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What You Need to Know After a Truck or 18-Wheeler Accident

Undefeated Texas Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers

Truck and 18 Wheeler Accidents often result in serious injuries and substantial property damage.

Because of the severity of the injuries associated with Truck and 18-Wheeler crashes, federal and state safety regulations require that that all trucking companies carry a minimum amount of insurance in order to operate their trucks on state roads and highways.

Unfortunately, because trucking companies and their insurers will do whatever possible to avoid responsibility and pay accident victims as little as possible after a crash, collecting a fair settlement that fully compensates you for all your losses and injuries is an uphill battle, even when it’s obvious that the trucking company and its driver were at fault.

Commercial Trucks and 18 Wheelers are Required to Carry a Minimum of $750,000 in Insurance Under Federal Law

All commercial trucking companies and their drivers are required to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations (FMSCR), which establish the minimum standards and qualifications that all truck and 18-wheeler companies are required to follow in order to operate in the United States.

Part 387.1 of the FMSCR requires all commercial trucking companies to carry a minimum amount of insurance on their drivers.

The federally required minimum liability limits are determined by several factors, including:

  • Whether or not a rig operates across state lines (interstate) or within a single state (intrastate).
  • The weight of the fully-loaded truck.
  • The cargo being transported (non-hazardous vs. hazardous).

The following minimum liability limits apply to commercial vehicles engaged in interstate commerce (meaning the trucks regularly travel across state lines):

  • $300,000 for vehicles weighing less than 10,001 lbs. and transporting nonhazardous materials.
  • $750,000 for trucks weighing 10,001 lbs. or more and transporting nonhazardous materials.
  • $1 million for vehicles hauling oil.
  • $5 million for trucks carrying hazardous materials.

The MCS-90 Endorsement

Federal law also requires trucking companies to carry an “MCS-90 endorsement.”

This endorsement acts as a safety net when a specific truck or 18 wheeler is not covered by the carrier’s policy.

For example, some insurance policies contain language that excludes coverage for the use of vehicles not specifically listed in the policy, leased vehicles, or vehicles driven by independent contractors.

However, in the case of a truck accident that results in injury or death, the MSC-90 endorsement trumps the policy language and requires the trucking company’s insurer to provide coverage for that truck and driver.

Minimum Insurance Requirements for Trucks and 18-Wheelers Operating Within Texas

The Texas Department of Insurance provides its own minimum insurance coverage requirements for trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial trucks that operate exclusively within the State of Texas:

  • $300,000 if the vehicle is hauling household goods.
  • $500,000 for trucks carrying general freight.
  • $1 million for rigs transporting oil.
  • $5 million if the truck is hauling hazardous materials.

Dealing with the Insurance Company After a Truck 0r 18-Wheeler Accident

A study published by the Trucking Alliance found that 42% of truck accident settlements exceeded federal minimum insurance requirements.

That’s because the current statutory minimum liability limits haven’t changed in more than 30 years, despite inflation and rising medical costs.

A truck accident victim can easily incur hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, of dollars in medical bills following a serious truck crash, especially one that involves multiple vehicles, injuries and deaths.

As a result, trucking companies—and their insurers—will do everything possible to limit their liability after a crash, even if it means denying you and your family full and fair compensation.

Common Tactics Used by Trucking Companies and their Insurance Adjusters Following Truck Accidents

Here are some of the most common tactics trucking companies and their insurance agents (claims reps) will use to try to limit their liability after a crash:

1. Inadequate Settlement Offers:

The company will offer an inadequate settlement offer to the accident victims soon after the crash, hoping to convince you to accept the money. If you accept the settlement, you will be required to sign a document waiving your right to later sue the company.

The company or its insurance adjuster will do whatever they can to convince you to accept the offer, knowing that if you hire an experienced truck accident attorney, the company will end up having to pay you fair more than their current offer.

2. Requesting a “Statement” from the Victim

The trucking company’s adjuster will often contact the accident victims shortly after the accident and urge them to make a formal “statement” about what happened.

If you agree, which you should never do, the company (or its claims reps) will ask questions designed to blame you for the accident, shield the company from responsibility, and/or minimize the severity of your injuries.

Remember, the statement is NOT REQUIRED and WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU LATER, so you should never agree to provide it unless you’ve talked to an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

Why You Should Always Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer After a Crash

Truck accidents are nothing like car wrecks.

In addition to the substantial size and weight of the vehicles, the trucking companies are much more aggressive (and deceitful), the victim’s injuries are usually more severe, and the victim’s potential settlement or verdict is always much larger than in crashes between ordinary passenger vehicles.

Unless you are represented by an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Lawyer who regularly handles and takes trucking accident cases to trial, the trucking company will always pay you substantially less than what you need and deserve.

The #1 Largest Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident Recoveries in Texas: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation

With Billions Won for our clients—including the #1 Largest Truck Accident Settlement in Texas—our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers have the knowledge, resources, and skills to take on the largest trucking companies in the country and ensure that you and your family receive the maximum compensation possible.

All consultations are free, and you won’t pay us a dime unless we win your case.

Our Truck Accident Lawyers will answer your questions, explain your rights, and make sure you have the information you need to decide what’s best for you and your family.

Call 1-888-603-3636 or click here to send us an email through our “Contact Us” form.

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