Considering the sheer force that an accident with a commercial truck causes, it is no wonder that the injuries and property damage caused by such collisions can be significant. Truck accidents between vehicles of a similar size and weight can be bad enough; but factor in the more numerous, much smaller vehicles upon Illinois and Missouri roadways, and truck accidents can too often prove deadly. What happens when a truck driver or the company which employs that driver carry inadequate insurance coverage to pay for the property damage and personal injury claims that arise?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is taking steps to help lower the risk that injured victims will have to contend with this added stressor after a truck accident. The minimum amount of liability coverage required for motor carriers is currently $750,000 per truck, which has been the level required since 1982. However, may believe that this coverage amount is simply too low considering that many commercial truck accidents are so severe that damages tend to hit well above that $750,000 threshold.
An FMCSA report released in April 2014 indicated that a good number of truck accidents easily surpass $750,000. The FMCSA is now circulating a survey to various commercial trucking fleets and owner-operators in the hope of obtaining even more data as the agency tries to ascertain what steps are appropriate regarding this issue. Some trucking groups contend that only 1 percent of commercial trucking accidents cause personal injuries and property damage in amounts that exceed the $750,000 minimum coverage requirements. They claim that increasing the minimum liability insurance amount required by law would pose an undue burden on motor carriers.
Those commercial truck owner-operators and trucking fleets that wish to participate in the FMCSA’s information-gathering survey have until Feb. 26, 2015 to do so. The survey is considering issues such as the current rates that motor carriers currently pay for insurance and how much their premiums would increase for every extra 10 percent of liability insurance coverage required. Other questions that are being asked revolve around whether a motor carrier believes it would have greater trouble obtaining insurance should the minimum liability coverage be raised and would an increase cause a bigger detriment to smaller carriers versus larger trucking companies.
While it may be admirable for the FMCSA to take these important issues into consideration, the unfortunate truth is that innocent victims often pay the price when commercial carriers decide to carry lower levels of liability coverage only to have a truck cause a catastrophic collision. In the event that a truck company is underinsured, such an injured victim may need to take further steps to ensure they do not continue paying a financial toll that should not rest upon that person’s shoulders. Personal injury and wrongful death laws were created in our country in order to restore injured victims to as close a financial state as they were in before a motor vehicle accident caused them harm.
Those who have either suffered personal injuries or lost loved ones in truck accidents may find themselves wondering what rights they have if a trucking company inadequate insurance coverage to pay for their medical and other related expenses. Fortunately, my St. Louis personal injury law firm can be reached free of charge at 1-888-586-7041 to answer any questions such individuals may have. Please consider calling us today to schedule a free consultation to find out more. Neither you nor your family should have to shoulder financial burdens that have been caused through no fault of your own, and we take pride in helping our Illinois and Missouri clients obtain the restitution to which they are entitled.
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Source Article: http://www.ccjdigital.com/fmcsas-work-to-raise-liability-insurance-minimums-hinges-on-these-questions/ and http://www.worldfreightfocus.com/2014/12/fmcsa-seeks-higher-liability-coverage-trucking/