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Steven M. Lee, PC

Q:
Will a trucker’s insurance be enough compensation for my truck accident injuries?

A:

If you're involved in a commercial truck accident caused by a negligent driver, you could suffer much more serious injuries than if you were in a car accident. This is because of the greater size and weight of the truck crashing into your vehicle. 

When you suffer catastrophic injuries, your medical expenses will be higher, and you could be off work for longer while you recover—if you don't become permanently disabled. Worries about whether the trucker has sufficient insurance coverage to compensate you can be a grave concern if you have to file a claim with his insurance company.

What Insurance Coverage Is a Truck Driver Required to Carry?

Passenger vehicle drivers in Texas are only required to carry $25,000 in liability coverage per person for personal injuries in an accident. Commercial truck drivers are required to carry much more liability coverage to cover personal injuries and property damage, as mandated by state and federal regulations.

Under current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules, interstate truck drivers are required to have the following liability insurance coverages:

  • $300,000 minimum coverage for non-hazardous freight transported in trucks weighing less than 10,001 pounds
  • $750,000 minimum coverage for non-hazardous freight transported in trucks weighing over 10,001 pounds
  • $1,000,000 minimum coverage when oil is transported by for-hire and private carriers
  • $5,000,000 minimum coverage when hazardous materials are transported by for-hire and private carriers

Options When a Trucker Has Insufficient Insurance Coverage

Not all truck drivers follow the law and carry the minimum liability insurance required. Fortunately, you may have other options for obtaining the compensation you deserve. Some of these include:

  • Hold the trucking company liable. In Texas, the trucking company could be vicariously liable for the actions of its negligent truck driver, or you could have a separate legal claim against the trucking company. For example, if the company encouraged the operator to drive more hours than allowed under federal law, and this caused your crash, you could have a separate claim for compensation from the trucking company.
  • Use underinsured motorist coverage. If you purchased this coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company for the amount you're entitled to that's not covered by the trucker’s insurance policy.
  • Tap third parties. Other parties, such as a truck part manufacturer, shipper, or other party could face responsibility for compensating you if their negligence contributed to your wreck.

If you were injured in a commercial truck crash, you need an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you explore your insurance options and possibly pursue claims against all negligent parties. To learn how our experienced legal team can help you, call our office today to schedule your free consultation.

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