A motor vehicle crash involving a commercial truck can be more serious
and more complicated to litigate than a crash involving only automobiles.
The damage to the vehicles, as well as the injuries, are often much more
severe. In order to protect motorists involved in a crash with a commercial
truck, federal laws have been enacted that require commercial trucks to
carry insurance. These laws establish the requirements for particular
types of insurance, and they impose minimum coverage limits.
Federal Regulations regarding commercial truck insurance
The United States Code of Federal Regulations set out the minimum insurance
limits for vehicles based on the weight of the truck and the materials
being carried. For trucks with a gross weight rating of 10,000 pounds
or more, the following minimum limits are applicable:
- $750,000 for Bodily Injury and Property Damage for non-hazardous general
- $1 million for Bodily Injury and Property Damage for hazardous materials,
- $5 million Bodily Injury and Property Damage for explosives and hazardous
materials transported in specified tanks
For smaller trucks, that is trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of
less than 10,000 pounds, a minimum limit of $300,000 Bodily Injury and
Property Damage coverage is required if the truck is transporting only
general commodities. If the materials being transported include any amount
of explosives, poison gas, or radioactive materials, the minimum limit
is increased to $5 million.
What happens when the truck lacks required insurance?
If a trucking companies does not meet the liability insurance minimum requirements,
the company is not allowed to continue operating until those requirements
have been met. A trucking company can purchase more coverage than is required,
as many companies do, basically because truck accidents are often more
serious, or even fatal.
If you have questions regarding a personal injury matter,
contact us online
or by calling the Law Office of Cody R. Wix, LLC, at (205) 381-4787.