively impact your company’s premiums, there are several things you can do.
Check Employees’ Licenses
Carefully checking the qualifications of your truckers is important. Be sure they have the proper commercial motor vehicle license or license endorsements so that you can confirm they are legally able to drive trucks for your company in New Jersey. Checking licensing also lets you confirm a worker’s capabilities. Ask for referrals and recommendations from previous employers so that you can learn about any possible Workers’ Compensation claims they might have filed in the past. Doing this can also give you a clearer idea of a potential employee’s work ethic. Because truck drivers spend so much time on the road, away from managerial oversight, it is important that you have a good understanding of what kind of worker a person is before you hire them.
Regularly Inspect Vehicles
When a truck accident occurs, causing injury to the driver, the cause could be due to mechanical failure or other issues with the vehicle itself. These types of incidents are often serious and result in Workers’ Compensation claims for trucking companies. Fortunately, you can reduce the frequency of these accidents by routinely inspecting vehicles. All trucks should be checked for glaring issues regularly to catch possible hazards right away. It is generally the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all vehicles are safe for employees to use.
Discourage Too Much Overtime
One of the top causes of trucking accidents among drivers in New Jersey is falling asleep at the wheel. Truckers drive far distances regularly and might decide to log overtime hours, causing them to get severely fatigued while driving. Nodding off or seeing a reduction in reaction time because of tiredness can cause accidents that result in Workers’ Compensation claims. Trucking companies can work to reduce these types of claims by carefully monitoring overtime requests and denying them when appropriate. Explaining the dangers of working too long without sleep, especially when driving, to employees can help them understand why working overtime might be unnecessarily risky. Employers can also avoid accidents caused by drowsy driving by having flexible delivery dates so that drivers do not feel pressured to drive through the night to meet a deadline.
Ask Our Brokers About Workers’ Comp for New Jersey Trucking Companies
To get a quote from our Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers, visit the website for NPN Brokers today.
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