Underinsured Trucking Companies: Inadequate Insurance Coverage for 18 Wheeler AccidentsJanuary 10, 2017
Trucks that carry cargo across state lines are federally mandated to carry at least $750,000 in liability insurance. Congress has not increased the minimum requirement of financial responsibility in over 30 years despite inflation and the increases in the costs of medical care. As a result, a large percentage of trucks and trucking companies maintain insurance at or near the $750,000 limit as found by a 2013 study composed on behalf of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Given the catastrophic nature of trucking wrecks, most trucks are underinsured even if they carry the federally mandated minimum.
A study on behalf of the FMCSA examined the financial responsibility requirements and truck wrecks. Over 42% of all truck wreck settlements exceed the $750,000 minimum financial responsibility requirement leaving the trucking company and driver liable for any excess difference. Sometimes, the trucking company files bankruptcy to avoid paying the difference, leaving the injured party without their full compensation and dependent on government assistance programs.
The Department of Transportation’s value of a statistical life is $6.2 million. Despite this, trucks have only been required to maintain $750,000 in insurance, a number that has stayed stagnant for the last 30 years. Even though insurance rates for trucks have declined since 1980, trucks are still maintaining the minimum amount of coverage. Insurance proceeds compensate injured parties when a truck driver is negligent. The Department of Transportation values a human life almost ten times more than the minimum insurance they require trucks to obtain. Clearly, there is insufficient insurance coverage in the trucking business.
If you or a loved have been involved in a truck wreck and has suffered injuries as a result of the negligence of another person, please contact us immediately. The attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm have successfully handled complex truck wreck cases and can help you hold all responsible parties liable in order to obtain any possible compensation for your injuries, even if that means going after the trucking company’s assets. Contact us for a free consultation.